Lawsuits filed after subway derailment as City Hall, Albany bicker over MTA money

NEW YORK (WABC) -- When a southbound G train hit a piece of wall and jumped the track last month, it became the latest event in an ongoing battle between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the upkeep of New York City's subways and who pays for what.

Nicole Knight was on that train the night of September 10 with her new baby, then just three days old, and she and another passenger became the first to file lawsuits in the derailment.

"You know, that really made me really upset that our lives are so meaningless that they didn't care enough to manage the trains properly," she said. "We use the train every day."

Also, there is a new advertisement in the New York Daily News depicting the mayor jumping an MTA turnstile, accusing him of hurting average New Yorkers.

"Right now, he's screwing the working people of this city that ride this system," TWU president John Samuelsen said.

The transit union paid for the ad and says the governor is right, that the city should do more.

The state is kicking in $8 billion for the MTA capital plan, and Cuomo wants $3 billion from the city. But so far, the mayor has said maybe $1.6 billion, nothing like what the governor is demanding.

"But the mayor has been incredibly blase about the tribulation of the average New York City transit rider, day in day out," Samuelsen said. "The system is clearly in a state of disrepair, trains are packed, buses are packed. We need the money."

De Blasio has argued that the MTA is the state's responsibility, and if City Hall is going kick in more funding, then he wants more control.

"We've known for decades that the city and the people of the city put more into the MTA than they get back," de Blasio said. "So I've seen plenty of political games and plenty of political posturing, and if we really want to talk about the truth, let's look what the city is doing already."

While the fight over MTA money continues, the ride is getting worse, and lawsuits are being filed.

"People are getting hurt because the maintenance is not being done to our subway the way it should be," Knight's attorney, Sanford Rubensteing said. "That's unacceptable."
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