New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority named Andy Byford to manage the planned overhaul of the biggest U.S. subway and bus system as the next president of New York City Transit.
The almost 30-year professional, who comes to New York after serving as CEO of Toronto Transit Commission, starts his new job in January, the MTA said Tuesday.
NYC Transit is the MTA agency is responsible for city's subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway. The agency has about 50,000 employees throughout the five boroughs.
Byford was most recently the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission, the third largest transit system in North America. He began his transit career at London Underground where he worked for 14 years, rising to general manager of the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria Lines.
“We are thrilled that Andy is going to lead NYC Transit during this time of great change,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a press release. “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."
Byford said he was looking forward to his new duties.
“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,” he said.
"I look forward to working closely with Andy in his new role as President of New York City Transit,” said MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim. “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."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the MTA in June, prompting chairman Lhota launch the Subway Action Plan, designed to stabilize and improve the subway system and lay a foundation for modernizing it.
At NYC Transit, Byford will be responsible for leading the immediate and long-term modernization of the transit system and working to ensure the success of the Subway Action Plan.
"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,” MTA President Patrick Foye said. “NYC Transit faces serious issues, but Andy is up to the challenge and we are excited to have him on board."
Paul Burton contributed to this report.