Andy Byford’s first public assembly as MTA transit leader Monday started with a present providing: A subway map illustrating all stations inaccessible via wheelchair.
The framed map, delivered via advocates from Upward push and Face up to, positioned blue pins on stations which might be wheelchair obtainable — about 23 p.c of the community — and pink pins on stations that aren’t.
The advocates heard that the UK local had a framed subway map in his place of job and was hoping he would dangle this map along it.
“We mentioned printing the model of the subway map which best has obtainable stations, however we figured that we’d come up with a map that you have to alternate, as a result of we imagine that this map may also be modified,” stated suggest Jessica Murray, representing the Elevator Motion Staff from Upward push and Face up to. “We acknowledge the expense and the problem that the elevator scenario items, however throughout the ecosystem of New York Town, elevators are in point of fact the best choice to make the transit gadget obtainable to everybody.”
It was once the beginning of a long, now and then tumultuous assembly that touched at the MTA’s persisted accessibility issues — one among Byford’s said peak priorities — in addition to problems in the case of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s involvement within the MTA.
The ones integrated the governor’s program to rehabilitate greater than two dozen subway stations and a up to date Day-to-day Information record that alleges that the MTA and the governor’s place of job fudged lengthen figures to position blame on Con Edison for failing subway provider. (The governor on Sunday denied involvement.)
Byford, who now oversees subway, bus and paratransit provider, introduced in his opening observation that he’ll put in combination a “complete, compelling” company plan within the coming months to handle 3 place of work subjects: folks, processes and infrastructure. He hopes the plan will lend a hand opposite declining bus and subway provider and notes he took a an identical strategy to his ultimate gig as CEO of Toronto’s public transportation company.
“It’s already obvious to me in simply 4 days right here … that what’s in point of fact required here’s a whole top-to-bottom modernization of each facet of what we do: our infrastructure, the processes that strengthen what we do and the existing tradition, in different phrases the way in which during which we pass about our trade,” Byford stated.
“In my first week right here I’ve met numerous just right folks and that’s clearly very encouraging to me,” he added. “New York Town Transit colleagues are as decided as I’m to show issues round.”
Byford’s first appearing inspired advocates and one of the vital maximum vocal individuals of the MTA board. Jon Orcutt, spokesman for the nonprofit TransitCenter, described Byford’s demeanor as being “utterly other than the hangdog bureaucrat vibe that you just get from everyone else on the MTA.”
“We concept it was once like an alternate universe of MTA control,” Orcutt persisted. “He wasn’t defiant and was once in point of fact attempting to reply to board member questions … him taking possession of the issues and pronouncing that he sought after to paintings via them is such a lot other than what we’ve observed and in point of fact refreshing.”
MTA board member Veronica Vanterpool, who took time right through the assembly, at the side of her colleagues, to criticize the MTA for prioritizing its pre-Byford program to renovate stations, referred to as the Enhanced Station Initiative, over service-related enhancements, additionally gave the brand new NYC Transit head prime marks.
“He was once very considerate along with his feedback and confirmed that he listens now not best to board individuals and group of workers, but additionally to the general public,” she stated. “… His viewpoint comes from a world experience in transit and that’s very helpful at this time.”