Andy Byford to join TfL next month

Andy Byford during his time as chief executive of the Toronto Transit Commission

Sadiq Khan and the board of Transport for London have confirmed months of speculation with the news they have appointed Andy Byford as London’s transport commissioner. It follows an international recruitment and selection process.

He will join TfL on June 29, with the current commissioner, Mike Brown, staying on until July 10 to hand over to Byford and aid his start in the role before he takes up a position overseeing the renovation of the Houses of Parliament.

Byford brings to TfL a track record of leadership and transformation within major urban transport authorities and has worked within a wide range of complex stakeholder and political environments in a transport career that has spanned over 30 years and three continents.

His most recent role was as president and chief executive of New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), a position he had held since late 2017. In that role he was responsible for 50,000 staff and devised a $40bn five-year investment plan to renew the city’s transport system. However, he announced his resignation in January after reports suggested he had repeatedly clashed with New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

Byford’s previous positions include chief executive of the Toronto Transit Commission in Canada for a six-year period from 2011. There he oversaw a five-year plan to modernise and rejuvenate the TTC which led it being awarded the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) award for the Outstanding Transit System of the Year in 2017.

Prior to his time in Canada, he was chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of the Rail Corporation New South Wales in Australia as well as holding various senior roles with Southern Railway, South Eastern Trains and London Underground.

“I am delighted to be taking up the role of commissioner and to have been chosen to lead the organisation where I started my transport career over 30 years ago,” said Byford.

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, all transport authorities around the world will need to reimagine how their services and projects contribute to the safe and sustainable re-start of the social and economic lives of the cities they serve.

“It is a huge challenge, but I know that Transport for London has some of the best people anywhere in the world and we will meet these challenges and will together help build an even better city for everyone.”

Khan placed on record his gratitude to Brown for everything he has done for the capital since starting at TfL in 1989. “I wish him well,” he added.

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