The MTA’s new suit

Under Walder's thumb:  the TFL's double-decker buses have wireless technology onboard that switches a red signal to green when approaching a traffic light. And, riders are charged less when traveling weekends and off-peak hours weekdays. The New York public awaits.

Under Walder's thumb: the TFL's double-decker buses have wireless technology onboard that switches a red signal to green when approaching a traffic light. And, riders are charged less when traveling weekends and off-peak hours weekdays. The New York public awaits. (Newsday comic.)

Today Jay Walder, former finance director of the Transport for London, will spend his first day presiding over New York’s Metro Transit Authority. Walder reorganized London’s underground during a time when the responsibility for its maintenance bounced from private companies to the public sector. Now, bus and train stops are well lit and equipped with message boards announcing transport arrival times. His arrival could certainly be London’s loss and NYC’s gain.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a strong voice for infrastructural improvement in the U.S., has already tried to take a page out of London’s book and failed. Last year, he failed to pass a Congestion Pricing bill modeled after former London Mayor Ken Livingtone’s successful plan. While Bloomberg did oppose Walder’s hefty compensation package, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. How could Bloomberg, who recently suggested plans for filling NYC with smart meters, not love the man that created the nifty, universal Oyster card?

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