P’Slope stakeout: Pol fails to ambush mayor with MetroCard at gym, gets him on subway anyway • Brooklyn Paper

P’Slope stakeout: Pol fails to ambush mayor with MetroCard at gym, gets him on subway anyway

Sal-vaged: Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese tried to give Mayor DeBlasio a MetroCard so Hizzoner could ride the subway, but the mayor woke up early to avoid his challenger.
Photo by Paul Martinka

He’s the subway’s Sal-vation!

A former city councilman and current democratic mayoral candidate staked out Mayor DeBlasio at his Park Slope gym on Wednesday to demand Hizzoner ride the subway as part of his quixotic quest to save the failing underground transit system. And while the chronically late mayor hit the Prospect Park YMCA early to avoid the ready-to-pounce pol, he rode the subway for the first time in more than a month that evening — both positive results of the stakeout, said the candidate.

“There were two milestones,” Sal Albanese said. “First, we got him to get up early. And then Wednesday night, we got him into the subway system!”

Albanese, who this year announced his third mayoral campaign, showed up at the YMCA on Ninth St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues at 10:30 am with a Metrocard for DeBlasio, who tends to travel the 11 miles from Manhattan’s Gracie Mansion in a chauffeured SUV and, prior to his Wednesday trip on the C train, last rode a subway on April 19.

The former Bay Ridge councilman has accused DeBlasio of wiping his hands of the city’s aging underground transit system, which Albanese said is in crisis mode in an appearance on Brooklyn Paper Radio earlier this week.

“He’s never uttered a word about mass transit in three and a half years, with the exception of ‘it’s not my job,’ ” he said. “Which is the most bizarre thing I ever heard.”

And though the mayor may not have said those exact words, he did blame Gov. Cuomo last month for the subway’s dire state.

DeBlasio’s democratic competitor said he is certain that the mayor’s Wednesday ride on the rails was a direct result of his stakeout.

“Absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent he did it because of me,” Albanese said.

The candidate, who now lives in bucolic Staten Island and rides the subway daily, said that any sitting mayor should do so regularly, noting how former mayor Michael Bloomberg — who owns his own helicopter — made it a point to travel underground with the masses.

“Bloomberg use to take it a couple times a week and he’s a billionaire,” he said.

Albanese — who lost to DeBlasio in the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary, placing eighth out of nine candidates — said that, if elected, he will contribute $1 billion to the city’s subway system each year, using money he will save by fixing broken city programs, including Hurricane Sandy recovery scheme Build it Back.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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