Rahm Emanuel mocks NYC, DC subway struggles

Rahm Emanuel mocks NYC, DC subway struggles

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) teased New York City and Washington, D.C., over their subway woes in an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday while painting a rosy picture of his own city’s rail system.

Emanuel, who was chief of staff for former President Obama, pointed out that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had to declare a state of emergency for the state’s transit agency last week in the wake of chronic delays and a subway derailment.

And Washington’s Metrorail just wrapped up a yearlong emergency repair program. The beleaguered transit agency just handed out coffee coupons to riders to thank them for their patience, though not all customers were impressed by the gesture.

“The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ... handed out coupons for free coffee to riders stuck in the second year of slowdowns caused by repairs to prevent chronic fires,” wrote Emanuel, who is known for his passionate defenses of Chicago.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Meanwhile, in Chicago, a recent survey found that 85 percent of passengers are satisfied with service on our transit system, the nation’s second most used.”

Emanuel blasted New York and D.C. for focusing on expansion instead of trying to improve existing systems.

Chicago’s 125-year-old elevated rail system is currently undergoing a major modernization effort. By 2019, 40 stations will be revitalized or added, the entire system offers 4G wireless and the city is set to get a brand new fleet of modern rail cars.

“Last year, more than 238 million rides were taken on the system, which, unlike the ones in New York and Washington, has not been troubled by systemic failures, breakdowns and delays,” Emanuel wrote.

“Unlike New York, which has spent billions to reach Hudson Yards, or Washington, which has concentrated on trying to reach Dulles Airport (both laudable projects), Chicago has improved the existing system.”

Emanuel also attributed the Windy City’s success to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Core Capacity Improvement Program.

He called for more federal support for transit systems across the country and urged local governments to explore innovative financing mechanisms.

“Modernizing our existing mass transit is one reason Chicago’s economy has expanded faster than the economies of New York and Washington, and faster than the national average for the last five years,” Emanuel wrote.