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Train Daddy Byford Leaves

By Phantom On January 23rd, 2020

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The most popular public official in New York City over the past couple of years has been Englishman Andy Byford.

For two years, he served as president of the NYC Transit Authority, the agency that runs the city’s subways and buses. He resigned today.

In his time here, he displayed a level of competence that we’ve not been accustomed to. He shepherded big projects ( modernizing the subway signals and other capital projects ) but he spent a lot of time on the important small things, like ordering an increase in train speeds on stretches of track where it could safely be done.

The public quickly noticed the small but appreciated improvements in service. Some called him ” Train Daddy ”

It is believed that Byford left due to badgering and disrespectful treatment by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who oversees NYC Transit and the agency that it is part of.

A bad leader has chased out a real leader. NY’s loss will be some other world city’s gain.

30 Responses to “Train Daddy Byford Leaves”

  1. He is known for travelling for work in public transit while in executive positions in Toronto and later New York City.

    I don’t know if it’s still there, but the Department for Transport was notorious for the size of its car park, which was always full. This at a time when it was responsible for transport in London as well as everywhere else.

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Byford

  3. He took the trains here, as any proper train geek would.

    He spoke to engineers and train drivers and conductors all the time.

    He loved trains and the people on them, more than anything.

    He was a two year stroke of luck. The exact right person for the job. No more.

  4. A bad leader has chased out a real leader. NY’s loss will be some other world city’s gain.

    Maybe he will return to Blighty and sort out the London Crossrail shambles? It’s already 25% over-budget and will be at least three years late:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/06/crossrail-line-delayed-autumn-2021

  5. Is he known over there?

    People here are not happy

    https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/01/23/byford-cuomos-popular-subways-chief-resigns-for-good-this-time-1253550

    https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/transportation/byford-resigns-despondent-twitter-reacts.html

  6. sad to read
    not surprising , but still sad
    this is a moment in the nation .. quite defining all over ..

  7. I was in a government building yesterday that had portraits of Trump, Cuomo and DiBlasio. Bring on the Zombie Apocalypse. No wonder the train guy is leaving.

  8. There are a reports that Cuomo was jealous of Byford’s popularity, which led to him picking on Byford.

    There are reports of MTA meetings where all the good seats were taken up by bureaucrat drones already when Byford entered. People notice this petty bullshit

    This is intentional bad conduct on the part of Cuomo and by the army of nobodies picked by him for the MTA.

    They had a world class transit guy who had made very good progress in a short time and they dissed him and drove him out. Why should he put up with that every day?

    Byford had no time for political battles, his only desire was to make the trains work well.

    And yes, very many of the public are well aware of exactly what has happened here.

  9. the poison of Trump infects the whole body politic
    power hey, wonder if any convos have ever been had amongst senior GOP
    “Lets dump the fucker” — might be enuf to win in 2020 with another candidate
    you’re right phantom about unpopularity of open borders
    wedge issue like abortion ..

  10. Pettiness in politics did not begin with Trump

    Here, Mayor Giuliani drove out the great police commissioner Bratton because Bratton was getting too much credit for the drop in crime.

    Exceptionally similar to the Cuomo/Byford relationship. Byford was getting too much credit.

    There should be room for a spectrum of opinion on things like abortion. In all parties.

  11. yes, Reagan was pro-choice before the evangelicals made it an issue
    and it turns out they were looking for an issue as they thought it wouldn’t go down well that they were running faith schools , but no blacks
    I been reading up on the whole thing .. shocking ofc

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/christian-right-worships-donald-trump-915381/?fbclid=IwAR2rQvS5DzVBys8yniVfmBly6pgSs-u0W1wAKKLOJQcOKhRL0gB27Cjtd-4

  12. ” Evangelicals ” have every right to make it an issue.

    It’s their choice.

  13. did you see this Phantom ?

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/press-releases/from-judy-woodruff-longtime-pbs-newshour-anchor-and-co-founder-jim-lehrer-has-passed-away

  14. Yes, sorry to hear that.

  15. a loss

  16. they have every right, but only a few in the know how it came to be such as it is today
    its a right-wing power play, nothing more nothing less
    if they cared about babies, unwanted children, they’d fund planned parenthood
    they oppose all sensible moves in healthcare to some theocratic nonsense.
    worth a read that article it long but a personal story of faith ..

  17. No, it’s not just a ” right wing power play ”

    I know people who are very strongly ” pro life “, in the US and in Ireland, who have demonstrated over the issue, and they are as smart and sincere as anyone else.

    You are practicing Trumpism ( ” I am great and those who disagree are bad / stupid ” ) while criticizing it here.

  18. talking about evangelical wing being hi-jacked, not decent joe blogs
    seriously ya need to reasearch it, cos you’re all hot and bothered and mis-reading me
    talking about the movement , how it became such a powerful voting bloc for the GOP
    DYOR – Period ..

  19. kurt

    Is it the fault of the GOP that anti abortion evangelicals feel extremely unwelcome in the Democratic Party?

    Can you name one nationally significant Democratic politician who is ” pro life ” ( the point that mahons has made )

  20. none because roe vs wade made clear , its against citizens/consitutional/human rights as envisaged by the framers to have the power taken away from them as regards their healthcare decisions. Dems uphold pro-choice . That is Roe vs Wade

  21. ” The framers ” had no known opinion on this.

    Roe vs Wade is the law but it is law that the judges made up out of thin air.

    If you don’t respect your opposition or their views on things like this, don’t come crying to me when you get beat by Trump.

  22. its phoney is what i’m saying, read the article
    its just racism dressed up as pro-life on the part of evangelicals and its factual and historical.. be wise or remain in ignorance about it ..
    plently of books out there that chart the rise of the voting bloc

  23. “if they cared about babies, unwanted children, they’d fund planned parenthood”

    That’s a pretty idiotic statement. Planned Parenthood kill babies. They kill unwanted children. Caring about babies and unwanted children by funding Planned Parenthood would be like a vegan funding an abattoir.

  24. planned parenthood = contraception and planning what it is to be a parent
    so you don’t end up pregnant and have unwanted children
    says it on the tin seamus

  25. “says it on the tin seamus”

    And the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the German Democratic Republic, are absolute paradigms of democracy. I mean they say democratic right in their names so they must be. Says it on the tin.

    If all Planned Parenthood did was contraception then I’d have no issue with them. Sadly that isn’t all they do.

  26. kurt

    Seamus is right. They kill babies. You are naive if you do not know this.

  27. Phantom

    I agree with you about Andy Byford leaving. It is a major loss and should not have happened.

    I also agree the blame lies fully with Cuomo. It is really stupid of Cuomo because in many ways Byford is not replaceable, and after the way he was treated why would anybody who is really excellent want the job answering to Cuomo. It is also stupid because Cuomo has big transport plans that needed Byford to make them happen.

    Overall there are some positives Cuomo can claim but this is a major, major mistake. Byford comes away looking like a really competent and reasonable man and I’m sure many cities around the world have taken note.

  28. Nobody is irreplaceable. Mr Byford cannot be the only person on the planet capable of organising a transport system.

  29. Colm

    “Nobody is irreplaceable. Mr Byford cannot be the only person on the planet capable of organising a transport system.” What are the names of the people who would be as good as Byford for the NYC transit system.

  30. Exceptionally good managers and leaders are really hard to find.

    He was the best we’ve had in my time, and I don’t anticipate that the new person will be half as good.

    And again, the governor meddles all the time, and has made really bad decisions in the transit area. And the state and city suffer from corruption featherbedding and agency incompetence. That won’t help attract the best and brightest.

    https://gothamist.com/news/andy-byfords-abandons-nyc-subway-bus-riders

    https://nypost.com/2020/01/23/why-would-anyone-take-over-after-andy-byford-fled-the-mta/

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/24/new-york-subway-andy-byford-exit