Angry About Subway Delays? De Blasio Says Blame Cuomo, and Vice Versa

In most disagreements between Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo, the governor holds the cards: The mayor either needs money from the state budget or some action by the State Legislature. In this instance, the governor still controls the money — through the authority — but as the subways sputter, that responsibility can be an albatross.

“Let’s be clear: There’s a division of labor,” Mr. de Blasio said during his weekly interview on “The “Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC. “It’s out in the open. Let’s not kid around anymore. If you have a concern — if you like something N.Y.P.D. is doing, or you don’t like it — talk to me. If you like the schools or you don’t like them, talk to me.

“If you like something happening in our subways or don’t like it, you talk to the governor,” the mayor continued. “He’s in charge and he should just own up to it and take this responsibility seriously and put forward a plan.”

Mr. de Blasio’s comments elicited a swift response from the governor’s press secretary, Dani Lever, who said that the city should contributing more to the authority’s capital plan. Ms. Lever repeated Mr. Cuomo’s defense: that he does little more than appoint members to the authority’s board. She laced her remarks, as is typical of this feud, with a bit of an ad hominem attack.

“Math and the facts are not the mayor’s forte, as we know,” she said in an email statement. “The governor has six appointees on the M.T.A. board out of 14” — the number of full votes cast by the board — “last we checked that is not a majority.”

The governor also appoints the chairman of the board, with four members recommended by the mayor and one each from the seven counties served by the commuter lines. (Four of the counties combine for one vote.) The members are confirmed by the State Senate.

Mr. Cuomo has taken an increasingly hands-on role at the authority and exerts influence on a wide range of issues, from pushing it to announce an improvement plan for the subways and deciding what to prioritize in the capital improvement plan. His office has issued a steady stream of feel-good announcements about the subways over the years, particularly around the time of the opening of the Second Avenue subway line.

“You know who runs the M.T.A.? The governor has the majority of members,” Mr. Cuomo said in December while touring the new stations. “The mayor has members, the county executive has members, but the governor has the majority of members. And if a governor wanted to step up and be responsible, he or she could be. And what I said is I’m going to step up and take responsibility.”

Those comments appeared to be at odds with the…

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