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Governor Cuomo appoints a commission to seek a new head of the MTA

On August 8th New York Governor Cuomo, faced with the announced departure of current Chairman Jay Walder in October, appointed a 20-member Commission tasked to help with the selection of a replacement.  According to the Cuomo press release, “This committee will help conduct a national and international search to find and recommend the most talented candidates for the next chairman of the MTA.  I am committed to appointing a new chairman who will put straphangers first and who will continue to reform the MTA by reducing costs and waste, while improving efficiency and service.”

The PCAC is very pleased that among the appointees is its former Executive Director, Beverly Dolinsky.  She served the PCAC for 25 years.  When she took this position in 1981, the first MTA capital program (1982-1986) was being created.  Over the years she guided the rider Councils through many challenging periods.  Her knowledge and experience will be of great value in the discussions.

PCAC was also encouraged to see other known supporters of MTA with substantial transportation expertise in the member mix:  rider advocate Gene Russianoff, Senior Attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign;  Mortimer Downey, former Deputy Secretary at US Department of Transportation and Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of the MTA;  Mitchell Moss, Director, Rudin Center for Transportation;  Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York and Chairman of the MTA;  and Robert Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association, a strong proponent of public transportation.

While an executive search and recruitment firm, Krauthamer & Associates, has been retained to assist in the process, it seems unlikely that a permanent replacement can be found by the time that Chairman Jay Walder leaves on October 21st.