MTA 1973 contruction report video

This 1973 video produced by New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, courtesy of the NYC Transit Museum Archives, is awesome on several levels. We get to see cool footage of infrastructure construction projects, a period portrait of the City, an optimistic vision of NYC’s transit future JUST on the cusp of their impending bankruptcy, which scuttled most of those plans for a generation. And of course its all in a now amusing retro presentation.

Video originally pointed out to me by the NYC mass transit blog Second Avenue Sagas (named after the LONG delayed, now finally under construction Second Avenue Subway), which is one of my favorite regular blog reads.

In the second video it shows the old elevated line in the Bronx being dismantled, while talking about how the new Second Avenue Subway will run “all the way from the Bronx to the southern tip of Manhattan” but in the meantime “the transportation needs of the community are being met by modern, comfortable bus service.” Guess how that worked out?

Update: There’s also a similar video from the 1950s!

One thought on “MTA 1973 contruction report video”

  1. On a related note and if you’ll allow a little corporate pride here, my company just renewed the Roosevelt Island aerial tramway:

    The old tram began operation in 1976 and stopped early 2010 before opening again with the new system about a week ago.

    The RIOC website states that:
    “Roosevelt Island, now in its 40th year as a mixed income residential community, is managed by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. of the State of New York (RIOC). Currently, approximately 14,000 New Yorkers live and work on the 147 acre island in the middle of the East River. The island was previously known as Welfare Island, having been home to the City’s welfare institutions during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
    By 1969 the landscape was primarily dominated by abandoned institutional buildings.
    It was re-envisioned by New York City and New York State via a 1969 General Development Plan (GDP) as a community for mixed income families with special emphasis placed on handicap accessibility.
    The City leased the island to the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) for 99 years to build and manage this vision. Roosevelt Island is due to revert to City management in 2068. RIOC, by 1984 State legislation, succeeded UDC to the responsibility for developing and operating the Roosevelt Island community.”

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