Home Asides MTA bus division head calls it a career

MTA bus division head calls it a career

by Benjamin Kabak

Joseph Smith, Transit’s current senior vice president of the Department of Buses and the president of MTA Bus and Long Island Bus, will retire at the end of the year, the MTA announced in a press release this afternoon. Smith has been with the MTA for 33 years and started his career in 1977 as a bus operator out of the Amsterdam Depot. He was responsible for the consolidation of the MTA’s three bus divisions, a move credited with saving the authority $86 million in 2009.

“Joe exemplifies the hard work, dedication and innovation that exists throughout the MTA,” MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder said. “He learned the system from behind the wheel of a bus and took those lessons to create a more efficient, effective and environmentally friendly bus company. Joe has been the driving force behind continuing improvements in our bus system and he will be sorely missed.”

In the release noting Smith’s retirement, the MTA touts progress made on his watch. MTA buses are now fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and, with the advent of Select Bus Service, faster. The authority will begin a search to fill the position, and the person they find should, among other tasks, be ready to bring real-time bus-tracking technology to the MTA’s bus fleet.

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SEAN October 28, 2010 - 7:19 pm

Had the chance to talk to Joe Smith at a BRT confreence in New Rochelle a few years ago. He really semes to know his stuff reguarding transit. Also met Kate Sleven & Veronica Vanterpool from TSTC while there. Two incrediblely smart & charming women to say the least.

BrooklynBus October 28, 2010 - 8:39 pm

Great, just when I find someone who is cooperative and actually cares, he decides to retire. He was answering all my e-mails in fifteen minutes and set up a meeting to solve problems I was having.

Signal Watcher October 28, 2010 - 9:18 pm

MTA is obviously conspiring against you. You know they don’t like you. Why do you bother? Here they got your hopes up, only to have them horribly destroyed.

BrooklynBus October 29, 2010 - 8:47 am

Don’t be funny. I’ve never had a problem with the operating people. I’ve always found them knowledgeable and well-intentioned. The problem is middle and upper management who also are well-intentioned but don’t have a clue how the system operates on its nuts and bolts level, and I’m not speaking about mechanical operation.

If they don’t like me would they send six people to meet with me like they did the other day? Would they do that for you? One of the problems has already been solved and they promised to work on the others. I have every faith that they will do whatever is in their power. Unfortunately, they don’t have final say in many matters.

Compare that response to middle and upper management who either deny that the problem exists, or else continually provide contradictory and circular reasoning and usually can’t justify their logic.

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