MTA Cuts Subway Service as Revenge Against Annoying Stuyvesant Students

Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber received backlash when he announced service cuts due to financial losses, annoying Stuyvesant students, and his lack of a six-figure salary.

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A new year has begun, and the MTA has decided to celebrate with service cuts. The B, W, Z, <F> Express, <6> Express, <7> Express, and Rockaway Park A trains have been indefinitely suspended by the MTA due to annoying Stuyvesant students. Yes, it is Stuyvesant students’ fault that their commute times have increased by 10 to 30 minutes due to the reduction in service.

Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber recently released a statement relating to the service cuts on January 3, stating, “It is my responsibility to announce that beginning this morning, we will be suspending all part-time subway services indefinitely and running remaining subway service at 45-minute headways. We will also be running LIRR and Metro-North service every two hours. Why? Because of the students who attend Stuyvesant High School. They have annoyed our train crews into retirement with their gossip, giggles, and AP Calculus chatter. Many don’t wear masks as they’re busy drinking their Starbucks coffee and haven’t gotten vaccinated during this pandemic. The Stuyvesant Transit and Urbanism Club has also vandalized our train cars by stealing rollsigns and subway maps, as well as sabotaging operations that render our equipment and infrastructure inoperable. They also ride for free by using student MetroCards (which will be replaced with OMNY cards in January), but now the Department of Education isn’t reimbursing us due to ‘a lack of appropriated funds.’ And they are, by far, the largest users of student MetroCards, meaning that we lose the most by servicing them currently. Not to mention, many of them just jump or crawl under the turnstile, meaning we don’t get our money at all! Most importantly, though, is the fact that I haven’t been paid the six-figure salary that had been promised by former Governor Andrew Cuomo due to the Stuyvesant students’ negligence and their cost burden on us, which is the only thing I care about! It is time for them to pay!”

The services that have been suspended are the ones that many Stuyvesant students rely heavily on. The Z and <6> trains stop at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, the W stops at City Hall, the Rockaway Park A stops at Chambers St-Park Pl, and the B, W, and <F> are a transfer away from Stuyvesant. Service is also heavily reduced on nearly all subway lines (A, C, E, R, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) that stop near Stuyvesant or are just a transfer away (B, D, F, M, L, N, Q, G, and 7).

Unsurprisingly, the Stuyvesant student body has reacted with anger. Student Union President Shivali Korgaonkar stated that “this is public corruption at its finest, targeting the brightest students in New York City for their teenage instincts and academic success.”

Principal Seung Yu declared that “our students are being singled out as scapegoats for the irresponsible actions of other students (such as those from Brooklyn Tech, BMCC, NYU, Staten Island Tech, and Columbia), which is greatly affecting their academic performance and their mental health in a negative way.”

The Transit and Urbanism Club also sharply rebuked Lieber in a public statement: “We do not steal rollsigns or vandalize subway cars. At least, I think we don’t. I don’t know for sure. However, those who do are not entitled to membership in our club and are likely criminals. Except our most beloved members, of course. They’re just taking home memorabilia, which isn’t harmful at all. Lieber is a dirty liar who finds our status as transit advocates and railfans to be a threat to his high paying job of incompetence and corruption. He has done nothing good for the MTA, and thus, Governor Kathy Hochul should withdraw his nomination.”

Quite recently, this controversy has even turned political. Representative Jerry Nadler of Manhattan (’65), a Stuyvesant alum, and Representative Grace Meng of Queens, who has significant numbers of Stuyvesant students as constituents, quickly responded to e-mails from Stuyvesant students calling for justice. They immediately introduced a bill to cease federal funding for the MTA unless it restores service to normal levels. Many members of the New York congressional delegation signed as well, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (’65) of Manhattan, also a Stuyvesant alum and a friend of Nadler, introduced another bill in the state assembly to restructure the corrupted MTA into a more reliable agency.

Soon enough, Lieber was forced to back down: “I can’t lose my six figure salary and all of the millions of dollars in back pay that I am owed. So fine, I’m backing down. Stuyvesant students are still annoying, but I don’t want a potential Governor Lee Zeldin firing me, especially since all of the Stuyvesant parents voted for him, or Governor Hochul withdrawing my nomination. Hence, normal service will resume January 19. Until then, deal with the reduced service, Stuyvesant losers!”

Stuyvesant reacted with relief but also little fanfare. Korgaonkar responded that “the MTA may have announced plans to restore service, which is excellent news, but we cannot forget the corruption, nepotism, and incompetence that resulted in these service cuts.”

The Transit and Urbanism Club felt that “our glorious and storied transit system is returning to full service, but we would never be in this place without the legacy of Tammany Hall and the machine it inserted into state agencies, such as the MTA.” Yu reiterated that “this ‘dirty trick’ is the work of machine politics interfering with the lives of our students, even if service returns to normal levels.” In the end, Stuyvesant was optimistic in the return to full service but also dismayed by the level of corruption and nepotism within the MTA that was interfering with their daily lives.