As the former Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Andy Byford spent much of his time making substantial improvements to the system. When Andy joined the organization, he was aware of the problems at TTC. However, where some people might have seen obstacles, Andy saw a huge opportunity. His efforts proved to be quite successful when the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named TTC the Transit System of the Year last June.
One of Andy’s goals that he is strongly passionate about is making sure that the composition of his organization reflects the makeup of society. Andy believes in hiring qualified individuals that may come from an underrepresented demographic, and he continued that practice until he achieved his goal of making the TTC look like the city it serves. Perhaps his humble leadership approach is inspired by the spirit of his grandfather, who drove a bus down the streets of London for forty years.
Andy has extensive experience in the transit industry ranging from serving as RailCorp’s COO in Sydney, Australia to working for the London Underground back in 1989. His experience played an important role in completing the five “mega projects” outlined in the corporate five-year plan. Mega projects included a new streetcar fleet, a smart card to replace tokens, installation of Automatic Train Control (a safety mechanism), an 8.6-kilometer extension to Line One with six new stations, and improvements to the work environment at TTC—Andy’s signature policy. He says “To have enduring success, we had to tackle the culture. We had to act, look, and think differently.”
You can enjoy more of Andy’s story as well as the stories of other transit aficionados across the country at PeopleWhoMovePeople.com.