Former MTA Chairman Robert Kiley, whose administration brought the end of the subway token and introduced the MetroCard, died Tuesday. He was 80.
He also oversaw a major restoration of a long-declining transit system, with an ambitious $16 billion program that bought new subway cars and buses, updated subway stations and lured passengers back to public transportation. It was an era when subway and bus ridership was falling amid track fires, equipment failures and chronic delays.
Kiley was appointed MTA chairman by Gov. Mario Cuomo and served from November 1983 to January 1991.
The MTA under Kiley’s leadership also declared war on graffiti, which at that time covered most subway cars. He hired Bill Bratton as chief of the city’s Transit Police, which became the first of the current police commissioner’s three stints in New York City.
Kiley also oversaw transit systems in Boston and London.
Born Sept. 16, 1935, in Minneapolis, Kiley and died at his home in Chilmark, Mass.