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Some NJ Lawmakers Wonder If Andy Byford Should Join NJ TRANSIT

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - The list of complaints about NJ TRANSIT is a long one.

Some are wondering: Could the person to fix it be none other than Andy Byford?

Byford left the MTA last week with roaring applause from employees.

"I'm crystal clear on one thing. I really want to stay in New York," Byford said.

So Andy, why not hop an NJ TRANSIT train to Jersey? Even under new leadership, commuters still have had to deal with endless cancellations, delays, lack of cleanliness and poor communication when things go wrong.

State Senator Loretta Weinberg told Gov. Phil Murphy's office NJT should look into hiring Byford full time or as a consultant.

"A transportation executive who's so popular with the people who worked for him as well as his customers who ride the subway," Weinberg said. "I would hope the governor's office does reach out to him."

Murphy declined to comment Tuesday, but experts agree it would be a smart move.

"New Jersey Transit has good leadership now in its executive director and its staff, but you could always use that extra layer of someone who has been through the biggest system and the roughest time to bring other examples of how to solve difficult problems," said transit expert Robert Paaswell.

A source close to NJ TRANSIT says the state may not be able to afford him, but some lawmakers question that.

"What's too expensive. You're talking about 900,000 people whose lives are daily affected," Weinberg said.

"I've heard the same rumor going around. I think we have some serious problems obviously with NJ TRANSIT, and we need the best leadership we can get to get the best result," said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz.

CBS2 reached out to Byford and he declined to comment, but he didn't say no.

NJ TRANSIT's board is in charge of hiring.

Murphy's proposed budget includes a $132 million increase in spending to support daily operations, enhancements and hiring.

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