MTA Announces New NYCT President

Earlier today, the MTA announced that Andy Byford will become the next President of New York City Transit. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced today that Andy Byford will become the next President of New York City Transit, the MTA agency responsible for New York City subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway.  A seasoned and highly regarded transportation professional whose work has taken him across three continents over nearly three decades, Byford joins NYC Transit after a widely hailed five-year stint as the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the third largest transit system in North America. Byford began his transit career at London Underground where, over 14 years, he rose to the position of General Manager of the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria Lines, three of its busiest subway lines. He oversaw increases in customer satisfaction and operational performance at the main line UK railway system and was Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s largest transit system in Sydney. He will assume his position at NYC Transit in January.  The hiring of Byford comes after an extensive and international search.

“We are thrilled that Andy is going to lead NYC Transit during this time of great change,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said.  “Our transit system is the backbone of the world’s greatest city and having someone of Andy’s caliber to lead it will help immensely, particularly when it comes to implementing the Subway Action Plan that we launched this summer. In order to truly stabilize, modernize and improve our transit system, we needed a leader who has done this work at world-class systems and Andy’s successes in Toronto are evidence that he is up to this critically important task.”

“New York City’s public transit system has driven New York City to become the bustling, successful metropolis that it is, and it’s an honor to be trusted with the huge responsibility to modernize the system and bring it to the high levels of performance and customer service that New Yorkers truly deserve and rightfully expect,” Byford said.  “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and all the employees of New York City Transit and the MTA, and, most importantly, our customers.”

At the Toronto Transit Commission, Byford spearheaded several prominent initiatives including the development of a corporate plan aimed at completely modernizing the TTC and improving all aspects of operational performance. Under his leadership, subway delays have been reduced, customer satisfaction has hit record levels, and a number of major projects progressed, including the phased introduction of a modern signal system and the imminent completion of a major subway line extension. These improvements led to the TTC being named by the American Public Transportation Association as its Outstanding Transit System of the Year for 2017.

In June, Byford was a member of a panel presenting about international best practices at the MTA Genius Transit Challenge, where he described his successful efforts to modernize and improve Toronto’s subway system.

At NYC Transit, Byford will be responsible for leading the immediate and long-term modernization of one of the oldest and largest transit systems in the world, including ensuring the success of the Subway Action Plan, which aims to stabilize and modernize the subway system by targeting the key drivers of delays. The most recent permanent president for NYC Transit was Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, currently MTA Managing Director.  NYC Transit has nearly 50,000 employees throughout the five boroughs. A native of the United Kingdom, Byford holds an honors degree from the University of Leicester.

MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim said:  “I look forward to working closely with Andy in his new role as President of New York City Transit. Having held the position myself I can say with certainty that it’s an immensely challenging job but also deeply rewarding. Andy is incredibly well regarded in the transportation world and did outstanding things in Toronto. I’m confident he will do the same here in New York.”

MTA President Patrick Foye said:  “To function as a first-rate transit system, you need a first-rate transit leader and Andy is precisely that. His command of urban transit issues is second to none and he is invested in getting the details right. NYC Transit faces serious issues, but Andy is up to the challenge and we are excited to have him on board.”

MTA Chief Operating Officer Phil Eng said: “Transit in a city as diverse as New York presents a unique set of challenges, and Andy’s global leadership experience make him well-suited for the task. I welcome him aboard and look forward to working alongside him as we strengthen and grow the transit system.”

TTC Chair Josh Colle said:  “Andy knows how to make tough choices and get people to buy in. He is the consummate leader: driven, fair, passionate, and highly effective. Toronto’s loss is New York’s gain and I have little doubt that he will bring world class leadership to the North America’s biggest subway system. While we are incredibly disappointed to see him go, we wish him the best in the Big Apple.”

I am very excited to see what Andy can do running NYC Transit since he has experience running a major city’s transportation system. If the results he produced in Toronto can be duplicated, the future for NYC Transit looks bright.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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