Ex-New York subway boss Andy Byford announces appearance in London, plans return to the USA

New York’s “Train Daddy” is coming home.

Former MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford, who operated the city’s subways and buses for just over two years, said Thursday he would step down next month after a similarly short stint as top dog at the London transit agency .

Byford – whose popularity among New Yorkers earned him the “Train Daddy” label – said in a statement he was moving back to the United States, but didn’t say where or what he would be doing.

“I am blessed to have had such an amazing transportation and public service journey and now is the right time to say goodbye and resume life in the United States with my wife,” he said.

In his 27 months as head of the London agency, the 33-year-old railway veteran oversaw the completion of a long-delayed and over-budget Elizabeth Line project, which he toured earlier this year with the late Queen Elizabeth II in one of her final public appearances.

“The opening of the Elizabeth line was without a doubt the highlight of my career – truly poignant as it was one of the last major events Her Majesty The Queen attended,” he said in his statement.

Andy Byford.
Andy Byford managed NYC’s subways and buses for just over two years before taking a job with London Transport.
Gregory P. Mango
Andy Byford.
Andy Byford’s popularity among New Yorkers earned him the nickname “Train Daddy.”
Taidgh Barron

“It was an honor to meet her and an honor to oversee the transport arrangements for the ceremonial events marking her death.”

Byford left the MTA in February 2020 amid a longstanding clash of personalities with the then-governor. Andrew Cuomo, whom Byford berated, made the job “insufferable”.

The following June he took over Transport for London, or TfL, and took on responsibilities that included the management of the London Underground, buses, taxis and roads.

The Brit, whose career began in London, has since faced the same pandemic revenue challenges that have plagued his former MTA peers. As ridership fell, Byford sought more funding to keep the trains running – and in August TfL reached an agreement with the UK Government to “avoid large-scale cuts”.

Then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks to Andy Byford as they attend an event to mark the completion of London's Crossrail project at Paddington station May 17.
Andy Byford and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend an event May 17 to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project at Paddington Station.
Andy Byford with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward.
Andy Byford speaks to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward at Paddington Station.

MTA Board Representative Andrew Albert said New York could benefit from Byford’s presence, albeit perhaps in a different role as his old job is filled.

“He’s coming to the US, that’s a great sign,” Albert said. “We all loved it when he was here. I don’t want to take anything away [current NYCT President] Rich Davey, who I think is doing a good job.” Ex-New York subway boss Andy Byford announces appearance in London, plans return to the USA


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