Clifton Hood, associate professor of history, had an editorial titled “Riding Into the Red” published in the City section of the Jan. 30 New York Times.
“Ever since last Sunday, when a fire, possibly set by a homeless person, disrupted service on the A and C subway lines, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been taking a lot of heat,” wrote Hood. “… But what all these criticisms miss is the underlying financial predicament that has deprived New York's subway system of money needed for maintenance and improvements.”
The subway does not receive much aid from the federal government, either, Hood pointed out. “The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 initiated federal financing for the construction of subways and light rail systems. But because federal subsidies have promoted the construction of new lines rather than the rehabilitation of old ones, New York City has had to maintain its aging subway system largely by itself.”
Hood is the author of “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York.”