MTA Press Releases

Press Release
December 17, 2019
NYC Transit Announces 7 Winners of New Quarterly Awards to Recognize Employees Who Embody Fast Forward Plan’s Guiding Principles

Newly Instituted ‘On the Spot’ Awards Encourage Transit Leadership to Celebrate All Acts of Exemplary Service

Photos from the Ceremony are Available Here

MTA New York City Transit today announced seven employees were recognized for embodying the six guiding principles of the Fast Forward plan to improve subway and bus service as part of Transit’s new “On the Spot” awards given by senior management who witness the employees’ exemplary service. The awards’ slogan, “If you see something, do something,” play off the MTA’s world-famous, trademarked “If you see something, say something” safety campaign by encouraging managers to embrace spontaneous acts of employee recognition.

“Our employees keep New York City Transit running, and their service is felt by millions of customers who use our subways and buses daily,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford. “Our employees deserve more recognition for the hard work they do every day, which is why I encourage all my managers that if they see great work in progress, we should acknowledge and celebrate it immediately.”

Empowering and engaging employees is one of the Fast Forward plan’s four pillars, and included the creation of NYC Transit’s Chief People Officer position to ensure that employees receive support on the job. The quarterly “On the Spot” awards, newly instituted by President Byford this year, recognize Transit workers who embody one or more of the plan’s six guiding principles: safety, customer service, teamwork, leadership, accountability, and diversity and inclusion.  Senior managers are issued “On the Spot” cards to distribute spontaneously to non-managerial employees who demonstrate the agency’s highest ideals.

The inaugural “On the Spot” awards were given to 23 NYC Transit employees from myriad departments and responsibilities at a breakfast ceremony in July 2019. This quarter’s winners were honored at a breakfast on Dec. 13 hosted by President Byford and Chief People Officer Deb Prato at MTA headquarters in lower Manhattan, where employees were feted by the senior manager who issued the spontaneous commendation. The honorees, who are listed below, were given a special citation and commemorative Transit pin for the occasion:  





Michael Byfield
Jonathan Fleming

Assistant train dispatcher
Train dispatcher

Customer Service/Teamwork: They worked together to identify and reunite a customer with a bag she left on a 1 train. The bag contained new school uniforms for the customer’s son. The customer, who is a special education teacher, was so appreciative that she brought donuts for the two employees.

Tom-Jones DeLeon


Leadership: Tom-Jones (also known as TJ) helped ease the managerial transition of Transit’s automated announcement system upon the retirement of the superintendent who had overseen it.

Roshaun Jones


Customer Service: Roshaun gave informative, clear announcements and travel information to customers during an elevator outage while remaining professional and cheerful.

Jeffrey Kurian

Computer associate

Leadership/Teamwork: Jeffrey’s timely and thorough analyses and presentation of subway operational data help managers make critical operational decisions and time-sensitive reports to the National Transit Database and the Federal Transit Administration.

David Pagan

Station agent

Customer Service and Diversity and Inclusion: David’s energy and professional courtesy elevate the customer service he provides to one of the busiest stations in the subway system, 34 St-Penn Station, that is also the first point of entry to New York City for many visitors arriving by commuter rail or Amtrak.

Bram Weiser

Computer specialist

Teamwork: Bram’s thorough review of documents and data help managers make critical decisions on issues including labor reporting, compliance and lost time from employee accidents.


The “On the Spot” awards complements another new employee award created as part of Fast Forward’s employee recognition pillar. Transit held its first bi-annual awards on Nov. 22, 2019, honoring 85 employees from among 135 who were nominated by peer colleagues or managers. The winners of the bi-annual awards are chosen for consistent, longstanding service to the agency by a special committee comprising President Byford and senior Transit leadership. The list of honorees from the November ceremony is available here.