MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 22, 2019
MTA NYC Transit Introduces New Award Programs to Recognize Exemplary Employees

85 Transit Employees Honored by NYCT President Andy Byford and Top Transit Leaders at Awards Ceremony This Morning  

Click Here to See Photos from Ceremony

NYC Transit held its first bi-annual award ceremony today as part of President Andy Byford’s determination to engage, empower and inspire employees to contribute to the broader goals of the Fast Forward Plan: to improve service, accessibility, and corporate culture.  At the event at MTA headquarters, 85 Transit employees, chosen from a pool of 135 candidates and nominated by their colleagues, were recognized for their outstanding service to the agency. Recognition and appreciation flowed in both directions, with managers and directors nominating members of their teams, and team members nominating not just their peers but their managers and directors as well.

“Employee engagement and empowerment form the foundation of our success at New York City Transit,” said Andy Byford, New York City Transit President.  “They are pillars of our Fast Forward Plan. It’s our hardworking, dedicated employees, who go above and beyond what is expected of them every day, who keep New York running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  I am honored to recognize 85 of these employees today.”

A special committee, comprising Andy Byford and key members of NYC Transit’s leadership team, selected today’s winners based on guiding principles of: safety, customer service, teamwork, leadership, accountability, and diversity and inclusion.  

“Our winners today demonstrated the highest commitment to safety and customer service, working as one team across our agency to fulfill the priorities and foundations of the Fast Forward plan while keeping the city moving,” said Byford. “They lead by example, and set a tone of value and respect for different perspectives and cultures.”

President Byford has also instituted another new employee recognition program called On-the Spot AwardsOn-the-Spot Award Cards are issued to Senior Managers.  Managers distribute these awards, in real time in the field, to employees who demonstrate the highest ideals of NYCT.   In addition to the on-the-spot recognition by a manager, these employees are further recognized at special quarterly ceremonies.

Six of today’s winners received a special commendation, and were honored with outstanding service awards.  These winners include:

Martin Higgins, Computer Associate earned a special commendation for Safety. Mr. Martin initiated and developed several security awareness programs that have enhanced the safety and security of NYCT employees, customers and facilities.


Tenisha Sharpe, Assistant Train Dispatcher earned a special commendation for Leadership. Ms. Sharpe started at NYC Transit as conductor, realizing how many opportunities she could aspire to and wasted no time pursuing them, quickly rising through the ranks with tenacity and insight. 

Customer Service

Wanda Harris, Staff Analyst earned a special commendation for Customer Service. Ms. Harris is the sole point of communication with the families of deceased employees, working tirelessly to get the needs met for the families so that they can have peace of mind in their time of sorrow. 


Antony Greco, Train Service Supervisor earned a special commendation for Teamwork. Mr. Greco is known as the “go to” person when any of his colleagues have a question, taking new colleagues under his wing and showing them how to accomplish their tasks efficiently and safely.

Diversity and Inclusion

Robert Drinan, Senior Litigator earned a special commendation for Diversity and Inclusion.

Mr. Drinan has taken the lead   for the Law Department on numerous Transit initiatives to advance diversity and inclusion, including developing policies and procedures in alignment with the law and best practices relating to job applicants with criminal conviction histories and developing workplace guidance for transgender employees.


Karen Fernandez, Maintenance Supervisor earned a special commendation for Accountability. Ms. Fernandez has forged the way for women who are in a technical field to have a voice.  Recognized for being one of NYC Transit best troubleshooters, she makes decisive decisions with her team to ensure riders have functional equipment to use to enter the train system.