Andy Byford

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Andy Byford
Byford in New York City in 2019
Commissioner of Transport for London
In office
29 June 2020[1] – 25 October 2022[2]
Preceded byMike Brown
Succeeded byAndy Lord
President of the New York City Transit Authority
In office
16 January 2018 – 21 February 2020
GovernorAndrew Cuomo
Preceded byVeronique Hakim
Succeeded bySarah Feinberg (interim)
Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission
In office
21 February 2012 – 17 December 2017
Preceded byGary Webster
Succeeded byRick Leary
Personal details
Born1965 (age 58–59)
SpouseAlison Byford

Andrew Byford (born 1965) is a British transport executive who has held several management-level positions in transport authorities around the world, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Transport for London (TfL), Sydney's then RailCorp, and currently Amtrak.


Byford grew up in Plymouth, England, and graduated with double honours in French and German at the University of Leicester.[3] He also holds a certificate and diploma in transport from the University of London[which?] and a diplôme supérieur d'études françaises from the University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour.


Early career[edit]

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.[4][5]

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.[5]

Toronto Transit Commission[edit]

Byford was hired by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in November 2011.[6] 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.[3]

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

Byford launched a Five-Year Corporate Plan[7] 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".[8] 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.[9] In reaction to the award, Torontonians noted their experience of frequent delays and overcrowding, and members of an transit advocacy group mocked the award, given the underfunding of the TTC.[10]

Byford was named Toronto's Communicator of the Year (2016) by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in March 2017.[11]

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) capital program, and its operations and maintenance practices in particular.[12][13]

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

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.[14] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

A member of the Institution of Railway Operators, Byford is the chair of FlyPlymouth, the company set up to reopen Plymouth City Airport and resume commercial flights from the city.[citation needed]

New York City Transit Authority[edit]

Byford on Staten Island in August 2018

On 21 November 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.[13][15] 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.[16][17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] These reforms earned Byford popularity among New Yorkers, with some giving him the nickname "Train Daddy".[21]

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.[22]

Byford submitted a letter of resignation to the NYCTA in October 2019, but quickly rescinded it.[23][24] On 23 January 2020, he officially resigned from his position, which took effect on 21 February 2020.[25][26][27] 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.[28] 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, Byford referenced his 'reduced' role."[29] 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.[30] Byford was replaced by interim president Sarah Feinberg.[31]

Transport for London[edit]

In May 2020, Byford was appointed commissioner of Transport for London by the Transport for London (TfL) board and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.[5] He replaced Mike Brown, making him London's most senior transport official.[32] Byford received a base salary of £355,000, the same salary as the two previous commissioners.[5] During his tenure as TfL commissioner, the agency negotiated a funding deal with the government to guarantee revenue through 2024 as it continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.[33] Byford also oversaw the completion of the long-awaited Elizabeth Line, an east–west line directly connecting London suburbs with the core of the city – an achievement which he said was "without doubt, the highlight of my career".[34] In September 2022, Byford resigned as TfL commissioner, citing a desire to return to the U.S. and spend more time with his family.[35] Byford left the position in October 2022, following the opening of the final Elizabeth line station, Bond Street.[36]


In March 2023, it was reported that Byford would start serving as executive vice president in charge of high-speed rail for Amtrak on 10 April 2023.[37]

Personal life[edit]

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.[38] Byford's grandfather was a bus driver for London Transport.[39]

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.[40]


  1. ^ "Andy Byford appointed London's new Transport Commissioner". Transport for London. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  2. ^ "TfL: London transport chief Andy Byford to leave role". BBC News. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  3. ^ a b "New TTC chief officially takes over". CBC News. 13 March 2012.
  4. ^ Starcic, Janna (14 October 2019). "Q&A: NYCT chief reflects on career, current initiatives". Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d "Andy Byford appointed London's new Transport Commissioner". Transport for London. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  6. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (24 February 2012). "TTC's new driver, Andy Byford, rolls up his sleeves and gets to work". Toronto Star.
  7. ^ "Toronto Transit Commission Five Year Corporate Plan 2013-2017" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Corporate Plan sets 5-year path to transform the TTC". Toronto Transit Commission. 29 May 2013. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017.
  9. ^ Spurr, Ben (26 June 2017). "TTC named best public transit agency in North America". Toronto Star.
  10. ^ Spurr, Ben (29 June 2017). "TTC gets mock award for 'least funded' transit system". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 3 May 2022. Members of an advocacy group descended on city hall Thursday to present the TTC with a mock award for being the 'least funded' public transit system on the continent. The APTA award provoked incredulous reactions from many Toronto transit users, who complained that their daily experience of overcrowded vehicles and frequently delayed service leaves much to be desired.
  11. ^ "Andy Byford, CEO, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – IABC/Toronto's Communicator of the Year". IABC. 29 March 2017. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017.
  12. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (24 June 2014). "MTA 'reinvention commission' takes shape". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  13. ^ a b Rivoli, Dan (22 November 2017). "MTA hires Toronto's Andy Byford to run New York City Transit". New York Daily news. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Greater Washington Board of Trade, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments call for dedicated Metro funding". Washington Business Journal. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  15. ^ Spurr, Ben (21 November 2017). "Andy Byford leaving the TTC for a job with New York City Transit". Toronto Star.
  16. ^ Santora, Marc (21 November 2017). "Amid Crisis, Toronto Transit Chief Is Named to Run New York Subway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  17. ^ Rosenthal, Brian M.; Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; LaForgia, Michael (18 November 2017). "How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York's Subways". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  18. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (23 April 2018). "At Long Last, a Plan to Fix New York City's Buses". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  19. ^ "A Sweeping Plan to Fix the Subways Comes With a $19 Billion Price Tag". The New York Times. 22 May 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Transform the Subway" (PDF). Fast Forward. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  21. ^ "MTA, Andy Byford embrace 'Train Daddy' moniker in New Year's tweet". New York Post. 1 January 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  22. ^ Guse, Clayton. "Fear and loathing at MTA as Andy Byford expected to be stripped of major responsibilities". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  23. ^ Rubinstein, Dana. "Sources: Last week, Byford resigned from MTA. He's now reconsidered". Politico PRO. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  24. ^ "NYC Transit President Submits Resignation, Then Rescinds It". Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  25. ^ Goldbaum, Christina; Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (23 January 2020). "Andy Byford Resigns as New York City's Subway Chief". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  26. ^ Guse, Clayton. "Andy Byford resigns from the MTA". Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  27. ^ "NYC Transit Boss Andy Byford Resigns". NBC New York. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  28. ^ "Byford Enjoyed 2 Successful Years With MTA, But Reportedly Grew Frustrated Over Clashes With Gov. Cuomo". Foodservice and Hospitality magazine. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020. ...has abruptly called it quits, ending a two-year run marked by clashes with the governor and repeated threats to resign.
  29. ^ "Byford Enjoyed 2 Successful Years With MTA, But Reportedly Grew Frustrated Over Clashes With Gov. Cuomo". The Guardian. 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  30. ^ Dwyer, Jim (3 February 2020). "How a Clash of Egos Became Bigger Than Fixing the Subway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  31. ^ "MTA names Sarah Feinberg to take over for Andy Byford as interim NYC Transit president | amNewYork".
  32. ^ "Briton who ran New York subway returns to lead TfL amid cash crisis". Evening Standard. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  33. ^ "TfL funding deal means tube fares must rise and bus services be cut". the Guardian. 30 August 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  34. ^ Stein, Joshua (22 September 2022). "TfL commissioner quits". Construction News. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  35. ^ Victor, Daniel (22 September 2022). "Andy Byford, Ex-M.T.A. Leader, Steps Down as London Transport Commissioner". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  36. ^ "Outgoing TfL commissioner Andy Byford 'immensely proud'". RailBusinessDaily. 25 October 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022. He leaves the position today, on 25 October, being replaced on an interim basis by Transport for London chief operating officer Andy Lord.
  37. ^ Meyer, David (23 March 2023). "Streetsblog Exclusive: Andy Byford to Join Amtrak". Streetsblog NYC. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  38. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (17 April 2014). "Can this man save the TTC?". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ "Leicester's best celebrated at inaugural Alumni Awards Dinner". University of Leicester. 15 April 2019. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded byas Chief General Manager Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Veronique Hakim
President of the New York City Transit Authority
Succeeded by
Craig Cipriano (acting)
Preceded by Commissioner of Transport for London
Succeeded by