Yesterday was first day on the job for new MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder, who decided to meet and greet subway riders at the Main Street subway station in Queens after meeting with MTA workers at the Corona Subway Maintenance Shop and the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. He spoke of "partnership with the MTA's hard-working men and women" to meet customers' expectations, promised an action plan the end of his first 100 days, and added, "New Yorkers should be able to expect the same type of customer experience riders enjoy in London"—whose transportation system he worked for between 2001-2006—"with accurate arrival information and modern fare technology." Hear that, New Yorkers—no more Underground envy!

The NY Times reports that Walder barely fit on the Main Street platform (he's 6'6") plus, "Many of the commuters he met looked uneasy — a natural reaction, perhaps, when confronted on the subway by a smiling man in a suit with an outstretched hand." But to reporters, "Walder came across as confident, relaxed and energetic, no easy task for a man who flew in from London over the weekend and had been up since 3 a.m."

Walder did say that Mayor Bloomberg's suggestion for make crosstown buses free so they run faster wasn't that great because, you know, that would mean less revenue for the MTA. Walder says the crosstown buses' chronic slowness could potentially be fixed by something like a no-swipe smart card.

Other fun facts: Walder likes the Jets and Mets and thinks New York bagels are better than ones in London.