to see why midtown residents and commuters can’t trust the city to make sure that its subway system keeps up with daytime population growth, just look to Brooklyn. Nearly a decade ago, in 2005, the City Council approved Bloomberg’s rezoning of much of Williamsburg and Greenpoint to allow for dense residential construction. Ridership on the L train into Manhattan soared. Between 2005 and 2010 weekday ridership increased by a third to nearly 132,000 people. Even as the MTA increased service, rush hour trains remained overcrowded. The state-run MTA noted in 2011 that “trains continue to carry loads above guidelines,” meaning that standing passengers don’t get their allotted three square feet. Commuters could wait for three trains to pass by before they could squeeze on.
At the end of each day, the spokesperson for each state agency logs every call they’ve received from a reporter and sends the tally, through an internal website, to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides. The site, called Newstracker, was developed by the administration to keep tabs on every agency and was implemented after Cuomo took office — adding structure to a less formal checking-in process used by his predecessors. The daily reports include information about who called and what they were told, as well as data about requests filed through the Freedom of Information Law.