Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

PenneyVanderbilt

Alex Silverman at WCBS 880 has put together a great video on New York City Subways.

In 1973, the five-year-old Metropolitan Transportation Authority was patting itself on the back for a series of shiny new expansion projects, like the Second Avenue subway.

Meanwhile, deferred maintenance had the system crumbling so badly that New Yorkers began to flee. They fled at a rate that, if kept up, would have left no riders on the subway by the early 2000s.

“Our politicians have amnesia. They don’t remember, they don’t follow history,” says Sam Schwartz, who spent those decades as a city transportation engineer. “Starving the system, thinking you’re saving money is going to cause a lot of headaches down the road.”

Out of that crisis came the first of many capital plans.

“New York under Gov. Carey and then Gov. Mario Cuomo invested about $70 billion, and the subway system went…

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