LONDON -- Former New York subway boss Andy Byford has been named London’s new transit commissioner, overseeing Transport for London’s vast network of Tubes, trams, trains and buses.
TFL said Wednesday that Byford will start work June 29, during a time of crisis for the network. TFL has received a 1.6 billion pound ($1.96 billion) government bailout amid the coronavirus lockdown, which has seen revenue from fares plummet by 95%. It says that the need for continued social distancing means it will be able to carry only a fraction of its previous passenger load.
Byford said transit systems faced a “huge challenge” as they try “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.”
U.K.-born Byford resigned as president of the New York City Transit Authority in February after two years of trying to improve the Big Apple’s often frustrating subway and bus systems.
He previously headed the Toronto Transit Commission and held senior transit jobs in Sydney and London.