A New Name Surfaces For The MTA’s Top Job

The MTA as a whole has been through the ringer for the last few months. The main issue they had to deal with was the increasing debt that was crippling their finances & almost led to doomsday fare hikes & service cuts. However as we know now, Albany saved us from doomsday (their story but my readers know the truth!) but with consequences.

The major consequence was the demand that the position of Board Chairman & CEO/Executive Director be merged into one. This demand led to the resignation of CEO/Executive Director Elliot Sander & pretty much secured the future exit of Board Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger.

Eventually the MTA named Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Helena Williams the interim CEO/Executive Director. While this was occurring, speculation was high that Gov. Paterson would name former CEO Marc Shaw to take over the new position. However a new name has surfaced according to a report in the New York Daily News. The name in question is Jay Walder who happened to be the main person responsible for drafting the transportation plans for London’s successful 2012 Olympics bid. Pete Donohue has more:

A leading candidate to run the MTA has emerged: a finance expert who helped draft London’s transportation plans for its successful bid to host the Olympics.

Management consultant Jay Walder is on track to get the newly-merged position of chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, sources told the Daily News Friday.

An official announcement could be days away, sources said. An appointment by Gov. Paterson would need to be confirmed by the state Senate.

Former MTA chief executive Elliot Sander stepped down in May after Paterson said he wanted to install new leadership at the nation’s largest mass transit system.

A spokesman for Paterson didn’t return messages for comment.

Click here for the complete report.

I am not sure how to take this report. Many will argue that the MTA needs some fresh blood to help bring the agency through these troubling times. I can somewhat understand this mentality & why many feel this way. On the other hand, I feel that some of the newer blood such as Elliot Sander & Helena Williams have done & continue to do a good job with the hand they were dealt.

I feel that Helena deserves serious consideration for the post as the credentials are there & so are the results due to the LIRR improvement under her watch. Is this really the time to bring in a complete outsider & start over yet again? This was already done with Elliot & he was run out of town by the clueless idiots in Albany. If I was Mr. Walder, would I even want this job?

Overall this decision is severely important to the future of the MTA & its riders. The right choice has to be made & for the right reasons. Will Gov. Paterson do what is best for the agency & its riding public or will his decision be politically motivated? Based on his term so far, I am not counting on the end result being the former & that is a crying shame.

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[…] report which indicated finance expert Jay Walder seemed to be Gov. Paterson’s top choice to run the beleaguered transit agency. In a followup story, Pete Donohue talks about how Gov. Paterson is expected to officially nominate […]

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