NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the president of the city’s transit authority. The Tuesday sit-down was their first meeting since Andy Byford took over six months ago.
Some are saying the meeting was long overdue.
Byford arrived at City Hall 15 minutes early for his long-delayed face-to-face with the mayor. He first had to cool his heels at the gate to de Blasio’s office because as it turns out, the mayor wasn’t even home.
Hizzoner came rushing in two minutes before the 3:00 p.m. scheduled confab, obviously talking with someone else on the phone.
When asked if he’d bully his way to ask for improved service, the mayor offered a stinking rebuke of his political nemesis — Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Mr Byford is not the person who can solve the problem, only in Albany can the problem be solved,” de Blasio said. “Until he has a regular revenue stream, this is all a charade.”
After the rocky start, the mayor’s office put out a picture of the meeting. De Blasio and Byford met for a total of 90 minutes, with the transit boss saying they discussed a lot of issues.
The focal point, said Byford, was the need for City Hall to come up with money to fix the subways; money they mayor insists Albany is on the hook for.
“I made it clear to him what could be more important to the future of his city than an effective transit system,” Byford said. “So I don’t think anyone can sit on the sidelines.”
Byford added they agreed to meet quarterly and he’ll continue to press for money. While Byford wants the city to contribute towards fixing the subways, the mayor continued his demand for Albany to pass a millionaire’s tax.
The Transit Authority’s repair plan costs $19 billion.