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Top 5 Moments MTA Went Overboard

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Photo Credit: Daily News

Photo Credit: Daily News

The Metropolitan Transit Authority gets a bad wrap from New Yorkers for being incompetent, dysfunctional, and money grabbing.

And I’m here to tell you that they are absolutely right. These Transportation-Centric lunatics run this asylum and are willing to grab you by the scrote (or ovaries, everyone is equally screwed) to get a dime off of you, to inconvenience you, or get a laugh off of you, because life is inherently meaningless and God plays all of us like puppets.

But there are times in which even we, everyday city slickers, are perplexed by some of their antics. Yes, there are some things or events that arise when the question mark that pops up above our heads is left unanswered. These are the Top 5 Moments when the MTA lost their marbles.

5. 2010 Blizzard

Photo Credit: Jillian Babcock

Photo Credit: Jillian Babcock

On the 26th and 27th of December, New York City was hit with a massive snowstorm which not only left over two feet of snow on the streets, but froze the Transit services buses and trains. More than a dozen subway lines were suspended from service. The Long Island Rail and Metro North was not moving (the Metro North cancellation was doubly botched up cause FOUR trains were stuck between 125th Harlem and Mott Haven dude). However the main focus, the hot uncomfortable core of this clusterfuck was the A train. Hundreds of incredibly unlucky folk were caught in one A train throughout the whole night while the snowstorm raged! That’s 7 hours in a closed space. I would be making plans on who to sacrifice by the 2nd hour.

The MTA’s response was, how do I put it, very not good. They did attempt to get a hold of those A train passengers, but still did not have a good plan B when it came to this massive power loss. It was cray.

In a press release, the service stated that due to this unprecedented weather conditions, the subway system was crippled and they have updated safety guidelines and procedures since then, like establishing situation rooms and appointing an Emergency coordinator to handle future disasters.

Although I’m fairly confident that they don’t use these rooms anymore given how ABSURD the L is.

4. MTA $2.75 Hike

Photo Credit: Plan Your City

Photo Credit: Plan Your City

This fare hike is ridiculous. Since the massive budget cuts in 2009 and 2010, the fare hike has been rapidly increasing, and when the MTA board voted to increase the fare to $2.75 on January 22,2015 it served as a reminder to plenty of train and bus riders that New York City is slowly but surely turning into a modern Palace of Versailles (some would argue that it already is, but don’t mind those people, they have their heads screwed on straight).

Thomas F. Pendergast, chairman of the authority’s excuse for the raise was that there needed to be enough funding to balance the budget of rising service. Did I mention he also called the cost modest?

Hey mate, when there are folks barely scraping by when rent costs an arm, leg, and possibly your whole Matryosha doll collection (a collection that should be awed and praised at the highest of standards), the hike does not help. It only makes me wish even more that the Earth will collide into the sun faster.

3. 2005 MTA Transit Strike

Photo Credit: Fusion

Photo Credit: Fusion

Sometimes things get YUGE, and this was YUGE. From 20th to the 23rd of December, 2005 the MTA had its first strike since the 1980’s when the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the MTA’s contract negotiations broke down over retirement, pension, and wage increases. The Union wanted 6% pay increase, as well as a lowering of the pension age requirements, and better working conditions. MTA, being the penny pinchers they are, wanted none of that. Subway lines all over the 5 boroughs were either closed or were kinda-sorta-not-really working, and millions of us were both sad that we couldn’t see our favorite bands at night and happy that we didn’t have to see that weird guy who always eats that smelly, open plastic container filled with rice and beans on the 6.

The MTA and TWU settled on the 22nd of December, with a loss of over $700 million, gradual pay increases throughout the coming years, and no reduced pension requirements. Polls throughout the city showed that people really though both the TWU and MTA were to blame for the strike. The event has been seen as the biggest inconvenience to New Yorkers next to the GOD DAMN L train (I’m trying my best not to talk about the L that much, it gets to me though).

2. Fredrick Contini Mob Connection Affair

Photo Credit: Empire Center

Photo Credit: Empire Center

Dude the MTA had mob connections. But not like “the Godfather” kind of thing but still pretty crazy. In the summer of 2004 there were fights about the establishment of a MTA HQ in a vacant Manhattan building. As federal prosecutors sifted through court papers on the 15th of September, they discovered that the head of the project, one Fredrick Contini, was connected to the Mafia, specifically the Gambino and Genovise families. It was straight out of some Mob-esque mystery thriller, though that thriller had to be put on some NyQuil, cause law stuff is boring.

Contini was named Developer of the Year in 1999 and conned the MTA out of millions in this project. Just like your first viewing of Gigli, everyone was speechless. Contini was indicted and in 2007 sent to 5 years probation and $8 million in restitution. The project was ditched and since then, nothing has ever come close to being this interesting within MTA affairs. Make MTA interesting again!

1. THINX Campaign kerfuffle

Photo Credit: THINX

Photo Credit: THINX

Okay so this one was recent. THINX is a company that produces period-based underwear. When it came time to create and send ad proposals to Outfront Media (the company that vets ads fo rthe MTA) they were rejected. Why? Well, an agent from Outfront told THINX’s director of marketing, Veronica Del Rosario, said that the ads were too suggestive (the ads feature egg yolks and

Photo Credit: MTA

“Gaht dangit Bobbeh” Photo Credit: MTA

half cut grapefruit), and were told that if they had removed the word “Periods” in the slogan, “Underwear for Women with Periods”, then the ad can run.

It started a battle between THINX’s CEO, Miki Agrawal and the board of the MTA. The chairman of the MTA, Mr.Guy-Mentioned-in-Second-Part-of-The-Article Thomas Pendergast (mugshot on the left) even called these ads “offensive”. Which is a real head scratcher considering that ads like this also went public.

Eventually the folks at THINX got their way as the MTA review process did not outright reject them and now their ads have a place in the sun before someone graffitis little handlebar mustaches and monocles on the models. That’s what people do nowadays, right?

There you have it. The Top 5 moments MTA went overboard. I could have dug stuff up from before 1968 when the MTCA (as it was called) did not include the railroads, bridges, and tunnels. But you your own list, man.

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Zack Daniel Schiavetta

Zack Daniel Schiavetta

Zack Daniel Schiavetta is a quiet kid, musician, writer, village idiot, and student. He is currently studying at Baruch College, contributing to the Opinions section of his college's newspaper, The Ticker. He's also a history buff. His music can be found at He can be contacted via