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Straphangers Campaign Praises MTA’s Recovery After Sandy

New York City Subway (credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

New York City Subway (credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Superstorm Sandy brought out both the worst and the best in New York City transit, according to a new survey.

It’s been a tumultuous year for city subways and buses, said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign.

“There have been superstorms, a fare hike, an MTA chairman coming and going,” Russianoff told 1010 WINS. “The best that happened during the year were how good a job transit workers and managers did in recovering from Superstorm Sandy.”

The storm topped the 2012 “best” list because transit rebounded so quickly that New Yorkers considered it a “near miracle,” the advocacy group said.

Most subways were up and running a few days after the storm. It was transit at its best, with managers and workers moving mountains,” it said.

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Sandy, which flooded many parts of the subways, also heads the list of the year’s worst transit events.

The No. 2 spot in the negative column: “Sandy cost riders big.” The Metropolitan Transportation Authority sustained $5 billion in damage; $1 billion in bonds for repairs “will come from the riders, who will pay $62 million a year in interest for decades,” the group said.

It considers the December departure of MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota the third most negative transit event of 2012. He quit after a year on the job to explore a mayoral run; the Straphangers Campaign doesn’t like what it calls the agency’s “revolving door.”

“Joe Lhota, the MTA chairman, is the sixth leader of the MTA to depart in the last six years and that’s just not helped the cause of winning safe, reliable and affordable transit,” Russianoff said.

Fare hikes approved last month made the No. 4 spot in the negative column. The base subway and bus fare will rise by 25 cents, to $2.50, though some paper single-ride tickets will cost $2.75. A monthly MetroCard pass will cost nearly 8 percent more, or $112. The increases take effect March 1.

Subway crime was the next big concern on the annual report card. Among other things, it said, “New Yorkers were shocked by two random deaths, in which people were pushed onto the tracks.”

“People are very nervous about crimes these days because of those two shocking pushings,” Russianoff said. “There are about 7.5 major felonies a day in the system now and that’s the highest it’s been since 2006.”

The list details the events and circumstances deemed “best” and “worst” — 10 each — on the group’s website.

What do you think were the MTA’s best and worst moments? Let us know below…

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