JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (PIX11) — Monday marked Richard Davey’s first day on the job overseeing New York City’s subway and bus systems as MTA Transit president.

Davey stepped into the role amid heightened public scrutiny and inherited a subway system plagued by problems, including a 65% spike in transit crimes so far this year compared to last year. Ridership is also down.

Davey started his first day by greeting subway riders and station staff at the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue station in Queens. His plan is to focus on three main issues: safety and security, reliability, and cleanliness. Davey also said the cooperative relationship between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams — a stark contrast to previous administrations — will make a big difference in his ability to create change.

“Obviously we’ve talked about safety, but I’m also very much focused on what we, within the MTA, can control ourselves, whether that’s reliability, customer service, staffing; staffing continues to be an issue because of COVID … cleanliness in our stations and cleanliness in our trains,” he said. “As much as what we’ll focus on, obviously on the big safety issues with NYPD, I’m also going to be obsessed with knowing what we can do internally and making sure we’re all over it.”

Davey said he also wants to see better service on nights and weekends, and plans to take a closer look at speed restrictions and power issues related to aging infrastructure.

Davey came to New York City by way of Boston. He previously ran its transit system and was the Massachusetts secretary of transportation. He personally hasn’t owned a car in 12 years and promised to ride the New York City subway system from Day 1.