Sander Picked for MTA Director

sander.gifAs expected, word came out of Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer’s headquarters this morning that he will recommend the appointment of Elliot "Lee" Sander as executive director and CEO of the MTA. Sander is currently corporate senior vice president at DMJM Harris, a leading transportation engineering firm and director of the Rudin Center for Transporation Policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Other Spitzer picks: 

Anthony Ernest Shorris, executive director of the Port Authority. Was senior policy adviser to Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign and of the transition office. Since 2003, he was director of Princeton University’s Policy Research Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Pat Foye, downstate co-chair of ESDC. There will be an upstate co-chair based in Buffalo, Spitzer said. Foye is president and CEO of United Way of Long Island and deputy chairman of the Long Island Power Authority.

Avi Schick, downstate chief operating officer and president of ESDC. He is currently a deputy attorney general and has been with Spitzer in that office since 1999.

The Observer carries the full press release.

  • NICHOLAS CASALE

    December 15, 2006 – Governor-elect Elliot Spitzer selected Elliot Sander, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, to head the Metropolitan Transportation Authority today. Mr. Casale, THE Metropolitan transportation Authority deputy director of security for counterterrorism said, “I applaud Mr. Spitzer’s selection and I’m confident that Mr. Sander will put the M.T.A. back on track.

    Mr. Casale said, “I’m asking the new leadership to revisit the $212 million emergency Lockheed Martin security contract, which is $80 million over budget and behind schedule, and review the agency’s renovation at 2 Broadway, which originally was expected to cost $39 million and is now $400 million over budget and six years behind schedule.”

    Mr. Casale added, “Exposing corruption at M.T.A. reveals a world of mismanagement, favoritism and graft not normally seen in government. I wish Mr. Sanders success and ask that he address these issues.”

  • ABG

    Okay, I remember when Lee Sander shut down the bike path on the Queensboro Bridge for years and wouldn’t listen to bike/ped advocates. Is that all, well, water under the bridge?

  • ABG

    After a little more research, it seems that most of the anti-cyclist actions on the Queensboro Bridge were taken by Chris Lynn. Maybe Sander was a brief gleam of hope in between windshield-perspective commissioners. I guess we’ll see. Time to resurrect plans for the Verrazano bike/ped path?

  • Willaim J. Mills

    Thank the Heavens, a wonderful decision, and my compliments to the governor. I am a Union Delegate at Metro North,and deeply appreciate the course of action. If support is neeeded please contact me. Good luck to Mr. Sanders and all our commuters

  • JK

    Sander was friendly to advocates during his two year tenure at NYC DOT, and he personally intervened to overcome obstacles to bike/ped projects built. His appointment is welcome by advocates, many of whom have worked closely with him in the Empire State Transportation Alliance.

    This said, Sander and the MTA face truly immense fiscal problems, a massive debt, and a mayor and state legislature who have steadily cut operating assistance for fifteen years. It’s very hard to imagine the VZ bike path will be a priority.

  • ABG

    Good to know; thanks, John.

  • Wayne Bonfiglio

    As a Transit worker who rides the LIRR from Long Island to Jamaica and previously Penn Station. I would like people to know including Mr. Snader if he could address the situation – that each branch of the MTA is not permitted to let the others ride for free. I pay a couple of hundred a month for my monthly LIR ticket and to save some money I now get off at Jamaica instead of Penn Station which loese more time. Mean while other persons I have been told – some get free rides and others don’t. And meanwhile LIRR people, especially Metro-North people, even Amtrak, NJ transit, and Port Authority expect free rides.

  • Steve

    Wayne, there are pros and cons to expanding free ride privilege across branches of the MTA. First of all, from the perspective of the MTA workforce as a whole, some may value the free riding privilege while others may want the cash equivalent in their pocket. so that issue would have to work its way theirgh the internal union decision-making process. From the perspective of the general ridership, granting braoder free rider privileges might appear at first blush be a good thing, because it increases ridership, but I suspect that the MTA would not count the employee free riders the same way they count paying customers. As a result, 10,000 added monthly trips by MTA employee free riders on NYC Transit would not necessarily result in the same increment of service increases or improvements as 10,000 added monthly trips by new paying patrons. So expanding employee free ridership in the way you suggest could result in more crowding without any correspnding benefits. Which is not to say I would not necessarily support the unions representing MTA employees if they chose to bargain for the expanded access, but I don’t see this as an issue for the general ridership to take up.

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