London post for New York subway expert

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The Independent Online

The man who transformed New York's subway system was yesterday put in charge of London's transport - and immediately attacked the Government's plans for a part-privatisation of the Tube.

The man who transformed New York's subway system was yesterday put in charge of London's transport - and immediately attacked the Government's plans for a part-privatisation of the Tube.

Robert Kiley, former chief executive and chairman of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was appointed Commissioner of Transport for London by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor.

With a salary package of up to £2m over four years, Mr Kiley will become one of Britain's highest paid public servants - if he can succeed in hitting targets for improvements to bus, train and Underground services. His pay deal will be made up of a basic salary of about £250,000 a year, plus the chance to earn as much again through performance bonuses.

The 65-year-old American, who ran New York's system for seven years under mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, raised $15bn from bond issues to transform the city's ailing subway and trains. He made it clear to The Independent yesterday that he favoured a similar use of bonds for London, an idea favoured by Mr Livingstone.

Mr Kiley said he had "serious concerns" about the Government's plans to create a public-private partnership (PPP) for the Tube. "The municipal finance market in the States meant we could raise billions of dollars for transport. I realise that it's not a phenomenon that has reached Britain yet, but when there's this discussion about the public and private partnerships, it must be discussed.''

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