Toronto Transit head Andy Byford named New York City Transit president

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced Tuesday that Andy Byford will become the next president of New York City Transit, putting him in charge of subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway.

"I feel it's time for a challenge," he said. "What could be bigger than New York? I couldn't say no."

Byford was previously the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission, a position he held for five years. The announcement was made Tuesday morning by Toronto Mayor John Tory.

"I am confident that Mr. Byford leaves behind a solid management team that will continue his legacy here in Toronto of customer-focused transit," he said.

In New York, MTA officials are happy to have him on board.

"We are thrilled that Andy is going to lead NYC Transit during this time of great change," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. "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."

Under his time at the Toronto Transit Commission, Byford reduced subway delays in the city and improved overall satisfaction rates among passengers. In New York, he will be responsible for spearheading the modernization of the subway system and reducing delay times.

"To me, any CEO can buy new vehicles, any CEO can build a subway extension," he said. "To me, that's temporary. What's the Holy Grail is to get employees to think, act and behave differently, because they want to, not through coercion."

He will begin his position in January.
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