The New York City subway won the understatement of the century award Friday, telling riders it was having a "challenging morning" as blown fuses, signal issues, and a reported suicide stalled traffic across several lines.
So where was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the man very much in charge of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the system? Driving former President Franklin Roosevelt's priceless Packard across a newly opened bridge named for the governor's late father — and avoiding the subway for the 614th straight day.
Driving across the 2nd span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge for the first time in a 1932 Packard owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt. A beautiful car — and a beautiful bridge. pic.twitter.com/hImRBZAqLZ
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 7, 2018
Fixing New York City's dilapidated transit system has been the hallmark of actress and activist Cynthia Nixon's progressive primary challenge to Cuomo. She's made a point of popping up in the overheated tunnels; meanwhile, Cuomo hasn't descended into the depths since his 2016 New Year's Eve party, The New York Times has found. At that soiree, Cuomo rode sparkling trains between three brand-new Second Avenue stops, surrounded by cocktail-attired guests sipping locally distilled gin.
From then until Jan. 1, 2018, Cuomo took 195 flights on state-owned planes and helicopters, per state records. That's 38 more private ventures than the governor with the next highest total, the Times found. Most other governors reserve private flights for emergencies only, or pay for them with campaign funds. Cuomo's office calls the comparison "irrelevant."
One of Cuomo's shortest flights was just 13 miles from the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton, New Jersey, to his Manhattan office. He chose the taxpayer-funded flight instead of traveling for 40 minutes on his choice of three public bus lines, followed by two stops on the 7 train. Read more about Cuomo's travel habits at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk