Today’s Headlines

  • Glenn

    If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said that Paterson was actually on our side in the transit funding debate. But now I realize that he is not a strong transit advocate. I’m now officially open to voting for another candidate for Governor in the primary.

    Lee Sander was arguably the best President of the MTA since its founding. People may not realize all the minor improvements, but the basic operations of the MTA have improved considerably in my estimation. Example #1 is the rational approach to servicing the large number of fans leaving Shea/Citifield after a ballgame over the last two seasons.

  • Only in Albany would “reform” include the consolidation of the CEO and Chairman titles. In the corporate world, the opposite happens, so the Chairman can lead the board in independently monitoring the job the CEO is doing (see Ken Lewis and Bank of America, et al).

    I can hardly wait to see which “reformer” Paterson appoints to head the MTA.

  • gecko

    RE: More on Lee Sander’s Departure From MTA Top Job (NYT, News, Post, NY1)

    Curious that bicycles were never concidered part of MTA’s master plan and a serious shortcoming.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Having massively overpaid for construction in the boom, over-running every project not worrying about because it was all borrowed money, the city and MTA are about to slash capital spending in the bust, when the construction industry needs the work and they are bankrupt.

    Again.

    http://newyork.construction.com/features/archive/2009/05_F4_StalledProjects.asp

    “The BTEA’s Coletti says as the projects continue to fall like dominoes, the industry won’t really begin to feel the effects until the region’s largest jobs – the ones still going forward – are completed.”

    “The trades are not feeling it yet, because there are still some jobs, such as the stadiums and the Bank of America building, finishing up,” he says. “I keep telling them to get ahead of the curve. When those jobs finish up, there is no other work to move to.”

    I made this point from the inside and on the outside — the work should have stopped when the prices got out of hand. Having the FTA push to hurry up and spend before the prices goes down didn’t help.

  • Kudos to Arthur Chien of Channel 11 PIX News, who treated Sander with the respect he deserved in last night’s report.

  • Why do they perennially hire real estate mavens into this role? I don’t see what they bring to the table. Hiring real estate developers to run transport networks seems as incongruous as hiring someone from Amazon to run the treasury department. While it is true that real estate has an alignment with transport networks (and real estate is part of the MTA’s purview) we need professional experts with a direct stake in things. “learning on the job” for something like a transport network is rather amateur, no? awfully reminiscent of how the conservatives governed britain prior to the 1960s…

  • I think some justification for hiring real estate execs is that they have financial management experience. But the real reason is that they pay a lot of the taxes that fund the MTA, and transit drives development, so they want their say in how the taxes are used to shape the environment they work in.

    We got a good example of this when the Hemmerdinger family built the Atlas Park Mall in a transit-inaccessible part of Queens, then realized that they needed buses to bring people to the mall. Dale Hemmerdinger was appointed chair of the MTA board, and then the buses were rerouted to serve the mall.

    Of course, real estate tycoons don’t have the best financial sense (see Kalikow and the recent massive borrowing spree), and they don’t always have the interests of the transit riding public at heart (see the #7 subway extension). But Pataki and Spitzer had their priorities.

  • Just seeing the green community in action makes me confident of the future! Think of how far green building products have come and how far they will go in the future!   http://sabinesgreenproducts.com