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Hello From New TTC Chief Andy Byford

TTC forgoes a long search, concluding that the best person for the job is already here.

Last night, news broke that the TTC had decided to skip a prolonged search for a new chief general manager, and instead cut to the chase and appoint the guy they had already lined up for the job: Andy Byford. Byford joined the TTC late last year as chief operating officer; he was also pegged by the now-ousted former manager, Gary Webster, as his successor. Byford was given the post on an interim basis after the TTC board decided to fire Webster without cause last month; today’s formal announcement makes that promotion permanent.

The full text of the welcome note he sent to TTC staff:

Dear Colleagues,

I am honoured to share with you the news that I have been offered, and accepted, the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission, subject to ratification at the next Commission meeting on March 30.

The CEO heads up the TTC on behalf of the Chair and Commissioners in a role that was previously titled Chief General Manager. I specifically asked for the title change to reflect my desire to work with you to completely modernize the look and feel of our great company.

The TTC has served the people of Toronto since 1921 and has developed a reputation for innovation, safety and service. We continue to operate the third largest transit network in North America, day in, day out to an ever increasing number of customers and in an increasingly tough operating environment. The time has come to overhaul our procedures and practices to meet these new challenges.

I want to build on the wonderful legacy and successes of your work to date to now take the TTC to the next level. Customers, taxpayers and the public rightly expect the TTC to deliver higher standards of service, safety, customer satisfaction and value for money and we need to look at every aspect of our operation to ensure that we are meeting those expectations. To that end, I have worked with the senior management team in recent months to ensure that we have mechanisms that hold us accountable for our performance, that we have clear goals to achieve, and that we aim for continuous improvement in the service that we provide.

Under my leadership, you can expect the executive team to be highly visible, supportive and fair in the way that we manage. You can expect me to provide clear direction and to speak up for the company and its employees. In return, I need every TTC employee to do their job to the very best of their ability every day, never forgetting that it is the customer and taxpayer that pay our wages. I want us to recognize good performance, but also to challenge mediocrity at all levels.

In my time here so far, I have met a lot of you and visited a great many locations. I have been hugely impressed by the commitment and professionalism of TTC staff across the organization. There are lots of positive developments on the horizon including new vehicles, fare systems and services. But if we are to transform our image and our customers’ experience, it is just as important that we focus on what we do and how we do it so our current work on improving customer service can continue.

In assuming the role of CEO, I will continue to focus on operational performance and safety and on delivery of immediate customer service improvements. The debate about transit expansion and policy will continue and I will contribute to those discussions. My former job of Chief Operating Officer will be covered on an interim basis by Dave Dixon and I will provide details of further organizational changes in due course.

In closing, I always wanted to work for the TTC, so I am very excited to be given this opportunity to serve the people of Toronto in such a critical role.

Best wishes,

Andy Byford
Chief Executive Officer
Toronto Transit Commission

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