NEW YORK CITY — Commuters in the Big Apple are having another rotten week after a track fire shut down four subway lines, pictures of which were plastered all over the front pages of the city’s newspapers Tuesday — putting more pressure on Democratic politicians in charge of making the trains run.
The track fire on 145th street Monday morning sent service on multiple lines screeching to a halt, sending nine people to the hospital, and caused massive delays for commuters across the city, the New York Times reported.
Pictures posted online showed angry commuters crammed onto hot subway platforms as the city baked in high humidity and summer heat. The images were soon on the front page of the New York Post and the New York Daily News, as the outlets cover what has become the topic de jour in the city.
New York’s subway — as well as the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and NJ Transit — have suffered daily disruption for months as a cocktail of a creaking transport system in need of modernization and scheduled repairs create what Gov. Andrew Cuomo dubbed a “summer of hell.” As well as the delays, straphangers have noticed at least one subway car held together by a zip-tie. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for the transit system and has pledged more funding to solve the crisis.
But both Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under heavy fire for the crisis, with both pointing their finger at the other about who is to blame for the crisis.
Cuomo has perhaps been in the firing line more than de Blasio, with #CuomosMTA a trending hashtag on Twitter as commuters express their frustration. A new poll released Tuesday found that his approval rating has dropped 19 points in just two months.
Cuomo has shifted some of the blame onto de Blasio and called on him to up the city’s spending.
“The governor stepped up with unprecedented funding,” a Cuomo spokeswoman told the New York Times in May, “and it’d be the responsible thing for other elected leaders to do the same.”
“It is not the time for the city to go into new means of spending that are state responsibility,” de Blasio huffed at a press conference in response.
However, the poll released Tuesday suggests neither Democrat is doing well. When it comes to job performance on public transport-related issues, Cuomo had a 26 percent approval rating, while de Blasio has a 20 percent approval rating, the Post reported.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY