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Union Tpke

MTA Reorganization Plan: Andy Byford Stripped of Power due to Prince Andrew's Jealousy, Commuters in for more than a "Summer of Hell"

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If Andy loses his power then the subway will be go into a worse state of repair then it's in now.

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Posted (edited)

I recently signed up to connect with my New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey, he heads the committee on codes and two of his many issues are within buses and mass transit, both of which I follow with a couple of other issues.

I just sent him a message using a template that @Uncle Floyd Fan inserted into this space. I really believe that the Governor went too far in this, @Union Tpke. Andy Byford is perhaps the best thing to come to a beleaguered agency like the (MTA) and the (NYCT) in general. If this plan ends up going forward, which I am concerned about, then Byford would be powerless as the transit savior he was meant to be; he won't be like how David Gunn saved the system from years of deferred maintenance during the final years of the corporate era of transit (somewhere between '84 to '89).

Edited by 4 via Mosholu
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Posted (edited)

Did David Gunn ever have to take this much shit from Governor Mario Cuomo? Or did Mario the Magnificent have more sense than his autocratic son seems to?

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Or did Mario the Magnificent have more sense than his autocratic son seems to?

I'm sure Andrew's dad had more sense than his autocratic son.

 

26 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Did David Gunn ever have to take this much shit from Governor Mario Cuomo?

Nah. Mario knew that everything had a place for a reason. All he did was let Gunn engineer the last transit renaissance that happened during the corporate era. The first fifteen years of that era looked like everything was going to fall apart. It only got better during the last eleven years of that era, seven of which was led by Gunn as Transit Authority head. Four years after Gunn, the decision to have a corporate identity occurred, thereby ushering in the post-corporate era.

Edited by 4 via Mosholu

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I take a week away to try jumpstarting my real estate career so I can get out of insurance altogether, and now this.

Okay, who started the letter writing campaign, the petition, and the “show up to the hearing and Albany to the Capitol” plan?

Because I need dates and times so I can get out there and bang my gums about getting board representation to be local pols, and kvetch about how this plan is the appearance of change when it still keeps buses and trains operating separately when they should be better coordinated so they compliment each other.

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MTA looking to hire new executive as agency moves towards reorganization

 Clayton Guse


The MTA is looking to bring in a new boss.
A job description circulated last week and obtained by the Daily News shows the agency is seeking a new Chief Operating Officer, a position that was previously held by Phil Eng but has been left vacant since he became the president of Long Island Rail Road in April 2018.

The COO will oversee the agency’s division presidents, including Eng and NYC Transit chief Andy Byford, and will act as a liaison for “senior government leaders,” according to the job description.
The timing of the candidate search is curious — Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials and board members are mulling over a cost-cutting reorganization plan that will lead to numerous layoffs and is expected to reduce Byford’s responsibilities.


The COO will help execute that plan, which must be approved by the MTA board by the end of July.
“Who knows how the COO fits in?” asked John Kaehny, executive director of good government group Reinvent Albany. “If New York state was a healthy democracy, decisions about who is running the largest single part of our state government, the MTA, would be made in daylight with plenty of public notice, board debate and consultation with stakeholders.”
MTA spokesman Max Young said the agency is “seeking to attract world class talent from the across the globe” amid the turnover.
“This is a key part of the MTA’s efforts to provide our customers with the modern and efficient transit service they deserve,” Young said.
The job description also shows the MTA’s upcoming plans for infrastructure improvements. The posting promises that the COO will help oversee the addition of 50 new ADA accessible subway stations and the quick modernization of the subway’s outdated signaling system from 2020 to 2024.
The plan to make 50 more stations handicap accessible has been thrown into question in recent months as Gov. Cuomo has threatened to kneecap the MTA’s budget.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The COO will oversee the agency’s division presidents, including Eng and NYC Transit chief Andy Byford, and will act as a liaison for “senior government leaders,” according to the job description.

 

20 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The COO will help execute that plan, which must be approved by the MTA board by the end of July.

So the COO is basically Cuomo's lead capo / day-to-day soldier (doing the biding for the board, too)? Also, where's Tom DiNapoli (the Comptroller) in all of this? He should be keeping a watchful eye on all of this. Then again, he missed the AIG mess back in 2008. See no evil, hear no evil.

Edited by Uncle Floyd Fan
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Start spreading the word on this, guys. Curiously, the "seniors" of the forum/moderators, etc.  (not naming names) have been absent in this discussion -- yet they should have been some of the key voices heard from.

None of this is really a surprise, as Byford has been one of the best hires -- yet he must not be kissing the right asses. See how there was truth about the "rift" between Byford and "the Kingdom" (Cuomo/DuhBlahhzio), even though it was blown off?

I'm more than happy to lend a hand from my little Midwestern outpost for y'all, but I think you guys should follow what @Via Garibaldi 8 did through social media/networking/talking to people that's led to some of the successes on the Express Bus side.

Get creative, talk to fellow "sardines" on the buses and subways you encounter. Enough's been talked about in the media/publicly about some of the successes Byford has brought about. Maybe not enough to everybody's liking, but it's been something better than the nothings the MTA had been putting forward before he came on board.

Lots of work to be done to right the MTA, but if you can't see the writing on the wall already, if Cuomo gets a stranglehold, you're all going to be beyond f**ked.

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On 7/2/2019 at 7:03 PM, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Not to mention the cost of his boondoggle LGA Air Train has ballooned to over $2 Billion AND he wants the (MTA) to contribute to the hyper-inflated cost.

 

 

The (MTA) contribution will consist of (1) providing additional LIRR service, and (2) finding and paying for a new home for Casey Stengel Depot.  

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On 6/30/2019 at 2:19 PM, Union Tpke said:

Byford is also expected to lose control of subway construction projects. If that change goes through, he would no longer oversee big ticket initiatives like upgrading the subway’s signal system or making stations more accessible.
Sources said the reorganization plan would move those projects to the purview of the MTA’s Capital Construction department and its head Janno Lieber.

Not to distract from the get the bums out chants (there isn't really a *bad* time to be agitating for that in Albany), but this is the dumbest part of the entire reorganization.

I can maybe buy that one unified legal department makes sense, but we want to give more responsibilities to the agency consistently f**king up construction costs and timelines? East Side Access will be the tip of the iceberg at this rate.

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UPDATE - On July 1, I reached out to a few elected officials regarding the need to retain Andy Byford. Today, I heard back from a representative of Barry Grodenchik (we actually spoke on the phone for a couple of minutes). The representative seemed to take the matter seriously and said that Mr. Grodenchik would communicate this important matter with others who are close to the matter. The representative for Mr. Grodenchik also mentioned how he himself as worked with Mr. Byford in the past.

It's a small step, but we got to start somewhere.

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8 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I took a quick look at the plan. It looks like a typical corporate re-org PowerPoint. It's like arranging chairs on the Titanic, at times. Will Byford still have a prominent role w/in the MTA? Time will tell, but I'm skeptical of the following:

1- Outsourcing was mentioned. Will this save money? We don't really know, but I presume some at the MTA will lose their jobs.

2- Will Byford become a CTO or a COO, or will Cuomo hand pick a friend of a donor?

When I see Alix Partners 'tag' on the slideshow, I can't help but think about how these consultants sometimes haven't a clue about how mass transit works. In my own job, there was a Managing Director who spoke of our company in terms of automobile manufacturing and improving unit outputs (but...but....we're a finance and insurance company - surely you know what we do all day, dontcha?).

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7 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

Uhhh I control+F'd "Fast Forward" and literally nothing came up... that's not good.

You see the section on speed review? They were so careful not to mention Save Safe Seconds and imply that it was somehow the Governor’s task force that was doing the fixing...

Quote

While SAP work has repaired over 1,700 signal components, the MTA has acknowledged that there are a number of slow clearing signals in the system. At these signals, operators drive below posted limits to avoid wrongful discipline. NYCT has been aware of this problem for at least five years. Compounding this problem, some of the system speed limits were apparently set decades ago, and have not been reviewed since. The MTA believes this situation has been unnecessarily slowing trains throughout the system and thus lengthening commutes. The State recently mandated the MTA to aggressively and quickly remedy the problem and set a six- month timetable for a full review of speed limits.

 

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Can confirm it was the taskforce.  saw Cuomo in a vest changinge a 'D10' to a 'D13'.

 

Seriously the MTA has had room for consolidation in the Corporate portion, keeping in mind that generally half of each fare on an MTA ticket goes to HQ and support staff. So perhaps SOME of that is needed. Taking away the Presidents power to oversee decisions directly effecting operations reeks of intrigue and the same nepotism the Governor decries every day. Now that Byford is starting to steer things the right way I suppose Cuomo needs a better angle to take direct credit.

 

Politics can really ruin a railroad.

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37 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Seriously the MTA has had room for consolidation in the Corporate portion, keeping in mind that generally half of each fare on an MTA ticket goes to HQ and support staff. So perhaps SOME of that is needed. Taking away the Presidents power to oversee decisions directly effecting operations reeks of intrigue and the same nepotism the Governor decries every day. Now that Byford is starting to steer things the right way I suppose Cuomo needs a better angle to take direct credit.

It's interesting how you mentioned that Cuomo is looking to take credit for things. He's really been increasing that quite a bit.

To put it the context of Saturday's blackout, he's my scorecard:

MTA - They actually did a pretty good job of moving the trains once things were back in order. From what I read online, people were generally safely evacuated from the stations. I also give credit to the bus drivers who had to drive in the dark. When I checked on bustime on Saturday night, the QM5 seem to be on schedule. Also, no injuries were reported (that I know of) due to the power failure. Thumbs up all around to the people who actually keep things moving (train and bus operators, conductors, mechanics, etc).

NYPD/FDNY - Based on media accounts, they mobilized as needed and I am grateful for the conscientious services they've provided, whatever feelings they may or may not have about the NYC / NYS leadership.

The people of NYC (and visitors, too) - They took it in stride. It gives me a sense of pride to be a New Yorker. I've been in the Queens blackout of 1996, the NE blackout of Aug 2003, and people have always been well behaved and resourceful. The fact that young millennial men and women stepped up to direct traffic (according to some news accounts) gives me a bit more faith in humanity (just a bit). NYC did not succumb to the stereotypes that many traffic in about the old days of NYC (ie. - looting and such).

Corey Johnson - While I don't know much about him or agree with everything he may stand for, he seemed to be the relief pitcher keeping things in order from a public relations standpoint.

Con Ed - While they can and should improve the grid (they really should) , at least they got the power back up. As bad as they could be, I'd rather that Con Ed be improved than to transfer operations to an unknown entity who might promise the world and then fail in a worse way. Would we really want Gov Cuomo replacing Con Ed with someone from his bullpen (friends of donor's....that sort of thing)?

Bill deBlasio - I'm being charitable here. He won't win the presidency. He's chasing a false dream. I don't care for some of his policies . Nonetheless, I give him a "no decision". Part of the reason for the "no decision" is due to the positive factors I mentioned above.

Gov Cuomo- He has to stop being the guy who thinks he can run everything. Knock on wood, things work out alright enough because of the positive factors mentioned above. Will he now look to replace Con Ed with the unknown and the untested (and likely 'unvetted')? Also, does Cuomo really have to prove he's the better manager than deBlasio? Frankly I'm tired of both of them. Maybe its a good thing that deBlasio is away from NYC and the people here were able to deal with the situation. As for Cuomo, he should do his job and stop trying to be the 'tough guy' who's really intent on having his cronies in charge.

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2 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

saw Cuomo in a vest changinge a 'D10' to a 'D13'. 

Gotta ask, what's D10 and D13...govt pay grades? I'm a civilian that deals with corporate speak, but I don't know govt speak (if that's what it is). I have a general ideal about the G codes for govt employees and 10-code from the movies. 10-4!

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3 hours ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Gotta ask, what's D10 and D13...govt pay grades? I'm a civilian that deals with corporate speak, but I don't know govt speak (if that's what it is). I have a general ideal about the G codes for govt employees and 10-code from the movies. 10-4!

The switches where trains cross over / change routes are marked with speed signs. 'D 13' would indicate the speed limit for Diverging moves is 13mph.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Can confirm it was the taskforce.  saw Cuomo in a vest changinge a 'D10' to a 'D13'.

 

Seriously the MTA has had room for consolidation in the Corporate portion, keeping in mind that generally half of each fare on an MTA ticket goes to HQ and support staff. So perhaps SOME of that is needed. Taking away the Presidents power to oversee decisions directly effecting operations reeks of intrigue and the same nepotism the Governor decries every day. Now that Byford is starting to steer things the right way I suppose Cuomo needs a better angle to take direct credit.

 

Politics can really ruin a railroad.

The part about bringing service standards and planning under one roof just plain doesn’t make sense to me. I get that large scale stuff is of course tied up in politics, but I understand that recommendation to mean centralizing things like scheduling and some parts of MOW-E, which, unless the goal really is inserting politics into engineering, makes zero sense from a “operators and operations planners should work closely” perspective.  

I found it disappointing that labor costs/productivity and debt service weren’t mentioned. Those are the big expense drivers in the operating budget, and while it’s all well and good to play with organization, but you’ve eventually gotta talk about the elephant in the room.

Edited by RR503
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9 hours ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Bill deBlasio - I'm being charitable here. He won't win the presidency. He's chasing a false dream. I don't care for some of his policies . Nonetheless, I give him a "no decision". Part of the reason for the "no decision" is due to the positive factors I mentioned above.

I’ve always been #DeBlasioMustGo, but he got some unfair criticism for being in Iowa when this happened - as if he could’ve foreseen a transformer explosion.

9 hours ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Gov Cuomo- He has to stop being the guy who thinks he can run everything. Knock on wood, things work out alright enough because of the positive factors mentioned above. Will he now look to replace Con Ed with the unknown and the untested (and likely 'unvetted')? Also, does Cuomo really have to prove he's the better manager than deBlasio? Frankly I'm tired of both of them. Maybe its a good thing that deBlasio is away from NYC and the people here were able to deal with the situation. As for Cuomo, he should do his job and stop trying to be the 'tough guy' who's really intent on having his cronies in charge.

For some reason, certain demographics of people seem to conflate unnecessary meddling with leadership. Aside from updates from Emergency Management (or whatever the relevant NYS Department is called), there really was no reason for him to do anything except activate emergency services and mechanisms IF it spread or unrest occurred.

Grandstanding & useless emmeff.

9 hours ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Con Ed - While they can and should improve the grid (they really should) , at least they got the power back up. As bad as they could be, I'd rather that Con Ed be improved than to transfer operations to an unknown entity who might promise the world and then fail in a worse way. Would we really want Gov Cuomo replacing Con Ed with someone from his bullpen (friends of donor's....that sort of thing)?

Dunno how PSEG Long Island is doing after LIPA was disbanded, but since I come from the enclave within PG&E’s territory (the utility whose power lines failed to be maintained well and sparked the fire that burned down the city of Paradise, California), I’m not opposed to a public utility so long as it’s not a NYS or NYC entity - but a special district that we vote for the board of directly.

Like what (MTA) should be.

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56 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I’ve always been #DeBlasioMustGo, but he got some unfair criticism for being in Iowa when this happened - as if he could’ve foreseen a transformer explosion.

I mean I get this but he didn't have a deputy mayor ready to step up just in case so the Council Speaker had to (and performed admirably; to the point people were jokingly calling him "the real mayor" all night)

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36 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

I mean I get this but he didn't have a deputy mayor ready to step up just in case so the Council Speaker had to (and performed admirably; to the point people were jokingly calling him "the real mayor" all night)

That’s what should be being asked - why one of the fifty-eleven deputy mayors did nothing.

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On 7/15/2019 at 9:05 AM, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Gov Cuomo- He has to stop being the guy who thinks he can run everything. Knock on wood, things work out alright enough because of the positive factors mentioned above. Will he now look to replace Con Ed with the unknown and the untested (and likely 'unvetted')? Also, does Cuomo really have to prove he's the better manager than deBlasio? Frankly I'm tired of both of them. Maybe its a good thing that deBlasio is away from NYC and the people here were able to deal with the situation. As for Cuomo, he should do his job and stop trying to be the 'tough guy' who's really intent on having his cronies in charge.

To be quite fair, Cuomo kicking out Con Ed is about as realistic as Cuomo kicking out Spectrum was. Utilities don't grow on trees.

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