THE MISSION
THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.
Reporting For
New Yorkers

ARTICLES BY: Jose Martinez

Jose is THE CITY’s transportation reporter. He previously worked on-air for six years at NY1 News, where he also hosted the weekly “In Transit.” He is a veteran of the city’s tabloids, covering courts at the Daily News and the New York Post. He began at the Journal News in Westchester County. JMartinez@thecity.nyc

  1. moving ahead

    How the MTA Plans to Spend Billions on its Subway Wishlist

    Will your commute speed up, via new signals? Will your station get an elevator? Find out via our interactive look at the record $51.5 billion plan.

    moving ahead

  2. track changes

    Rockaway Branch Rail Reboot Study Finally Lands

    After THE CITY’s inquiries, the MTA put out a long-delayed report on reviving a long-dormant Queens railway stretch. The verdict: possible but pricey.

    track changes

  3. nowhere to go

    Homeless Seek an Elusive Safe Refuge in the Subways

    The slayings of four men underscored the fears of vulnerable New Yorkers who avoid city streets and shelters. But life underground is getting tougher.

    nowhere to go

  4. track changes

    Study of Old Rockaway Rail Line’s Revival Back on Track

    Calls to bring back a dormant LIRR branch in southern Queens that hasn’t been used since the 1960s get a new look. Finding are expected by year’s end.

    track changes

  5. going down

    The Fault in Our Stairs: Subway Escalator Reliability Plunges

    The 232 escalators maintained by the MTA are functional only about 87% of the time, according to new figures — the worst they’ve been since 2010.

    going down

  6. welcome back bill!

    Mayor de Blasio’s Post-Presidential Campaign To-Do List

    From fixing the public housing mess to diversifying schools to property tax reform, the mayor is returning to a pile of pressing business.

    welcome back bill!

  7. on track

    MTA Digs Up More Money to Study Utica Ave. Subway Extension

    Transit officials released a fleshed-out five-year budget proposal Thursday that now includes more funding to examine the century-old idea.

    on track

  8. digging for answers

    Utica Avenue Subway Extension MIA as MTA Plans Projects

    The 100-year-old idea, which was revived and pushed by the mayor in 2015, went unmentioned in the MTA’s latest Capital Plan outline.

    digging for answers

  9. going up

    MTA Plan Calls for More Accessible Subway Stations

    A $51 billion proposal revealed Monday calls for making another 66 stations accessible, via elevators and ramps. That’s up from 50 — out of 472.

    going up

  10. what the l

    Hot and Bothered: Burning Cables Led to L Train Headaches

    L train riders endured severe delays this week because of “smoldering and hot cables” in the line’s East River tunnel. The MTA is investigating.

    what the l

  11. losing track

    MTA Taking a Bigger Beating on Subway and Bus Fare Evasion

    A new MTA Inspector General report, obtained by THE CITY, finds that the transit agency’s tracking methods missed the mark, leading to an undercount.

    losing track

  12. wrong track

    Cuomo Slams His MTA on Spike in ‘Soiled’ Subway Reports

    The governor says commuters’ “quality of life” is suffering amid the marked increase in reports of filthy train cars and other underground woes.

    wrong track

  13. wrong track

    Soiled Subways: It’s a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Here to Do It

    Amid a spike in reports of filthy cars, the MTA has cut the number of clean-up crews charged with scrubbing trains, thanks to budget issues.

    wrong track

  14. wrong track

    Why The Subway Stinks: ‘Soiled Car’ Reports Soar This Year

    More than 1,600 incidents slowed service and disgusted straphangers in the first eight months of 2019 — far outpacing the last two years.

    wrong track

  15. dumping grounds

    East Brooklyn Drives Surge in Abandoned Vehicle Complaints

    DIY used car dealers helped fuel a citywide tripling in 311 calls, which rose to more than 76,000 last year, an analysis by THE CITY shows.

    dumping grounds

  16. elevated costs

    L Station Repair Spending Projected to Double as MTA Takes Different Track

    When Gov. Cuomo scrapped a plan to fully shut down the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel, that disrupted projects that would have “piggybacked” onto the work.

    elevated costs

  17. transparency

    Closing Doors: MTA Working on Record Spending Plan in Secrecy, Watchdog Howls

    The transit agency’s multi-billion, five-year subway and bus roadmap is mired in mystery, with its release running behind past years, group charges.

    transparency

  18. saying something

    Subway Chaos Marked Only Latest Pressure Cooker Scare

    While suspicious package calls are down, Friday’s Fulton Street hub scare was at least the fifth cooker-related incident in the last two years.

    saying something

  19. curb appeal

    Block Party: Cop Cars Still Jamming Bus Stops After Exposé

    THE CITY returned to eight NYPD buildings where police vehicles were obstructing area stops. Five remained clogged, breaking Police Department policy.

    curb appeal

  20. curb appeal

    BUS-TED: Police Vehicles Clog Bus Stops Near Precincts

    THE CITY’s spot-check of two-dozen stops around NYPD buildings found one-third blocked by marked police vehicles and cars with windshield placards.

    curb appeal

  21. accessibility

    The Elevated Line: MTA Adding More Lifts to 14th Street Stations

    The MTA is rolling out plan to make more stations accessible to those who can’t use stairs or escalators, starting with more elevators on 14th Street.

    accessibility

  22. re-training

    MTA Needs to Patch Brooklyn Subway Viaduct It Just Spent $275M Fixing

    The F and G train span has “unsatisfactory drainage, leaking joints and deterioration of structural braces” only three years after overhaul.

    re-training

  23. soft cell

    MTA Sends Scrambled Signals on Little-Used $2.5m Bus Wi-Fi

    A document putting the service on the chopping block was an “error.” Some riders said they wouldn’t even notice if the Wi-Fi went away.

    soft cell

  24. wrong turn

    Accidental Gatecrasher in BMW Raises Questions About MTA Security

    An allegedly impaired driver who said he was “just following his GPS” crashed far into an ostensibly secure MTA railyard Tuesday, officials said.

    wrong turn

  25. accessibility

    Transit Officials Running Late on Accessible Subway Stations

    The list of the next 50 stops due to get elevators is overdue. About 75% of stations don’t fully serve riders with disabilities.

    accessibility

  26. turning a corner

    City Promises Wheelchair Ramps on Every Street Corner

    All 162,000 street corners in New York will be accessible within 15 years as part of a settlement to a federal suit. A monitor will oversee the work.

    turning a corner

  27. switch glitch

    Anger Over $230m Computer System Behind Subway Meltdown

    Critics railed about the glitch that sparked subway chaos in Friday’s heat as records obtained by THE CITY detailed the system’s spotty track record.

    switch glitch

  28. eric garner

    Mayor’s Garner-Inspired Cop Discipline Overhaul Questioned

    De Blasio’s plan to speed up internal NYPD probes could jeopardize criminal cases, say some lawyers and prosecutors — including the acting Queens DA.

    eric garner

  29. switch glitch

    Buggy Subway Computer System Blamed for Heat-Wave Hell Struck Before

    Friday’s rush-hour meltdown marked the latest — and worst — example of persistent problems with Automatic Train Supervision, THE CITY has learned.

    switch glitch

  30. purple people leaders

    MTA Sticks on Decals to Deter Subway Farebeaters

    Signs and purple arrows urge riders to exit through turnstiles in bid to limit unpaid entry through emergency gates in $40 million campaign.

    purple people leaders

  31. a step down

    Second Avenue Subway Escalators Fail to Rise: Report

    In the newest stations in the system, only three of 32 escalators met reliability goals, an MTA inspector general report obtained by THE CITY found.

    a step down

  32. off track

    The MTA’s Running a Year Late on Its Next 20-Year To-Do List

    The agency’s “needs assessment” looking two decades into the future is being “worked on.” But transit watchdogs say it’s already too late.

    off track

  33. surf's up

    Coney Island Subway Station Buckles Up for a New Ride

    The MTA taps the Luna Park team for an arcade, bar and restaurant complex in the Stillwell Ave. terminal, near the beach, rides and Nathan’s Famous.

    surf's up

  34. slow zone

    Mayor Declares Bicycle ‘Emergency’ While Prior Safety Plan Stalls

    Dangerous swaths of Brooklyn and Queens still lack bike lanes two years into a five-year targeted expansion program.

    slow zone

  35. slow ride

    Full N Train Service Back in Brooklyn After Years of Work and Delays

    The final phase of a $395 million, nine-station overhaul that’s been tangling commutes since January 2016, finally ends — six months past deadline.

    slow ride

  36. bad timing

    Bad Timing: Broken Bus Stop Countdown Clocks Tick Off Riders

    We visited 40 bus stops — and found that one of every five of the high-tech signs didn’t work. Commuters, meanwhile, are left waiting…

    bad timing

  37. fare and square

    New Subway Station Emergency Doors Open Gates to Farebeaters

    After $1 billion in station overhauls, the easily breached exits will be redesigned as part of a $40 million crackdown on fare evaders.

    fare and square

  38. safer skies

    Calls for Chopper Ban Over City After Deadly Midtown Crash

    Following a terrifying scene atop a Seventh Avenue skyscraper, New York politicians want to ground unnecessary helicopter flights.

    safer skies

  39. fast track

    New Technology Signals Hope for Faster Subways Down the Line

    The MTA is running a test train to see how a new wireless system could help speed up signal modernization and lead to quicker commutes.

    fast track

  40. watch out

    Nets Set for Plunge-Prone Elevated No. 7 Train Tracks

    In a reversal, the MTA will test a safety barrier to protect passersby following debris-drop incidents along Roosevelt Avenue elevated line in Queens.

    watch out

  41. driving up costs

    A Lot of Money: Prices Spike at City-Owned Parking Garages

    The tab will rise up to $200 a month, socking drivers already upset over congestion pricing. But some say they hope the hike will discourage driving.

    driving up costs

  42. going down

    Pol Blasts Company Responsible for Fixes on Subway’s Worst Escalator

    Councilmember Keith Powers wants the private company charged with maintaining the escalator at the Lexington-53rd Street station to step up.

    going down

  43. watch out

    MTA Won’t Heed Call for Safety Netting Under Unlucky No. 7 Line

    Despite several dangerous pieces of debris falling from the elevated line this year, city’s subway chief says nets would probably just get in the way.

    watch out

  44. big letdowns

    Steep Descent For Subways’ Worst Escalator and Elevator

    Private property owners leave riders in the lurch with out-of-commission equipment, MTA stats show – check out the lifts most likely to let you down.

    big letdowns

  45. bad medicine

    MTA Suit Contends Benefits Manager Missed RX Fraud by Workers and Retirees

    Express Scripts Inc. is accused of squandering tens of millions of dollars by failing to police “fraudulent, abusive or excessive” claims.

    bad medicine

  46. labor

    Labor Unites to Slam MTA as Tempers Flare Amid Strike Threat

    The Central Labor Council accused transit officials of declaring “a war on working people” by sending police to monitor potential overtime abuses.

    labor

  47. running bill

    Progressive Promises: Bill de Blasio’s New York City Record

    The mayor of America’s biggest city touts accomplishments from Pre-K to policing as he readies for the campaign trail. Here’s how he’s delivered.

    running bill

  48. running bill

    Bill de Blasio’s Unfinished Business

    As he wages an expected presidential run, the mayor leaves some projects that are behind schedule or have deadlines looming. Here are seven to watch.

    running bill

  49. labor

    Clock Ticking on MTA Overtime Glut as Union Sours on Governor

    Board schedules emergency meeting Friday to rein in labor costs. Union officials, meanwhile, say don’t blame the workers fixing the ailing system.

    labor

  50. going your way?

    MTA Spinning Wheels on Bus Schedule Calculations, Audit Finds

    The agency’s data is “full of holes,” says State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The MTA’s fighting back, even as some riders report uneven service.

    going your way?

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