Byford in New York City in 2019
|Commissioner of Transport for London|
|Assumed office |
29 June 2020
|Preceded by||Mike Brown|
|President of the New York Transit Authority|
|Preceded by||Veronique Hakim|
|Succeeded by||Sarah Feinberg (interim)|
|Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission|
|Preceded by||Gary Webster|
|Succeeded by||Rick Leary|
|Born||1965 (age 54–55)|
|Alma mater||University of Leicester|
Andy Byford (born 1965) is a British civic employee whose career has been defined by serving in chief positions in a number of top public transport corporations around the world. He began as a chief operating officer for RailCorp in New South Wales, Australia, and worked in a number of managerial positions with London Underground.
His six-year career as the chief executive officer of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) led to several changes in the system, including service improvements and modernizations. He served as the president of the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) from 2018 to 2020. Shortly after his resignation from the NYCTA, Byford was appointed as the commissioner of Transport for London (TfL).
Byford grew up in Plymouth, England, and graduated with double honours in French and German at the University of Leicester. 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.
He started work as a graduate trainee for London Underground in 1989, before progressing through a number of operational roles including duty station manager in 1992, group station manager for King's Cross St Pancras Group in 1994, station operations manager for the Jubilee Line Extension in 1996, and train service delivery manager for the Metropolitan, Circle, and Hammersmith & City lines in 1998 before becoming general manager for Customer Service on the Bakerloo, Central, and Victoria lines in 2000.
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
Byford was hired by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in November 2011. Following the firing of Gary Webster, Byford became interim chief general manager (CGM). In March 2012, Byford was promoted as CGM and his role was renamed as CEO.
Byford launched a Five-Year Corporate Plan 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". 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.
Byford was named Toronto's Communicator of the Year (2016) by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in March 2017.
Boards, commissions, and panels
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) capital program, and its operations and maintenance practices in particular.
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. 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.
In May, 2020, Byford served on a Ministerial Advisory Council to advise the Government of Ontario on COVID-19 recovery, as it pertains to mass transit.
New York City Transit Authority
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 its subway system. 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. Byford was the second person to have headed both the TTC and the NYCTA, after David L. Gunn. He was also the first non-American director of the New York City Transit Authority.
Within the first few months on the job, Byford was devising long-term plans for the bus and subway systems. At an MTA board meeting in May 2018, he announced the "Fast Forward" program. This included plans to upgrade signals on the subway system's five most heavily used physical lines; making 50 extra stations ADA-accessible; and installing an automatic train supervision system for routes that did not already have it, which would help monitor train locations. Byford's May 2018 proposal also included suggestions to improve the bus system by redrawing local and express bus network in all five boroughs, as well as implementing the contactless OMNY fare system.
As part of state legislation passed in April 2019, the MTA was supposed to create a plan to reduce costs by the end of that June. A draft of the plan indicated that several departments would be eliminated, undermining Byford's role.
Byford submitted a letter of resignation to the NYCTA in October 2019, but quickly rescinded it. On January 23, 2020, he officially resigned from his position, which took effect on February 21, 2020. News reports suggested that the cause was the "clashes" he had with Governor Andrew Cuomo over several issues, most recently a reduction in his authority. The Guardian wrote: "the final straw may have come after Cuomo reorganized the MTA, the state transport body, stripping Byford of some responsibilities. In his resignation letter this week, Byford referenced his 'reduced' role." The New York Times said that the "Byford–Cuomo estrangement was highly unusual", since New York state governors and MTA chiefs had previously interacted very little prior to the mid-2010s. Byford was replaced by interim president Sarah Feinberg.
Transport for London
In May 2020, Byford was appointed commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) by the TfL Board and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Byford will replace Mike Brown, making him London's most senior transport official. Byford will receive a base salary of £355,000, the same salary as the two previous commissioners.
Byford married his Canadian-born wife Alison in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 1994. He is known for travelling for work in public transit while in executive positions in Toronto and later New York City. Byford's grandfather was a bus driver for London Transport.
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 two continents.
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...has abruptly called it quits, ending a two-year run marked by clashes with the governor and repeated threats to resign.
- "Byford Enjoyed 2 Successful Years With MTA, But Reportedly Grew Frustrated Over Clashes With Gov. Cuomo". The Guardian. January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
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- "Briton who ran New York subway returns to lead TfL amid cash crisis". Evening Standard. May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
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- "Leicester's best celebrated at inaugural Alumni Awards Dinner". University of Leicester. April 15, 2019. Archived from the original on May 1, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
as Chief General Manager
| Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission
| President of the New York City Transit Authority
| Commissioner of Transport for London