A conversation with Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner

In this episode of the Connected Places Podcast Professor Greg Clark speaks to Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner about his ambitious plans for Transport for London (TfL).

We’ll be exploring where the opportunities lie for innovation in how we imagine, design and operate the transport systems of tomorrow? What’s the role of a public transport authority in managing the post-COVID economic recovery? What now for urban mobility in London and how can other UK cities learn from overseas? 

Andy Byford is the Transport Commissioner for London and he leads the capital’s transport authority, TfL. Before joining TfL, he was the CEO of the New York Transit Authority where he was responsible for 50,000 staff and an investment budget of USD$40bn. He was also the Chief Executive of the City of Toronto’s Transit Commission, and he ran the Rail Corporation of New South Wales in Australia. He began his career in uniform as a station foreman on the London Underground. 

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

Show notes

Conversation topics/themes: 

  • Exploring what is world class when it comes to urban transport systems; the key differences and similarities between the four global cities Andy has worked in. 
  • The most critical areas where technology is disrupting and accelerating change in transport systems (i.e. micro-mobility, sharing economy, the customer experience of transport systems, the role of data in enhancing the reliability/predictability/maintenance). 
  • The future of public transport post-COVID: how will the dynamics of movement in cities change; what role will public transport play in adapting to those changes; and how will it integrate other kinds of mobility options (cycling/walking). 
  • How public transport systems most need to innovate in the next cycle of development – technological innovations, behavioural, financial, and organisational. 
  • Hopes and aspirations for London in the years ahead; Andy’s key areas of focus as Commissioner in creating success in the future?
  • Lessons learned from London and cities around the world which might be needed in other UK cities, both growing ones and ones that are still finding their feet. 
  • TfL’s reputation for fostering innovation, particularly around open data. What innovators and entrepreneurs should expect from TfL as a convenor and catalyst of innovation in mobility; the kind of partner TfL aspires to be in the future. 
  • The culture change Andy most wants to see achieved within TfL as a diverse organisation. 

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