Not even 24 hours after Albany officially passed a MTA rescue bill, a shakeup at the often criticized agency has taken place. MTA CEO/Executive Director Elliot Sander has resigned. His resignation will take effect on May 22nd. Lets take a look at the official statement from Mr. Sander released by the MTA via e-mail:
It has been a great honor to lead the 70,000 hard-working men and women who run the world’s greatest public transportation system. I am tremendously proud of our accomplishments making the M.T.A. a leaner, more efficient and effective organization. Each of the M.T.A.’s agencies is performing at peak levels, the relationship with our employees is dramatically improved and we communicate more frequently with our customers.
The integration of the M.T.A.’s three bus companies, the merging of back office functions across 7 agencies and the introduction of line general managers on the subway system will save the M.T.A. millions and improve the agency’s performance. New innovations like rider report cards, text message alerts and Select Bus Service have improved the customer experience. There is more work to be done, but I leave confident knowing the M.T.A. is headed in the right direction.
I am grateful to Governor Paterson and Governor Spitzer for this wonderful opportunity. I wish Governor Paterson the best of luck in choosing a successor who will build on the progress the M.T.A. has made over the past two and a half years.
Now lets take a look at a report by the New York Times’ William Neuman:
The chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Thursday that he was resigning to give Gov. David A. Paterson the chance to take the authority in “a different direction.” The chief executive, Elliot G. Sander, submitted his resignation on the same day that Mr. Paterson signed into law a financial rescue package for the authority.
The rescue package also included a series of reforms meant to make the authority more accountable, including a change to combine the positions of chairman and chief executive.
That gives Mr. Paterson the chance to clear the rails at the authority and put his own imprint on it.
Mr. Sander’s resignation is to take effect May 22. The new law states that Mr. Hemmerdinger’s term, which would normally have lasted until 2011, will expire in 30 days.
The governor may then appoint a new chairman — or reappoint Mr. Hemmerdinger. The new chairman will also be chief executive, making him more powerful than either Mr. Sander or Mr. Hemmerdinger have been.
Mr. Sander said that he told the governor’s aides several weeks ago that when the new law passed he would offer to resign. He met with a top aide to Mr. Paterson on Thursday.
Click here for the complete report.
This is truly a sad day in the world of mass transit in our region. In the short amount of time Elliot was on the job, it was clear he had a vision & more importantly a plan to improve & grow our mass transit system. Considering what he was giving to work with, I felt he did a tremendous job.
My feelings on this remain just as strong as they were back in March when talk of his days being numbered were in full force. I stand by feelings 100% that the likely replacement will be a huge step backwards for the agency. However should I be surprised by asinine MTA related decision by Albany? They have shown for decades how clueless they truly are. This is just another example in a rich tradition of the wrong kind.
Elliot Sander, thank you for your quality service & know that you will be missed.
xoxo Transit Blogger