NYC Transit Chief Andy Byford Is Resigning After 2 Years On The Job

WCBS 880 Newsroom
January 23, 2020 - 11:47 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City Transit President Andy Byford is out.

Byford, who has been credited with leading a turnaround of the subway system, is leaving after two years on the job.

"I’m very proud of what we have achieved as a team over the past two years and I believe New York City Transit is well-placed to continue its forward progress now that the MTA has a record breaking $51.5 billion Capital Program in place," Byford said in a statement. "I’m very grateful to Governor Cuomo, Chairman Foye and members of the Board for giving me the opportunity to serve New York and to head up North America’s largest transit system.”

The MTA thanked him for his work and said he was instrumental in moving the subway system forward.

He won praise from board members and Transit Workers Union President John Samuelson.

"You brought a level of compassion to this job that will be difficult to replace," he said.

The Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to MTA also reacted to the news, calling it a terrible day for riders. 

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who technically controls the MTA by appointing the chairman, said Byford “is a good man.”

When asked about tensions he may have had with Byford, Cuomo refused to take the bait and instead bashed the MTA for failing to improve over the years.

“You are billions of dollars over budget, decades late on project – anyone else would be embarrassed to say, ‘I have the arrogance to say my way is the best way,’” Cuomo said.

He says restructuring the MTA did change Byford's job, especially after a consulting firm stepped in to recommend changes over the summer. Politico reported Byford was not happy about potentially giving up control of re-signaling the subway.

“This signals remained and signal construction remained at Transit because they were so invested in that project,” Cuomo said.

The governor said new subway signals should happen quicker than the seven to 10 year timeline previously noted by the MTA.

Last October, Byford submitted his resignation to the MTA amid tensions with Gov. Cuomo, but he was convinced to rescind it

It looks like that won't happen this time around.

When Byford first came on the job back in 2018, he hit the ground running, unveiling a 10-year plan called "Fast Forward" to upgrade the city's quickly-deteriorating subway signal system.

The British executive came to New York City from the Toronto Transit Commission and has also worked in transit agencies in Sydney and London.

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