top of page

Andy Byford bids Farewell as President of NYC Public Transit

HOST INTRO, LUCAS BRADY WOODS: The city’s president of transportation is stepping down today. Andy Byford is leaving the MTA after two years related, in part, to a reduction of his department’s responsibilities. As Megan Cattel reports, some New Yorkers are sad to see him go.

MEGAN CATTEL, BYLINE: New Yorkers are known for having a love-hate relationship with the subways. Sure, the trains run 24 hours. But delays and the occasional rat scurrying across the platform. However, the MTA did have an unlikely hero who some say is leaving too soon.

The British transit expert was hired after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the MTA in June 2017. He even called it the “summer of hell for subways. Under Byford, performance improved. In 2019, 80% of trains ran on time, up from about 60% when he started. Brooklyn resident Paul Schrieber said it made commuting more reliable.

PAUL SCHRIEBER: It felt like a normal day riding the train and not sort of a gamble at the casino.

CATTEL: Schrieber thinks the Governor is to blame for Byford’s resignation.

SCHRIEBER: It's ridiculous that Cuomo cares more about getting credit for himself than improve subway conditions for the people of the city of New York.

CATTEL: Byford and Cuomo reportedly had a tense relationship though neither has talked about any disagreements publicly.

Not many city officials have gained Byford’s level of popularity. He was known for riding the rails and even picking up trash in subway stations. On Twitter, Byford was known as Train Daddy. As of this morning, the hashtag Train Daddy was trending in the New York area. But not all passengers were on board with #TrainDaddy’s fan club. Nicole Guerrera (PH: Herrera) is a lifelong Bronxite. She wants the MTA to do more for neighborhoods often overlooked by city officials.

GUERRERA: There were some platforms that were improved.But there are other parts like in the bronx that you see like they do need that improvement. Like around my area they’ve been constructing for 5 years or so and sometimes I see there is still trash inthe platform or delays because the train is stuck.

CATTEL: At noon today, Byford left his offices for the last time. He received a standing ovation and cheers as he walked out of the double doors.

As of now, a new president for New York’s Public Transit system has not been named. I’m Megan Cattel, Columbia Radio News.


bottom of page