As the MTA’s new leadership acclimates to a bad economy and the rigors of heading a much-beleaguered organization, the old bosses are settling into new transit-oriented gigs.
For former New York City Transit President Howard Roberts, that new gig will take him to an office a mile or so north of the MTA’s 2 Broadway headquarters. He has joined Sam Schwartz Engineering, the transit consulting firm headed by Gridlock Sam, as a vice president. “Howard will be at the helm of providing quality transit consulting services to our clients all over the world. His experience is truly one-of-a-kind,” Schwartz said.
While Roberts settles in there, former MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot Sander has found himself a plum transit and planning position. Currently the group chief executive for global transportation at AECOM, he’ll also be the new head of the Regional Plan Association for the next three years. He is replacing outgoing Chair Peter Herman.
“We are delighted to have Lee’s leadership and expertise in shaping public policy and investments in the metropolitan region,” RPA President Bob Yaro said. “I can think of no better person who understands the challenges we face and possesses the skills to set a bold agenda for both RPA and the region. Lee will also provide the leadership we need for RPA’s America 2050 program, which is preparing national infrastructure and development strategies, including plans for America’s emerging High-speed rail system.”
For Sander, a policy expert who inherited the MTA as a bad time, the RPA position is perfectly suited for his abilities. He won’t need to be the politician he needed to be while heading the MTA and devote his energies toward promoting the RPA’s planning and transportation advocacy. “RPA has always been allied with my fundamental belief that the region’s economic health is centered around our ability to move people and goods efficiently and sustaining the region’s livability.” Sander said. “I look forward to leading this distinguished organization in a new capacity as we forge a path for recovery and livability here and across the country.”