“I will not be steamrolled,” New York City Transit chief Andy Byford says of Gov. Cuomo’s push to upend the L-train shutdown. Takes guts — since Cuomo can have him fired with a snap of his fingers.
Still, you may lastly see why Cuomo retains insisting he doesn’t “control” the subways — and why, possibly, he shouldn’t.
To be clear, Byford is favorably inclined to the gov’s concept, however not but sure it’s sound.
As WNYC’s Gothamist stories, Byford final week instructed Community Board 3 (which covers the L’s route in Manhattan) that he’s bringing in outdoors specialists to vet the plan’s security whereas his personal NYC Transit employees evaluations how properly the L can run underneath the Cuomo plan.
In reality, the MTA hasn’t but accepted the gov’s concept, and gained’t till no less than its Jan. 26 board assembly.
Yes, performing MTA Board Chairman Freddy Ferrer mentioned in any other case at Cuomo’s press convention on the difficulty — however it takes a vote of the total board to make it so. And Ferrer and the gov’s different appointees don’t make up a full board majority, so that they may be outvoted — although that’s unlikely to occur until Byford dangers dropping his job by opposing it.
Meanwhile, Cuomo final week instructed the Daily News editorial board that he desires to “blow up the MTA” as a result of it’s merely not accountable to anybody. This, of course, recollects Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s “blow it up” complaints twenty years again in regards to the previous Board of Education — besides that Rudy actually didn’t management that board, whereas Cuomo does successfully dominate the MTA.
Then there’s the particular points the gov is now griping about: the best way the MTA does big-job enterprise with solely a handful of (dear) outdoors corporations, as a result of so few corporations are prepared to place up with the company’s fixed calls for for main contract adjustments.
Funny: Cuomo’s L-train shock would require large contract adjustments — a reality the gov shrugged off when he introduced it.
Plus, MTA exec Pat Foye — moved there from the Port Authority at Cuomo’s bidding — spent the final 12 months working to reform the company’s contracting habits to generate severe financial savings.
If he’s had no luck, then one thing does have to vary: MTA development prices run 4 or 5 instances the extent seen by related companies in London and Paris.
One factor, although: For all his speak in regards to the MTA’s failure to do “out-of-the-box thinking,” Cuomo has his personal head deep in one critically cost-increasing field: the organized-labor one.
The gov has by no means directed his MTA chiefs to wrest severe financial savings from the company’s unions, regardless that employee pay and advantages are its fastest-rising working prices.
And on the development aspect, he’s firmly behind the building-trades unions — with regards to any public undertaking, and even to many non-public ones.
Bottom line: Andrew Cuomo has greater than sufficient management of the MTA to get the job carried out — if he actually desires to do it.