London Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed the former head of New York’s public transport system Andy Byford has been drafted in to become TfL’s new transport commissioner. The 54-year-old, who grew up in Plymouth, will be tasked with guiding TfL through the coronavirus pandemic – which has already forced Mr Khan to seek a multi-billion pound bailout from the Government.
Earlier this month the London Mayor secure a £1.6billion of funding from the Government to keep transport services running until September.
TfL had reported a 95 percent fall in journeys on the London underground and an 85 percent fall in journeys on buses in the capital, after Britons were advised to avoid public transport and adhere to social distancing.
TfL said it was facing a £3billion finance gap and Mr Khan confirmed free travel for under-18s and over-60s will be temporarily suspended in order to recoup some of the funds.
Sadiq Khan has confirmed the appointment of a new transport commissioner
Sadiq Khan secured a £1.6billion bailout from the Government
The congestion charge for cars will also increase by 30 percent from June 11 to £15 per day.
Mr Byford first joined TfL as a graduate trainee before embarking on a transport career that has included roles in the US, Canada and Australia.
Mr Byford was president and chief executive of New York City Transit Authority from January 2018-January 2020.
In the role he is responsible for 50,000 staff and devising a £33billion five-year investment plan to renew the city’s transport system.
Andy Byford has been drafted in to become TfL’s new transport commissioner
Mr Byford will succeed Mike Brown and begin work at TfL on June 29.
The London Evening Standard reports Mr Byford will earn £335,000 per year and be enrolled in performance-related bonus worth up to half of his salary.
He said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of commissioner and to have been chosen to lead the organisation where I started my transport career over 30 years ago.
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“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, all transport authorities around the world will need to re-imagine how their services and projects contribute to the safe and sustainable re-start of the social and economic lives of the cities they serve.
“It is a huge challenge, but I know that Transport for London has some of the best people anywhere in the world and we will meet these challenges and will together help build an even better city for everyone.”
Mr Khan said: “I’m delighted to confirm Andy Byford as London’s new transport commissioner.
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“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on public transport in London but Andy brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise to lead TfL as it faces this unprecedented challenge.
“I look forward to working with Andy as we build a greener city with clean and environmentally-friendly travel, including walking and cycling, at the heart of its recovery.
“I would like to place on record my gratitude to Mike Brown for everything he has done for the capital since starting at TfL in 1989. I wish him the best of luck in his new role.”