Bloomberg Defends City Spending On Typewriters

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – He’s the man whose name is on and who made a fortune from the Bloomberg terminal, he reads remarks from an iPad, and he wants New York to be the world’s leading digital city.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg finds himself defending the city’s use of and spending money to maintain more than 1,000 pieces of retro technology called the typewriter.

“Particularly in old line government organizations, there’s still lots of forms where we have to fill them out in duplicate, and a computer doesn’t do that well and they still use it. Nobody’s using a typewriter because they want to. They’re using a typewriter because they have to,” he said.

Eighteen city agencies still use a total of more than 1,000 typewriters including the NYPD, buildings department, and the human resources administration.

“They still have a function and your belief that typewriters have gone away is just erroneous. There are companies that make typewriters around the world,” Bloomberg said. “It’s like books. Some people, believe it or not, still read books in paper.”

What do you think of this? Sound off in the comments section below!

  • Mr. Ed

    In this application, a typewriter is much more efficient than a computer. You insert the form into the typewriter fill it out and you are finished. Printing is don. No walking to the central print station and waiting for the other jobs in queue to print. 2, 3, 4, 5 parts or more. No wasting time, no looking at your emails, facebook ot twitter first, just production and when you are finshed, you are finished. Turn it off and go home or to the next form. Maintaining a typewriter is far less costly than maintaining a computer system or a net work or printers or internet connection. For the simple applications. In this application, a typewriter can’t be beat.

  • DanTe

    City rules for forms on carbon paper is Herr Bloomberg’s way of making it hard for normal folks with no type writers to submit the necessary forms. This way, only the rich can get to register for what they want, the poor can go scratch.

  • Bullett

    Hey Mayor, if one must fill out a form in duplicate, have you ever heard of the word print multiple copies off of a computer? It works for me! By the way, if there electric, what do the city employees do when there’s a power failure and/or blackout? Unless of course the city is still using the older manual type.

  • xxxx

    Typewriters are like books? You mean, we should keep 1,000 of them scattered around the city? Heaven help us, and the city’s libraries, if somehow he runs for a fourth term

  • test

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    How is it that 12 of the 9/11 terrorists could live for 2 weeks just 2 miles from NSA head quarters in Maryland.This after several of them had taken flight simulator lessons on Jumbo jet trainers and several of them where on State department terror watch lists.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    If DoJ and DoD employees where more concerned with doing their jobs than enriching themselves by stealing from suspects and taking bribes, then there might have been more a chance that 9/11 had never happened.
    Worse might be the fact that elements within the U.S. Intellignece agencies with intent create their own terrorists by carefully choosing suspects and through many 10’s of years of psycological and physical abuse create their own terrorists. Why, to prop up defense spending.

    • mat


    • DCLaw-1

      Forget your tin foil hat today?

  • Ralph Puccini

    Give me an old manual typewriter any time! That’s how I learned to type in high school – and I’m better off for it!

  • Darryl

    You can buy a new Brother electronic typewriter with lots of features for $110 at regular retail price that will work with one original and 4 copies with a 90 day labor and one year parts guarantee. I don’t understand why the city is spending a lot of money to maintain typewriters when they could buy perfectly adequate ones for probably less than $100. Our local Community Board has an old IBM which probably costs more to service than to buy a new one.

  • Duke of CD

    bottom line. you can not be fired as a city employee for lack of competence. if they make you switch to computers and you can’t seem to get it they are required to send you through years of training. (former worker at Dept of Health)

  • bartny

    I used to work for the city. We used typewriters to fill out forms that had carbon copies when we could just as well have been filling out these forms on OUR computers and then printing multiple copies. No extra computers needed.
    I’m surprised the mayor is actually backing such nonsense.

    • Jeff

      If they are really desperate to keep the old forms, they could good old impact printers, dot matrix, daily wheel, band, etc…

      • Jeff

        f they are really desperate to keep the old forms, they could use good old impact printers, dot matrix, daily wheel, band, etc…

  • val

    I agree that replacing everything with computers would cost more money. Also, I know from being a landlord that some forms that have carbon copies still need to be typed on. It’s not ideal, but I can see why he’s doing it. Would it be better to be digitized? Yes. More costly? Definitely!

  • diver

    What’s a typewritter? What do you mean computers can’t print duplicate copies? You change the number of pages to “2” in the print driver. Any form can be computerised there is no excuse for working this way.

  • Bobby

    And this Mayor is a “Business Genius” or another Madoff;out-sourcing everything to his buddies and running the City as if we were still using the “horse and carriage” for transportation. He needs to leave…now

  • marlene romero

    You are right, Mayor Bloomberg, having worked for the FDNY, I know that typewriters are still used but I also feel that people neeed to get with the times and start using more clever, modern technology. I read an article some months ago that said that typewriters are becoming extinct so this would definitely be beneficial to all. I know some people and things can be really stuck to the old but it might just be necessary.

  • jason

    Buying computers would cost more money so this isn’t a waste it is a saving

    • Junior 2

      Innefficient=Waste of money. Sorry. And I disagree with your price thinking. You will get many more years forma computer then a typewriter.

  • Junior

    BS. Any for can be created today to be used in computer format. ANy notuion they can not is pure crap. And if they can not be created as is in their current format, then create a new format that allows them to be used in computer foprmat. Waste of taxpayer money!

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