Andy Byford

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Andy Byford
Andy Byford in NYC - 2018 (42057255205) (cropped).jpg
Byford in New York City in 2018
Born1965 (age 53–54)
ResidenceNew York City
Alma materUniversity of Leicester
OccupationPresident of the New York City Transit Authority
EmployerMetropolitan Transportation Authority
Home townPlymouth, England
Spouse(s)Alison Byford

Andy Byford (born 1965) is a British civic employee who has been employed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as the president of the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) since January 2018. Prior to his appointment in New York City, Byford was the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) from 2011 to 2017. During his tenure at the TTC, he was credited for bringing several changes in the system, including service improvements and system modernizations. He was formerly the chief operating officer for RailCorp in New South Wales, Australia and worked in a number of managerial positions with Transport for London.


Byford grew up in Plymouth, England and graduated with double honours in French and German at the University of Leicester.[1] He also holds a certificate and diploma in transport from the University of London and a diplôme supérieur d'études françaises from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour.


Early career[edit]

He worked as a station foreman for London Underground from 1989, Group Station Manager at King's Cross St Pancras tube station and later General Manager of customer services on a number of London underground lines.[2] Byford then moved to main line railway operations, becoming Operations and Safety Director for South Eastern Trains from 2003 to 2006 and subsequently Operations Director for Southern Railway from 2006 to 2009. He was then approached to become Chief Operating Officer with RailCorp in New South Wales, Australia.

Toronto Transit Commission[edit]

Byford was hired by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in November 2011.[2] Following the firing of Gary Webster, Byford became interim Chief General Manager. In March 2012, Byford was promoted as CGM and his role was renamed as CEO.[1]

Byford with Toronto City Councillor Maria Augimeri at Spadina Station in 2014

Byford launched a Five-Year Corporate Plan[3] in 2013 to "modernize the TTC", "transform our culture", "renew our equipment", and "update our processes" with a goal to "transform the TTC and deliver on our vision of a transit system that makes Toronto proud."[4] This ambition was realized in June 2017, when the TTC was awarded the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) award for the 2017 Outstanding Transit System of the Year.[5]

Byford was named Toronto's Communicator of the Year (2016) by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in March 2017.[6]

Boards, commissions, and panels[edit]

In June 2014, Byford was invited to serve on New York governor Andrew Cuomo's MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission to review the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s capital program, and its operations and maintenance practices in particular.[7][8]

In 2015, Byford served on an APTA panel that reviewed the Boston-area Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's handling of winter operations.

In June 2016, Byford served on an international transit CEO panel convened by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to advise the Washington Metro on best practice as it relates to funding, governance and operations.[9] In June 2017, Byford was invited to present best practice to New York governor Cuomo's Genius Transit Challenge conference, as part of a panel of international experts.

A member of the Institution of Railway Operators, Byford serves on the Board of Directors of the APTA Board. Byford is the Chair of FlyPlymouth, the company set up to reopen Plymouth City Airport and resume commercial flights from the city.

New York City Transit Authority[edit]

Byford on Staten Island in August 2018

On November 21, 2017, Byford announced he would leave the Toronto Transit Commission in mid-December 2017 to become president of the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), where he would lead the modernization of the New York City Subway.[8][10] His appointment came in the midst of the 2017 New York City transit crisis, a few days after The New York Times published an in-depth investigative report chronicling decades of mismanagement and under-investment by the MTA.[11][12] Byford is the second person to have headed both the TTC and the NYCTA, after David L. Gunn. Byford is also the first non-American director of the New York City Transit Authority.

Personal life[edit]

Byford married his Canadian-born wife Alison in Ottawa, Ontario in 1994. He is known for travelling for work in public transit while in executive positions in Toronto and later New York City.[13] Byford's grandfather was a bus driver for London Transport.[14] Byford has retained his British citizenship. He is a lifelong supporter of Plymouth Argyle Football Club.

In March 2019, Byford received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Leicester in recognition of his 30-year career in public transport across three continents.[15]


  1. ^ a b "New TTC chief officially takes over". CBC News. March 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Kalinowski, Tess (February 24, 2012). "TTC's new driver, Andy Byford, rolls up his sleeves and gets to work". Toronto Star.
  3. ^ "Toronto Transit Commission Five Year Coporate Plan 2013-2017" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 10, 2017.
  4. ^ "Corporate Plan sets 5-year path to transform the TTC". Toronto Transit Commission. May 29, 2013. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Spurr, Ben (June 26, 2017). "TTC named best public transit agency in North America". Toronto Star.
  6. ^ "Andy Byford, CEO, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – IABC/Toronto's Communicator of the Year". IABC. March 29, 2017. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (June 24, 2014). "MTA 'reinvention commission' takes shape". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Rivoli, Dan (November 22, 2017). "MTA hires Toronto's Andy Byford to run New York City Transit". New York Daily news. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Greater Washington Board of Trade, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments call for dedicated Metro funding". Washington Business Journal. June 14, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  10. ^ Spurr, Ben (November 21, 2017). "Andy Byford leaving the TTC for a job with New York City Transit". Toronto Star.
  11. ^ Santora, Marc (November 21, 2017). "Amid Crisis, Toronto Transit Chief Is Named to Run New York Subway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  12. ^ Rosenthal, Brian M.; Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; LaForgia, Michael (November 18, 2017). "How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York's Subways". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  13. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (April 17, 2014). "Can this man save the TTC?". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Kuitenbrouwer, Peter (February 26, 2012). "Andy Byford: From the Tube to the TTC". National Post. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  15. ^ "Leicester's best celebrated at inaugural Alumni Awards Dinner". University of Leicester. April 15, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Gary Webster
as Chief General Manager
Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission
Succeeded by
Rick Leary
Preceded by
Veronique Hakim
President of the New York City Transit Authority