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Cuomo announces ‘adopt-a-station’ plan for NYC subways

An MTA worker enters a Harlem subway

An MTA worker enters a Harlem subway station where a morning train derailment occurred on June 27, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images

Corporations would help revitalize New York City’s subway stations under an “adopt-a-station” proposal announced Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

As Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to spar over who should pay for the MTA’s $836 million short term subway relief plan, Cuomo told business leaders in midtown Manhattan he plans to launch “subway partnership program.”

The initiative would rely on corporate sponsors to “enhance the maintenance, enhance security, enhance aesthetics,” at subway stations.

Under the plan, the state would create a “partnership council” comprised of business and civic organizations that would contribute at least $250,000 each to join. Members also would have the option to “adopt-a-station” for up to $600,000.

“We need to get private businesses involved in the MTA which they haven’t been thus far,” Cuomo told the Association for a Better New York. “ . . . We have to change our attitude. This is our MTA, right? This is our transit system. We are all in this together right? . . . There has to be an air of civic engagement and participation and investment in this system.”

Cuomo’s plan came two days after MTA chairman Joe Lhota released an $836 million plan to improve service on the city’s delay-ridden subway system.

On Thursday, Cuomo repeated his call for the city to commit funding to the plan. He said the state would immediately make “funds available to begin the transformation of the MTA,” and that “our partners should do the same. There is no time for delay and there is no tolerance for a lack of commitment on this issue.”

De Blasio has balked at committing city money to the plan and says the city already has pledged $2.5 billion to the MTA’s capital improvement plan.

“Will Governor Cuomo shift more than $200 million for the ‘light show’ on the MTA bridges to support Chairman Joe Lhota’s subway crisis plan?,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. It was a reference to Cuomo’s “New York Crossings” proposal that calls for outfitting the region’s bridges with multicolored LED lights capable of producing flashy light displays.

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