The New York Times published an op-ed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel where he takes aim the New York City subway system, bragging the Chicago system has a better on-time performance and more satisfied riders.
I haven’t lived in the New York City area in twenty years, but I was born there, and I worked there, and like most native New Yorkers, I get prickly when politicians from second-rate cities chime in with their opinions. Chicago is a fine city, but it pales in comparison The Big Apple. New York has better restaurants, entertainment, music, aesthetic, sports teams, and more.
New York City also has a problem with their subway system. It is one of the largest in the world, and it does have problems. People I who use it daily said they cannot remember when it was so poor. Delays, maintenance and the lack of new train cars make for an experience leaving daily riders frustrated, to the say the least. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Bill de Blasio share a lot of the blame for the current mess. The problems today existed four years ago, and they’ve done nothing. Now it’s worse, and they deserve criticism.
But Rahm Emanuel needs to shut up right now and deal with issues in Chicago unrelated to their mass transit. New York City’s subway system serves eight times as many riders than Chicago. It has nearly four times as many track miles. The entire system operates 24 hours a day. It’s not even close. New Yorkers may wait longer for a train to arrive but Chicago residents are more likely to be shot and killed. That’s not a brag. That is just a fact.
In 2016, Chicago had 746 homicides, nearly 60 percent higher than in 2015. By contrast, New York City had 335 murders. That’s fifty percent fewer murders with a population three times as high. If you equated the population, Chicago’s murder rate would be reminiscent of New York City in the early 1990’s when they dealt with 2,000 homicides a year. People defending Chicago argue their city’s per capita murder rate is in the middle of the pack on a list of cities per-capita murder rate. But is that truly a bragging point? New York’s per-capita murder rate is so low it doesn’t appear on lists with Chicago. It’s one of the rare instances of Chicago being “better” than New York City.
Also, defenders of Chicago love to blame Indiana and other states for their homicide issue saying it wouldn’t be a problem of it wasn’t so easy to get a gun in another state. It’s a lame attempt at buck-passing. New York City has stringent gun laws with states nearby where it is easier to purchase firearms, and it doesn’t have the same issues.
Things are so bad in Chicago; it’s been labeled with the nickname, ‘Chiraq.’ For all the problems New Yorkers have with the subway system, it’s doubtful they’d want to change places wit their Chicago counterparts. Why would they?