NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In their latest war of words, Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for not finding the time to meet with the new subway boss, who has been on the job for more than six months.
Even Transit Authority President Andy Byford called it a “bit weird.”
When he took over the city’s transit system, it was a cold day in January. One of the first people he expected to hear from was the mayor. Six months later, they still haven’t met.
“Bit weird,” Byford told The New Yorker magazine, adding, “Maybe I should ring him up.”
That set off another round in the saga of who should fix the subways.
“The fact that he hasn’t met with Mr. Byford is consistent with his total removal from the New York City subway system — even though he owns it, even though he’s legally responsible for funding it, and even though it’s the lifeblood of the city,” the governor said.
Cuomo and De Blasio have often bickered over the fix, but now, even the mayor’s friends are giving it to him, Kramer reported.
Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo tweeted, “I have had numerous conversations with Andy Byford, in person and on the phone. And we (Staten Island) don’t even have a subway. Or that many buses. Or essentially a mass transit system. Oh, and we still have no fast ferry. #irony?”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cythia Nixon, a long-time de Blasio supporter, told reporters “I think that definitely that our mayor should sit down with Andy Byford.”
Kramer to Cuomo: “He wants to say that it’s your problem? And he thinks that you should come up with the solution.”
Cuomo: “The law says, the law, New York City owns it, New York City is responsible for capital funding.”
Kramer: “Do you want to meet with him and Andy Byford to try to set him straight – the three of you together?”
Cuomo: “I have spoken to the mayor 876 times about this topic… And the mayor has been very blunt about it with you guys. He doesn’t want to pay for the subway.”
A spokesperson for the mayor said, “We join our city’s riders who wish the governor was less obsessed with the mayor and more obsessed with fixing the subways.”
De Blasio is now going to meet with Byford when he gets back from his vacation next week.