Here’s Who New Yorkers Think Should Pay for Subway Repairs

New South Ferry
The new South Ferry subway station as seen on May 31, 2012. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Registered voters in New York City have a novel idea for who should pay for subway repairs: the rich.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 64 percent of New York City registered voters prefer a millionaires’ tax instead of a form of congestion pricing as the best way to raise money for mass transit. A further 21 percent oppose such a plan.

By a 52-40 percent margin, voters oppose a congestion pricing plan to raise money for mass transit by charging motorists a toll to enter Manhattan, while reducing tolls on bridges that do not connect to Manhattan.

Support for the millionaires’ tax option is strong in all five boroughs and among every listed party, gender, age or racial group, the Quinnipiac Poll found.

Support is 58-37 percent among Manhattan voters. Opposition in the other boroughs ranges from 53-36 percent in Brooklyn to 69-28 percent in Staten Island.

These same voters support 72-24 percent increased taxes on people making more than $1 million a year. Support ranges from 67-28 percent in Brooklyn to 76-19 percent in Queens. Republicans are divided with 48 percent supporting a millionaires’ tax and 50 percent opposed.

Every other group supports the idea by wide margins.

Other findings include:

  • 28 percent of voters rate the quality of New York City subway service as “excellent” or “good,” while 64 percent rate it “not so good” or “poor”
  • The best rating is among Manhattan voters — 5 percent “excellent” and 30 percent “good”
  • The lowest score is among Queens voters — less than 1 percent “excellent” and 20 percent “good”
  • Among New York City voters who say subway service is “not so good” or “poor,” 37 percent blame Gov. Andrew Cuomo more and 31 percent blame Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • 9 percent blame both leaders and 10 percent blame neither
  • In the last year, 34 percent of voters say they have switched from the subway to another form of transportation
  • 48 percent of voters say they take the subway to work

“Millionaires are more likely riding to work in Escalades or Town Cars than on the Number 6 train, but New York City voters say that’s all the more reason they should pony up funding to make commuting easier for the rest of us,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a news release.

“No matter what borough you board in, the subway is a rough ride. Manhattan strap hangers are the least vocal complainers, but in Queens – fuhgeddaboutit.”


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