Posts Tagged ‘Andy Byford

Happy Anniversary TTC CEO Andy Byford

- February 21st, 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 9

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong took to Twitter Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the hiring of TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“Thanks to former Commissioners for making it happen!” Minnan-Wong tweeted. “Results show it was the best decision.”

What Minnan-Wong didn’t say was it is also the one-year anniversary of the sacking of former TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster.

Webster was dumped by those loyal to Mayor Rob Ford on the TTC commission – led by Minnan-Wong. Byford emerged from the closed-door meeting as Webster’s replacement.

“It is just no way to run a railway,” TTC chair Karen Stintz said following the 5 to 4 vote. “We’ve just turned arguably what should be the least political board and commission into the most political board and commission. It’s really quite interesting to me.”

Sources told the Sun at the time the meeting where Webster was fired and Byford was promoted was chaotic – some councillors shouted and swore at times during the in camera debate.

In a classic case of every City Hall action has an equal and opposite reaction, Minnan-Wong and the commissioners that dumped Webster ended up losing their spots on the TTC.

A few weeks later, Stintz led a revolt at council sacking those TTC commissioners who dumped Webster and locking in her position as chair until 2014.

Taxpayer-funded buses for football teams? Not a Ford show topic

- November 4th, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford weren’t talking at all Sunday about two TTC buses dumping their riders to go pick up the Don Bosco Eagles – the high school football team the mayor coaches.

Both Fords were mum on the fact fare-paying TTC riders had to get off two buses Thursday so the vehicles could go pick up his high school football team at the request of Toronto Police (story here).

The TTC was talking. TTC officials issued a statement – just two hours after the Ford show ended – and released TTC CEO Andy Byford’s email to commissioners about the incident (blog post on that here).

As the Sun reported Friday, TTC commissioner and Councillor Peter Milczyn said he will be pushing police and the TTC for answers on why the order was given to ditch riders (story here).

The Fords could have come out on their Newstalk 1010 show in support of Milczyn’s call for answers. Mayor Ford could have made it clear whether or not he knew riders were losing their ride so his team could get a personal TTC bus back to their school and apologized to those who were inconvenienced. Mayor Ford could have also explained why he feels he needs to be at the field with his team instead of at City Hall.

But neither Mayor Ford or Councillor Ford addressed the issue Sunday.

Mayor Ford did acknowledge the undefeated Eagles have a playoff game this week against Senator O’Connor.

“Everyone and all the lefties try to give you hell but if you were going to a ballet class they wouldn’t mind it,” Councillor Ford said.

“People don’t realize how much you mentor these kids, how much you teach them, it is not about just the sport of football … it is about mentoring them, getting them involved in the community, getting them a great education and a secondary education in college.”

One caller, Mike from Toronto, did criticize Mayor Ford for leaving this week’s city council meeting to go to football.

“You say you’re fighting for transit yet you are missing the debate to coach a football game,” the caller told Ford.

Ford laughed off the call.

“Thank you very much, actually I didn’t miss the debate. I actually voted for subways and I made a passionate speech about subways,” he said. “But I do appreciate obviously, you get both sides of the coin.”

(Here’s the story on Ford’s speech at the end of the debate over the master agreement for Toronto’s four light rail lines)

The same caller also criticized the Fords for pushing ahead the removal of the Jarvis St. bike lanes.

Councillor Ford argued people that use Jarvis “overwhelmingly want the Jarvis bike lane gone.”

“It’s called listening to the taxpayers,” Mayor Ford added.

TTC issues final statement on Mayor’s football team/bus incident

- November 4th, 2012

TTC CEO Andy Byford (Sun file photo)

The TTC issued a statement Sunday about Thursday’s incident where they ditched riders from two buses to go pick up Mayor Rob Ford’s football team (at the request of Toronto Police).

Here’s the TTC’s statement and below that TTC CEO Andy Byford’s email to commissioners sent Saturday:

TTC Statement
  
November 4, 2012

Last Thursday, November 1, the Toronto Transit Commission’s Transit Control Centre received a call from the Toronto Police Service requesting a shelter bus. The TTC took immediate action to accommodate the request, dispatching an in-service bus from the 36 Finch West bus route. The bus operator was having difficulty finding the location it was asked to attend. After further inquiries by police to the control centre about the whereabouts of the bus, staff dispatched a second bus, this one from the 46 Martin Grove route, also in service. Eventually, the 36 Finch West bus operator found the school and the 46 Martin Grove bus was returned to service.

At no time did TTC CEO Andy Byford order a second bus or give direction to TTC staff. And at no time were TTC frontline personnel aware of why a shelter bus was required, a request the TTC receives, on average twice a week, from police and Toronto Fire. Typically, the TTC tries to send shelter buses from a terminal location (subway station) or bus garage, minimizing the impact on customers. Given the urgency of the police request, operations personnel at the TTC made the decision to utilize buses from nearby routes to meet the request as quickly as possible.

Since this incident, a number of questions about the need for a shelter bus on this occasion have arisen, as well as the reasons why fare-paying customers were displaced from two in-service buses to accommodate the request.

Below is the text of an email sent by Mr. Byford to all TTC Commissioners on the morning of Nov. 3 in response to questions from them about this incident, including whether or not TTC policies and protocols should be changed and/or reviewed.

TTC staff will report to the Commission, and the public, once it determines whether its protocols need to change or if they require strengthening. The TTC will not be providing further comment on this matter until that time.

-30-

Commissioners,

I will dig out the policy and, if you would like, make a proposal to strengthen it.

(Legitimate) requests come in at any time, often at extreme times of the day. As such, operational staff are best placed to handle them. More senior (TTC staff) oversight/approval may be needed though.

The most unfortunate thing about this episode is the damage done to our reputation after more than a year of careful, painstaking steps to improve it. I am not happy about that and I am certainly not happy that fare paying customers were inconvenienced under these circumstances.

For the record: I had no idea that two buses were used nor that customers were inconvenienced.

Rest assured that I am following this up with TPS and the Mayor’s Office.

Regards

Andy

Andy Byford
Chief Executive Officer

TTC CEO Andy Byford’s memo to staff on the death of Peter Pavlovski

- September 17th, 2012

Peter_Pavlovski

Peter Pavlovski (TTC handout photo)

 

Message to TTC Employees from CEO Andy Byford

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

We lost one of our family members on Friday when Peter Pavlovski was tragically killed on the subway tracks just north of Yorkdale Station.

 

Peter was a husband, father, son, brother and uncle; he was a family man. Yesterday, Peter’s family issued a public statement thanking all who have provided comfort and support to them during this unbelievably difficult time.  I want to echo that thanks to those who have reached out to Peter’s family. Many of you knew Peter and have spoken very highly of him in conversations I’ve had with many of you.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows: a visitation tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Heritage Funeral Centre (50 Overlea Blvd.). The funeral service is this Wednesday at St. Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Cathedral (76 Overlea Blvd.) at 10 a.m.

 

A trust fund has been established for Peter’s children. Donations can be made at any branch of the CIBC in the Greater Toronto Area in the name of ‘Toronto Transit Commission – In Trust For Peter Pavlovski.’  When making donations, advise the branch it’s a third party deposit (or donation) to account no. 00212/70-35519.

 

Support

 

As you know, two other employees were injured on Friday. Both are expected to make a full recovery from their injuries, which is very fortunate, but the trauma of such an incident can be long term. Our ongoing thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and I have been in touch with both employees to offer them every support.

 

The TTC is making available any and all counseling needed to Peter’s family, as well as to Peter’s co-workers and their families through our Employee and Family Assistance Program. I would encourage anyone who has been touched by this tragedy to avail themselves of this service. You may not need it today, but know it’s always available to you if, and when, you would like to talk to someone.

 

Investigation


The TTC will leave no stone unturned in understanding what happened last Friday. There are three investigations occurring: a Joint Health and Safety Committee investigation as mandated by legislation; a Ministry of Labour investigation; and an internal TTC investigation. It will be several months before we know the results of any of these investigations.  While we are all anxious to understand what happened that led to this tragedy, it’s important that we await their findings and not speculate. We must all learn from this, and we will.

 

The TTC, of course, will co-operate with these investigations. It is paramount that we, as a company, understand what happened to ensure it never happens again.

 

Safety


I want to stress to each of you – and your families – the absolute importance the TTC places on safety, for both the public and its customers, but also for you. Workplace fatalities are extremely rare at the TTC, but when tragedy strikes we make all resources available to understand the cause and what we need to do to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

 

Our Work Safe-Home Safe program was, and is, designed to send you home in the same condition in which you reported for work: healthy. When that doesn’t happen, regardless of the circumstances, we need to understand why. The TTC has a number of workplaces practices and protocols in place to protect employees. Track level can be a dangerous place in which to work, and that is why we have such strict rules in place to protect us.

 

A Sincere Thanks

 

I visited Peter’s family on Saturday and did so again today. A senior staff member was at Peter’s house on Friday and throughout the weekend. As I said, we will provide the help they need to help get through this very difficult time.

 

I want to sincerely thank those of you who were involved in, and responded to, the incident last Friday. Rail Infrastructure employees, Transit Control Centre employees, and all of our frontline were either on scene or worked to ensure our customers were kept informed and got to where they needed to go.

 

I will keep you apprised as the investigations progress and get accurate information to you in a timely way; that is my commitment to you. Thank you all for your professionalism throughout this difficult period. Certainly, Peter’s family appreciates the support you’ve provided them, as do I and everyone who knew and worked with Peter.

 

 

Andy Byford

September 17, 2012

 

 

Andy Byford says hello to TTC employees

- February 22nd, 2012

Andy Byford

TTC Deputy Chief GM Andy Byford speaks to Gary Webster at Tuesday’s TTC meeting (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

Andy Byford, the man tapped by the TTC commission Tuesday to take on Gary Webster’s duties, sent out a notice to TTC employees Wednesday.

Here is Byford’s full statement:

NOTICE TO ALL TTC EMPLOYEES

Dear TTC Colleagues,

As you are aware, the Commission voted to terminate the services of Gary Webster yesterday with immediate effect.  I would like to place on record my respect for Gary’s outstanding 37 year career at the TTC and my gratitude to him for giving me the opportunity to join this great company.

I have been asked to cover the responsibilities of Chief General Manager until further notice, while a search is undertaken to appoint a permanent CGM.  As I said publicly yesterday, my immediate focus is on the delivery of the day to day service to the 1.6 million riders that depend on the TTC every day.  As such, our priorities remain focused on safety, performance and customer service.

In my time at the TTC so far, I have spent a lot of time on the system, meeting staff and understanding the challenges that you face.  I continue to be incredibly impressed by the professionalism, dedication and passion of TTC staff at all levels and to me, you are our greatest asset.

I really believe that the future is bright for the TTC with new streetcars and trains, ticketing systems and subway extensions coming on stream.  If we continue to drive up performance and staff morale, customer satisfaction and our reputation will improve and we will get the TTC back to where it belongs as a leader in world transit systems.

I am honoured to be asked to lead the TTC if only temporarily and I look forward to working with everyone as one team to take the TTC forward.

Best wishes,

Andy Byford
COO/Deputy Chief General Manager

Keep up the good work – and thank you: Gary Webster to TTC employees

- February 22nd, 2012

Gary Webster

Gary Webster at the TTC meeting before he was turfed by commissioners on Tuesday (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

Here is Gary Webster’s goodbye letter to TTC employees:

 

NOTICE TO ALL TTC EMPLOYEES

 

Keep up the good work – and thank you

 

As many of you will now know, the Commission has decided to replace me as the TTC’s Chief General Manager.

 

I am proud to have been part of the TTC for almost 37 years, most recently as its CGM. Each day you and your colleagues provide excellent, safe and courteous service to our 1.6 million daily customers. People are passionate about public transit in Toronto; that healthy passion will continue as the TTC improves and expands. Toronto is blessed with an excellent transit system and I thank you for your hard work.

 

There are times when situations arise that are outside of our control. But the one thing we always have control over is how we respond to those situations. I ask that you respond to all of this by doing what you all do so well – by continuing your professionalism and delivering the safe, courteous service that our customers expect and deserve.

 

The Commission has asked Andy Byford to continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, which includes the role of deputy CGM, while a search for a permanent Chief General Manager is undertaken. Please show Andy the same support you have shown me as he continues his excellent work around strengthening the TTC.

 

Thank you again for all of your support and the kind words so many of you have shared with me.

 

Gary Webster

Who is Andy Byford?

- February 21st, 2012

Toronto Sun---From Remote-- (5- _ 005_TorLevy18 _ Toronto Sun columnist Sue Ann Levy is talking

Expect to see a lot of “I (heart) Gary Webster” buttons at the TTC meeting today where commissioners will likely vote to axe the current chief general manager (Toronto Sun file photo)

I know what you’re thinking … who is Andy Byford and where can you buy the “I (heart) Andy Byford” button?

As the Sun reported Tuesday (story here), a majority of TTC commissioners not including TTC chair Karen Stintz will move this afternoon to axe chief general manager Gary Webster and appoint Byford as his interim replacement.

So who is Andy Byford?

The man likely to be named as Webster’s replacement climbed on board the Red Rocket late last fall. Right now, he’s the deputy chief general manager and chief operating officer of the TTC’s operations branch.

Byford was appointed as chief operating officer on September 7 and started with the TTC in November.

Andy Byford

This is Andy Byford (photo from TTC website)

Before the TTC, Byford worked in Sydney, Australia, as chief operating officer for Rail Corporation New South Wales. He’s also worked in the U.K. as a general manager at the London Underground.

In an article in the Coupler (the TTC’s internal newsletter) last fall, Byford’s appointment was heralded by Webster.

“We are very pleased that Andy will be joining us here in Toronto,” Webster was quoted as saying at the time. “His breadth of international experience in both Sydney and the U.K. will allow us to continue to make gains in safety, customer service and the quality of service we provide to our customers on a daily basis.”

“As we prepare for a challenging year with both our Operating and Capital Budgets, Andy will be a valuable asset in assisting us in meeting our budget targets and expectations for improved service.”