Rick Leary to be next TTC CEO, city's transit chair confirms

The TTC has picked Rick Leary as its next CEO, according to TTC chair Josh Colle.

Transit experts say Leary will have to face several challenges as the new CEO

Rick Leary was selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants for the transit agency's top job. (TTC)

The TTC has picked Rick Leary as its next CEO, according to TTC chair Josh Colle. 

Leary has been the acting CEO since Andy Byford left to become president of the New York City Transit Authority in January 2018. 

Transit experts say Leary will have to face several challenges as the new CEO, including decoding the subway plans of new Ontario Premier Doug Ford, providing strong leadership at the city council level and handling all of the day-to-day issues of the TTC.

Leary received board's unanimous support 

Colle confirmed the selection Tuesday, saying the board voted for Leary unanimously at their closed session that morning. 

He called Leary a "fantastic choice."

During the same meeting, Mayor John Tory told Leary "You're a capable, competent, dedicated person." 

Previously, Colle told CBC Toronto there were hundreds of applicants from around the world for the role, which has an expected salary of up to roughly $350,000.

Frank Grimaldi, President of Amalgamated Transit Union representing 11,000 TTC workers, released a statement on Tuesday congratulating Leary. 

"Our union looks forward to working with the new TTC CEO to resolve outstanding issues that are important to hardworking transit workers, such as health and safety, protecting wages and benefits, expanding service for riders and keeping all aspects of Toronto's transit system in public hands."

Before being picked as CEO, Leary worked as the general manager for York Region Transit where he was responsible for the day-to-day delivery of services including buses to transit enforcement. 

In the 80s, Leary worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston as its chief operating officer.

A police car is stopped as traffic moves along the street during the second day of the King Street Transit Pilot involving citys streetcars on Monday, November 13, 2017. (Doug Ives/Canadian Press)

With files from Moses Monterroza and Lauren Pelley