MTA hires transit expert to modernize, improve aged subway system

Come January, the MTA will have a little more help in making its Subway Action Plan to improve and modernize New York City’s aged and decrepit subway system a reality.

The agency announced Tuesday that Andy Byford, CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), has been named president of New York City Transit, the MTA organization that oversees subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway.

“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 in a statement.

At the TTC, which serves 1.8 million riders daily and is North America’s third-largest public transit system, Byford developed a plan to modernize the system and improve operations, subsequently reducing subway delays, obtaining record customer satisfaction levels, updating its signal system and helming a subway line extension.

As a result, the TTC was named Outstanding Transit System of the Year for 2017 by the American Public Transportation Association.

“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.

“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.”

6 fast facts about new NYC Transit President Andy Byford

• CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission, North America’s third-largest public transit system, for past five years
• He oversaw a modernization plan that improved operations, reduced delays and achieved record customer satisfaction levels
• Under his leadership, the TTC updated its signal system and extended a subway line
• Due to those successes, the American Public Transportation Association named TTC Outstanding Transit System of the Year for 2017
• He was chief operating officer of Australia’s largest transit system in Sydney
• He spent 14 years with London Underground, overseeing three of its busiest subway lines — and increases in straphanger satisfaction and operational performance

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