Robert Kiley. Photo: NYMTA

Robert Kiley. Photo: NYMTA

New York MTA's longest-serving chairman, Robert R. Kiley died Tuesday, Aug. 9th at the age of 80. He was appointed chairman of the MTA by then-New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo in 1983.

Serving for more than seven years from November 1983 to January 1991, Kiley was a principle catalyst of the system’s remarkable transformation — from a symbol of urban decay to today’s modern, safe and vital economic engine, according to a statement issued by the MTA.

“Bob’s leadership helped the MTA focus on dramatically improving the safety and reliability of the network, led directly to the record ridership levels we see today and was central to the State’s increased growth and prosperity,” said MTA Chairman/CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “He assembled a team and created a vision that brought the transit system back from the brink of disaster and under Gov. Mario M. Cuomo helped rebuild our region’s economy. We remember his service with fondness and gratitude and send our deepest condolences to his family in this difficult time.”

Robert Kiley. Photo: NYMTA

Robert Kiley. Photo: NYMTA

One of Kiley’s most enduring legacies was the removal of graffiti — a potent symbol of disorder — throughout New York City’s subway system. Kiley was also instrumental is advancing New York City Transit’s fare collection system from tokens to the MetroCard.

Kiley implemented the first and second MTA Capital Programs, overseeing more than $16 billion worth of investments in New York’s transit network and focused these investments on our network’s core “invisible” infrastructure such as trains, buses, track, signals, and thousands of components most customers never even see.

For additional reporting, view article in The New York Times.

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