The president of New York’s subway system announced his resignation on Thursday, two years after being brought in to help turn around the beleaguered operation.
No reason was given for the unexpected departure of Andy Byford, a British executive with experience in transit systems all over the world.
But there had also been tensions, notably with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who largely controls the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency that includes the subways that Mr. Byford oversaw.
In a statement on his resignation, Mr. Byford said he was “very proud” of what had been accomplished during his tenure.
Speaking briefly at a board meeting Thursday after his resignation became public, Mr. Byford thanked Mr. Cuomo for giving him the opportunity and gave him credit for the efforts he and the state legislature made in securing capital funds for system improvements.
He thanked New Yorkers “for bearing with me, putting up with me, giving me this wonderful opportunity to live in this amazing place. This really is the absolute pinnacle of any transit professional’s career. … It’s been my honour and privilege to serve New Yorkers.”
Patrick Foye, chairman and CEO of the MTA, said in a statement that Mr. Byford “was instrumental in moving the system forward.”
There was no immediate comment from Mr. Cuomo on the resignation.
Mr. Byford moved to New York after running the Toronto Transit Commission for 5½ years. He had previously worked in Sydney and London. He took over a New York system beset by delays and breakdowns and has been credited with helping push through measures that have improved how well the trains run.
The news of the resignation caused an outcry from city politicians and others lamenting his departure.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, “This is a real loss for New York City’s subway and bus riders. The MTA needs people like Andy Byford – now more than ever.”
John Raskin, executive director of the public transit advocacy group Riders Alliance, said, “Subway and bus riders are grateful to Andy Byford for his historic service at New York City Transit. In two years, Andy made subways faster and more reliable, he tackled long-standing challenges to improving bus service, and he crafted the first plan in a generation that would truly modernize the transit system.”
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