Statement on Resignation of Andy Byford from MTA NYC Transit
Reinvent Albany is disappointed to learn that Andy Byford, head of NYC Transit, has resigned after only two years. We view Byford’s resignation as a very bad sign for the MTA and NYC Transit, which we believe have been politicized by Governor Cuomo.
Byford is respected as one of the top transit managers in the world, and long-time observers credit him with the rapid resurgence of the subway system after a severe service meltdown.
Byford is widely known to have chafed at the politicization of the MTA under Governor Cuomo, whose penchant for secretiveness, message control and top-down directives conflicted with Byford’s philosophy of building trust through consultation, personal accountability and transparency. The two directly conflicted over Cuomo’s demand that the MTA depend on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology for subway signaling. Global experts believe UWB is still years away from being ready for widespread use in NYC subways, and note UWB is not widely used in any subway system globally.
Byford’s resignation comes a few months after the departure of well-regarded transit professional Ronnie Hakim from the MTA. Hakim was Byford’s immediate boss.