After the NYU-Bloomberg-MTA Love Fest

NYU President John Sexton high fiving after the deal went through
NYU President John Sexton high fiving after the deal went through

Mayor Bloomberg obviously strong-armed the MTA into giving up its lease on the 370 Jay Street building, otherwise why would they give up a lease that cost them a dollar a year? It makes no sense. This pressure was evident two days later at an MTA board meeting where, despite an impassioned plea by TWU President John Samuelsen, the MTA Board voted unanimously to give up its lease on 370 Jay Street. (View the video; "MTA--Not So Fast!" on this website)                                                                                             And what did the MTA get in return? NOTHING! NYU will now cough up $50 million dollars so that the MTA can move its equipment out of the building and relocate it to other places. This is money that would not have been spent if the MTA had simply kept the building. Don’t worry about NYU either, they will be rewarded with tax breaks that will more than make it up to them.  So in the end, who pays?  As always…YOU DO!

The MTA has missed a golden opportunity to consolidate its real estate resources and save $2.3 Billion dollars. This would have been enough to put off service cuts and fare increases that are expected to take place in January of 2013. So who exactly is paying for the brunt of this? The people that can least afford it, the middle and lower middle class workers who must ride the subway every day. When the fare goes up, they are going to be further squeezed, while the 1% parties on their dime.                IB Image

What do I mean by that? Well we have already established that the MTA does not benefit in any way from this transaction. How about the city? Do they benefit somehow from this transaction? NOPE!  They don’t get anything from it either. The obvious winner in this whole thing is NYU, a private school that is not exactly financially strapped and is reputed to be worth $13 billion. With all of the talk about how wonderful the new center will be for the people of City of New York it almost seemed as though it would be a free center open to all, and not just the students who can afford to pay the $55,000 a year tuition to attend NYU. For the Mayor of all of the people of the City of New York, wouldn’t CUNY have been a better choice?                         

Another winner in all this may be Mayor Bloomberg, who as of late seems to be concerned about his “legacy”. Watch for the building to be named the “Bloomberg Pavilion” when it is completed. In the old days you would have to spend your own money to build a library or a concert hall to establish your legacy. It’s nice to have a legacy that you don’t have to pay a dime for. And so, again, we have a situation where the 1% look out for the 1%.

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