Transit chief: Subways received "a fraction" of funding for repairs
AMNY EXCLUSIVE -- Outgoing NYC Transit president Howard Roberts didn’t bow out quietly, issuing a stark criticism about the conditions of the subways in his resignation to the MTA, according to a copy of the letter obtained by amNewYork.
NYC Transit’s “greatness certainly does not lie in the condition of its physical assets,” Roberts wrote. “Only a fraction of the funds needed to bring the system up to a good state of repair … have materialized.”
Roberts was asked to leave as part of a shakeup of MTA management being orchestrated by new chief Jay Walder. State officials have demanded the MTA step up its accountability after allocating additional funding for the agency earlier this year.
Roberts was picked to lead transit in 2007 by former MTA chief Elliot “Lee” Sander. During his tenure, Roberts beefed up the process of deciding whether subway stations were up to snuff and he was critical about the condition of the old subway system.
“May the day come soon when New York City will have a world class transit system worthy of its current world class workforce,” Roberts wrote in his resignation letter.
Roberts declined to comment yesterday, as did the MTA.
Transit advocates praised Roberts for calling it like it is.
“You don’t attract world class companies to the city with a crumbling transit system,” said Andrew Albert, a MTA board member.
Roberts steps down at the end of the month with a $300,000 severance package. Thomas Prendergast, a former president of the Long Island Rail Road and currently the head of Vancouver’s transit system, will replace him.