Part 5 of “The Candidates,” NY1’s issues series in the race for mayor, takes a look at what transportation may look like after Mayor Bloomberg leaves. From bikes to subways and taxis, the next mayor will have a lot of say on how New Yorkers get around. Josh Robin filed the following report.
Joe Lhota has the MetroCard wrist-flick down. Bill de Blasio says he likes to drive his son to school. One will soon think about the commute of all New Yorkers, too.
Here's what the two top candidates for mayor have to say about transportation issues.
Bill de Blasio wants more red light and speed-enforcement cameras. He also wants the city, not the state legislature, to have approval for those cameras.
On bikes, de Blasio wants to double Mayor Michael Bloomberg's goal, with two-wheelers accounting for six percent of trips by 2020. He also wants to expand CitiBike and he wants to expand bus rapid transit, which are buses that run in separate lanes.
De Blasio criticizes special taxis you can hail everywhere but in Manhattan. Yellow cab interests are among his biggest donors, but he denies special favors.
"On the question of transportation, there’s lots of, I hate to use a pun here, but there's lots of moving parts,” de Blasio said. “You know, we’ve got to be very aware of the fact that to keep this city moving, there's a lot of different pieces of that industry."
Lhota also said he wants a review of green cabs. Like de Blasio, he also wants to expand bus rapid transit. He wants park and rides at ends of subway lines.
He also wants to expand a subway to Staten Island and begin city control of MTA bridges and tunnels.
Those last two are unlikely. The MTA is a state agency, which Lhota led.
On bikes, Lhota isn't as direct. We asked him, yes or no, does he think there are enough bike lanes?
"Maybe, you know I don't have an inventory,” Lhota said. “What I really think we need to have, and I know this isn't a one word answer, is more community involvement."
It's not just transportation on the road that the next mayor will have to think about. In particular, there's the question as to whether to continue a popular, city-subsidized ferry. It goes from the Rockaway Peninsula to Brooklyn and then to Manhattan. But it's due to end in January.
Lhota says he will make it permanent. De Blasio won't commit.
Lastly, could both commit to being another straphanging mayor like Bloomberg?
De Blasio says he'll take it occasionally. Lhota says he will take it “often.”