Introducing Andy Byford, the new head of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority and the guy charged with fixing the Big Apple’s troubled $15.75 billion subway system, which has a daily ridership of 5.6 million. (By comparison, the DC Metro’s largest ridership of the year was 559,000 trips for the March for Our Lives in March.)
Yes, he’s in New York—but the parallels between two troubled transit agencies were too much to ignore including a big budget shortfall, safety and maintenance issues, and an angry ridership.
Here are six things you should know about him, according to this BBC profile:
- He talks “funny”—Byford is British.
- This ain’t his first rodeo. He made a name for himself by leading transit authorities in other big cities including London, Sydney and Toronto.
- He is a true believer. He has never owned a car and uses public transit religiously. (Question: Does Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld still use the Red Line to get home from Metro headquarters, as he stated in a 2015 Washington Post profile? Think Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans takes the Metro to work?)
- He started his career as a station foreman, or manager.
- He met his wife in London’s Tube.
- While he was CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission in 2013, he spent hours apologizing to subway commuters in person after an hours-long morning rush-hour delay.
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