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dowlingm

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Interesting that he says he’s staying in NYC. Some NJ folks on Twitter want him to come fix their system.
 

ShonTron

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The current CEO is disliked by a lot of us, but if Andy does make a return here, he will have a lot on his hands here. As others have said, Metrolinx could use him more though.

Rick Leary presided over a disappointing era for York Region Transit. He hasn't managed a great system. I put a lot of the blame for the current malaise at the TTC - the too-antagonistic fare evasion campaign, poor communications, the breakdown of route management (hello, 505 bustitution) on him, who didn't learn a thing from Byford's too-short time here.
 

W. K. Lis

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David L. Gunn is now 82 years old. David was "Chief General Manager", before the title was changed, from 1995 to 1999. He had a philosophy called "state of good repair" where the first priority is to maintain infrastructure and equipment for the TTC. Unfortunately, he had to contend with Mike Harris as Ontario Premier. The 1995 Russell Hill subway collision (see link) happened 8 months after David became head of the TTC.

Sometimes today the lack of funds makes the "state of good repair" impossible, hence the use of buses for the subway and streetcars.

See link.
 

W. K. Lis

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Andy Byford Reveals Why He Quit – And Who’s To Blame – In Exclusive CBSN New York ‘The Point’ Interview

From link.

Former transit boss Andy Byford spoke out for the very first time Friday about the “forces” that made his dream job “intolerable” and why he had no choice but to quit.

Byford is spilling the beans in an exclusive interview on CBSN New York’s “The Point” with political reporter Marcia Kramer.

To use a transit analogy, Byford fled the MTA because he felt like he had been tied to the tracks while a train driven by Andrew Cuomo cut his legs off, Kramer reported.

“Towards the end of my tenure, I felt that the job had become somewhat intolerable,” said Byford.

In his very first interview since quitting, Byford details on “The Point” the ways he had been marginalized and ignored by the 800-pound gorilla in Albany.

“There were situations where people who worked for me, and even people who worked for people who worked for me, so two levels down, were being summoned to be given directions about how the subway or the bus system – mainly the subway – should be run,” he said.

The directions, Byford said, were handed out at the governor’s office.

“I needed to be left to run the system,” Byford said. “I found myself being undermined if I’m honest.”

“Were you being undermined by the governor?” Kramer asked.

“To a large extent,” he said.

After Byford became a crowd favorite, with riders christening him “Train Daddy,” the governor masterminded an MTA transformation that reduced Byford’s role.

“It got to a point where it was obvious that even the dumbed-down role, the reduced role that I found myself in, even that I was not going to be allowed to get on with what needed to be done,” Byford said. “Its the governor’s prerogative to see whomever he wants, I get that, but I just would not accept the fact that my people were being yelled at, they were being given direction and I was deliberately excluded from those meetings. That’s just not right.

“To me, it’s actually dangerous, also, that people who are not professionally qualified should give direction on operational matters,” he added.

“So you didn’t think that the governor was acting properly?” Kramer asked.

“I had to make to my mind up, as a person with very strong principals, can I accept… a situation where I’m in a safety-critical role and the people are being given direction on operational matters behind my back.”

While there have been rumors of Byford being considered for a role running the NJ Transit system, Marcia Kramer says Byford said it might be a psychic victory to go across the river to New Jersey, turn things around and show New York what it lost.

As for other political ambitions in the Tri-State Area – maybe a run for mayor – Byford told Kramer he’s had enough politics for now.
 

Johnny Au

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Andy Byford Reveals Why He Quit – And Who’s To Blame – In Exclusive CBSN New York ‘The Point’ Interview

From link.

While there have been rumors of Byford being considered for a role running the NJ Transit system, Marcia Kramer says Byford said it might be a psychic victory to go across the river to New Jersey, turn things around and show New York what it lost.
Psychic victory? Did Byford gain the ability to see in the future, levitate, and move things with his mind? Did Mimzy from The Last Mimzy come to Byford and have the toy grant Byford psychic powers to help save the future?

Regardless, whoever wrote the article probably left autocorrect on. It should be "Pyrrhic victory."
 

W. K. Lis

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Meanwhile, in London, England...

Tube will soon be entirely cashless, says TfL boss

From link.

byford1307a.jpg

Andy Byford, the Transport for London commissioner, has now said the remaining 62 stations will shortly cease to accept cash

London's transport chief today confirmed that the Tube will soon go cashless — and told passengers to top-up their Oyster cards at corner shops.

A total of 200 of the 262 Underground stations stopped taking cash in May to limit the risk of Covid being spread between passengers and staff and to prevent queues at ticket machines.

Andy Byford, the Transport for London commissioner, has now said the remaining 62 stations will shortly cease to accept cash, either to buy tickets or to top-up Oyster cards, although a date has not been set.

He advised passengers wanting to use cash to instead visit the network of almost 4,000 local shops at which Oyster cards can be topped-up.

The move will also save TfL cash at a time it is seeking a second government bail-out of almost £5 billion, in the wake of fares income collapsing by 90 per cent in the first Covid peak, to keep services running for the next 18 months.

In a letter to Lib-Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon yesterday, Mr Byford wrote: “Our first priority throughout this pandemic has been to provide a safe, clean environment for our customers and colleagues, in line with government guidelines.

“Removing cash acceptance has helped facilitate social distancing in ticket halls and reduced the requirement on our colleagues to handle cash. The pandemic has also accelerated the wider societal move away from the use of cash to the use of contactless and other technology.”

Ms Pidgeon said: “I remain concerned that TfL is still planning to end cash payments across all of its Tube stations.

“The potential of increased fare evasion appears to have not been considered or the difficulties of people being forced to quickly top up their Oyster cards while on the move.

“The real needs of people who don’t have a bank account, including many young people, appear to have been overlooked until far too late in this policy change.

“Consulting groups after having made a decision is not real consultation.”

Mr Byford said cash transactions accounted for only approximately 1.25 per cent of total journeys made on the Underground each day.

However critics are concerned that secondary school pupils, who are due to lose their free travel passes in November, could find it impossible to top-up their Oyster cards if they don’t have a bank account.

Mr Byford said: “While customers will not be able to use cash within stations, there are nearly 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops in very close proximity to LU stations. At the stations still accepting cash, the average distance to an alternative Ticket Stop is 180 metres. Customers will therefore still be able to use cash to top-up their Oyster cards at these locations.”

Wonder if Andy still has his PRESTO card?
 

turini2

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He's got bigger problems to deal with first... BBC News - London transport 'will shut without second bailout'
London's transport network will shut down in a "doomsday scenario" without a second bailout, Transport for London (TfL) has warned.
The government agreed to a £1.6bn bailout in May, to keep services running after TfL's income fell by 90% during the coronavirus pandemic.
The deal is due to expire in two weeks. TfL bosses say the network needs £2bn to run until the end of the year. The government has promised a letter setting out terms for a fresh bailout. TfL Commissioner Andy Byford said finances were "right on the wire". The transport authority wants almost £3bn to stay afloat through 2021.

If they do run out of cash, they'll only have to provide "statutory services" that TfL is legally obliged to... and the list is not long.
Without government cash, the network will be forced to issue a Section 114 order - the equivalent of bankruptcy for a public company.
Due to a 200-year-old law, the Woolwich Ferry - which links Woolwich and North Woolwich - is the only commuter service TfL is legally obliged to run.
Buses for children who live more than two miles from school would also continue to run. TfL would also carry out limited road repairs and licence taxis and private hire vehicles. But the Tube, Overground, rail services, trams and most buses would stop running.
 

W. K. Lis

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But for profit can do no wrong!!

TfL crisis latest: entire Tube line may have to close and bankruptcy notice issued

TfL commissioner says problems are even more challenging than Crossrail as bumper fares hike looms

From link.
Closing an entire Tube line is among the options that Transport for London may have to consider as a result of its financial crisis, it has been revealed.
TfL finance chief Simon Kilonback said the failure to secure Government cash for long-term repairs and upgrades would have a disastrous impact on the capital’s transport network.
Last week TfL warned that 18 per cent of bus services and nine per cent of Tube services were facing the axe, which would mean removing 100 of 700 bus routes and reducing services on 200 more.

Mr Kilonback told the TfL finance committee on Wednesday that TfL could be forced into the “full closure of a line or part of a line or smaller reductions across the whole [Underground] network”.

He did not name the line most likely to be closed but the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines are reportedly at risk.
The Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines could also be options due to lower passenger numbers and overlapping rail or Tube services.
DLR and London Overground services are also at risk, Heidi Alexander, the deputy mayor for transport, told the committee.
Mr Kilonback said there was a risk that TfL would have to issue a “section 114 notice” - effectively declaring itself bankrupt and handing responsibility for services back to the Government.
This would mean it would only commit to providing services required by law, such as school buses, taxi licensing, certain road repairs and the Woolwich ferry.
It would also be likely that TfL would seek to run only services where it made a “profit”, he suggested.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has requested an urgent meeting with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, but has yet to receive a reply.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford told the TfL finance committee there was “less than three weeks to save TfL and the London recovery”.
He said: “I never thought I would say this but getting the Elizabeth line across the line seems a darn sight easier than trying to sort this one out.”
byford1307a.jpg

TfL commissioner Andy Byford: Funding crisis is even worse than Crossrail
/ Jeremy Selwyn
Mr Byford has written to the permanent secretary at the Department for Transport requesting the start of negotiations. He said he was desperate to avoid what happened in the last bail-out, when agreement was only reached with “11 minutes to go before the deal expired”.
Passengers are also likely to face a bumper fares hike from the New Year. TfL’s plans expect a rise of the RPI rate of interest plus one per cent.
This is likely to mean an extra five per cent on fares, though Mr Khan has the final decision.
TfL ticketing chief Shashi Verma said: “This is the city with the highest public transport fares in the world to start off with.”
Mr Kilonback said: “I think we unfortunately face the situation we first faced back in May 2020, where we are going to have to consider what is required under statute, and say that under S114 of the local Government Finance Act we cannot see a way to balance the budget.
“That requires us to commute all expenditure other than that which is required for statutory purposes, which are very limited in terms of the transport services we operate, and to continue to run things that contribute to getting out of the problem and to stop anything which makes the problem worse.
“Whereas in the past, certainly the Tube and some of our rail services were covering their operating costs. That isn’t the case today. This is not a threat. It’s the reality of the statutory position we are in, given the lack of certainty over funding.”
A TfL spokeswoman, asked whether London’s fares were the highest in the world, said: “In London, 72 per cent of the operating costs of running the TfL network are covered completely by fares and another 14 per cent by other commercial revenues.
“Other cities cover a much larger proportion of their costs from government subsidies or dedicated taxes.”
 

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