Heathrow Airport has had a subway link for decades. When the Elizabeth line’s next phase is opened in the fall, passengers will be able to travel from Heathrow to the banks at Canary Wharf in East London in 40 minutes; that is a prime selling point for a city desperate to hold on to its status as financial mecca after Brexit. All told, the line has 10 entirely new stations, 42 miles of tunnels and crosses under the Thames three times.

“We’re jealous, it’s fair to say,” said Danny Pearlstein, the policy director for Riders Alliance, a transportation advocacy group in New York. “Imagining a new, full-length underground line here is not something anyone is doing. The Second Avenue subway, which people have been talking about for 100 years, has three stations.”

To be fair, Transport for London is not without its problems. It has shelved plans to build a north-south counterpart to the Elizabeth line, not to mention an extension to the Bakerloo tube line, because of a lack of funding. Still reeling from a near-total loss of riders during pandemic lockdowns, the system faces many of the same financial woes as New York’s subway.

Though ridership has recovered from a nadir of 5 percent, it is still at only 70 percent of prepandemic levels. Transport for London is also heavily dependent on ticket fares to cover its costs, more so than the New York subway, which gets state subsidies, as well as funds from bridge and tunnel tolls.

“My other obsession is sorting out the finances,” Mr. Byford said. “One way is to wean us away from dependence on fares.”

He is somewhat vague about how to do that, and it is clear that Transport for London will depend on additional government handouts to get back on sound financial footing. That is why the opening of the Elizabeth line is so important to London: It makes a powerful case for public transportation at a time when people are questioning how many workers will ever return to their offices.

Mr. Byford lays out the case with the practiced cadence of a stump speech. The new line will increase the capacity of the system by 10 percent. Its spacious coaches are well suited to a world in which people are used to social distancing. It will revitalize economically blighted towns east of the city, while making central London accessible to people who live in far-flung towns to the east and west.

While Mr. Byford does not expect ridership ever to return completely, he thinks 90 percent is attainable. If office buildings remain underpopulated, London could develop like Paris, with more residential neighborhoods downtown. (The Elizabeth line bears a distinct resemblance to the high-speed RER system in Paris.) The line, he says, is an insurance policy against the “siren voices of doom” about Brexit.

At times, Mr. Byford slips perilously close to a real estate agent’s patter. “These super-high-tech stations simply ooze quality,” he said. But emerging from Liverpool Street, with its spectacular, rippling, pinstriped ceiling, it is hard to argue with his basic assertion: “This is a game changer.”

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U.K. Policing Bill Examined After Sarah Everard Vigil

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with law enforcement officials on Monday after the London police drew widespread criticism for the handling of a vigil on Saturday after the killing of a 33-year-old woman. The fallout comes as a proposed police bill that would grant more powers to control protests in Britain is set to be debated in Parliament this week and faces renewed scrutiny from opposition lawmakers and rights groups.

An investigation is getting underway into the policing of a vigil in South London on Saturday night for Sarah Everard, 33, whose killing touched off a national discussion over misogyny and violence. The vigil had been declared unlawful because of coronavirus restrictions, a move denounced by rights groups, and officers from the Metropolitan Police, the main London force, clashed with some attendees.

Mr. Johnson was scheduled to meet on Monday with ministers, senior police officers and prosecutors to discuss steps to tighten safety on streets for women and girls.

“Like everyone who saw it, I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night,” Mr. Johnson said, referring to the part of South London where Ms. Everard disappeared and where the vigil was held.

said on Sunday that a review would be good for “public confidence,” but resisted calls from some for her resignation and defended her officers, citing concerns over the coronavirus.

“Unlawful gatherings are unlawful gatherings,” she said. “Officers have to take action if people are putting themselves massively at risk.”

David Lammy, a Labour lawmaker who is the party’s justice spokesman, adding that the bill was “a mess, which could lead to lead to harsher penalties for damaging a statue than for attacking a woman.”

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Policing at Sarah Everard Vigil Faces Official Scrutiny

LONDON — The mayor of London and the British cabinet minister responsible for policing both called on Sunday for an independent investigation into how the city’s main police force broke up a vigil for Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old marketing executive whose killing has sparked a reckoning over violence against women, after images of officers clashing with women at the event prompted a widespread outcry.

The mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that “scenes arising from the policing of the vigil,” which had been banned under coronavirus restrictions, “were completely unacceptable,” and that he was “not satisfied” with explanations from the two top officers in the force, the Metropolitan Police.

A spokesman for the Home Office, the government department that oversees policing, confirmed on Sunday that Priti Patel, the home secretary, had asked the Inspectorate of Constabulary, a government body that assesses police forces, for a report into what happened at the vigil.

Mr. Khan said in a statement that he had sought a full inquiry from the same body, and that he was also asking another regulator, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, to investigate the actions of officers at the vigil.

a Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with kidnapping and murdering Ms. Everard, who disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham on March 3.

Mr. Khan said that the police had assured him last week that the vigil would be policed sensitively, and that he had met on Sunday with the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, and her deputy, Stephen House, to demand an explanation. “I am not satisfied with the explanation they have provided,” he added.

In a statement overnight, Helen Ball, an assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, said that officers on the ground were “faced with a difficult decision” in the evening after hundreds of people “packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19.”

“Police must act for people’s safety, this is the only responsible thing to do. The pandemic is not over and gatherings of people from right across London and beyond, are still not safe,” she said, adding, “We accept that the actions of our officers have been questioned.”

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