Ex-NYC subways chief Andy Byford quits London gig, plans return to US

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

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

Byford — whose popularity among New Yorkers earned him the “Train Daddy” tag — said in a statement he’s moving back to the US, but didn’t say where or what he’d be doing.

“I have been blessed to have had such an amazing transport and public service journey and now is the right time to bow out and resume life in the US with my wife,” he said.

In his 27 months leading the London agency, the 33-year railroad vet 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 doubt, the highlight of my career — made truly poignant as it was one of the last major events attended by Her Majesty the Queen,” he said in his statement.

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

“It was an honour to meet her, and an honour to oversee the transport arrangements for the ceremonial events to mark her passing.”

Byford quit the MTA in February 2020 amid a long-running clash of personalities with then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom Byford groused made the job “intolerable,”

He took over Transport for London, or TfL, the following June, taking on responsibilities that included managing London’s subway as well as its buses, taxis and streets.

The native Brit, whose career began in London, has since faced the same pandemic revenue challenges that plague his former MTA colleagues. With ridership down, Byford sought more funding to keep trains running — and in August, TfL reached an agreement with the UK government to “avoid large-scale cuts.”

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

MTA board rep Andrew Albert said New York could benefit from Byford’s presence, though maybe in a different role since his old job is taken.

“He is 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 from [current NYCT President] Rich Davey, who I think is doing a fine job.”