The email, blunt and to the point, popped into City Hall aides’ inboxes at 12:17 p.m., and the subject line said it all: “2 problems today.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, it seemed, was not pleased.
In a stern, bullet-pointed missive on Monday, the mayor described a star-crossed attempt at riding the subway to a speaking engagement in Midtown Manhattan. A train never came — and when the mayor resurfaced, his security vehicles were nowhere in sight.
“The detail drove away when we went into the subway rather than waiting to confirm we got on a train,” Mr. de Blasio wrote in the email, addressed to Deputy Inspector Howard Redmond, the head of his Police Departmentsecurity detail. “We need a better system.”
Mr. de Blasio, who has been making a concerted effort to repair his reputation for tardiness, copied two senior aides on the email, including his chief of staff. The mayor, by accident, added another recipient as well: a reporter for The New York Times.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, is not a regular subway rider: Like mayors before him, he is driven most places in a police-issued sport utility vehicle. Still, at times, the mayor’s email resembled a typical rider’s lament. “We waited 20 mins for an express only to hear there were major delays,” Mr. de Blasio wrote. “This was knowable info. Had we had it, we would have avoided a lot of hassles.”
He urged his team to coordinate future travels with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, “or at least with nypd transit.”
“Let’s cross-check our info with them when I take the subway,” Mr. de Blasio wrote, before concluding: “This is a fixable prob.”
The email was sent from a City Hall government email address, with the sender’s name identified only as “B.” Two people familiar with Mr. de Blasio’s messaging habits confirmed that the address is used by the mayor.
“The mayor holds himself to a high standard and always wants to improve his work, and the same is true of his staff,” Phil Walzak, a senior adviser to Mr. de Blasio, said.
The mayor’s rough time on the subway coincided with criticism from local transit advocates, who on Monday said his administration was devoting too few resources to a public transportation system that has seen a sharp increase in delays.
The city said on Monday that it would devote $125 million annually to help maintain the region’s mass transit network, a 25 percent increase from recent years. The city said that matched the transportation authority’s request. However, the agency’s chairman, Thomas F. Prendergast, sent a letter on Monday to the first deputy mayor, Anthony E. Shorris, asking the city to increase its yearly contribution to $300 million, and pay an additional $1 billion for the construction of the Second Avenue subway line.
Mr. de Blasio does occasionally take public transit to events, saying he enjoys the chance to speak directly with constituents. (Often, riders ask him to pose for pictures.) Recently, he rode an R train from Brooklyn to City Hall with Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, part of an effort to raise awareness about the lack of funding for transportation and infrastructure.
On Monday, the mayor was headed from City Hall to speak at a technology conference near Pennsylvania Station. It did not take long for him to register his dissatisfaction with the experience. His email to aides was sent about 20 minutes before he stepped onstage.