Paterson Picks London Transit Official to Lead MTA

07.15.09 Will Sherman

mta_600Governor Paterson’s pick as new chairman of the MTA could bode well for the cash-strapped authority, not to mention getting rid of the swipe. Nominee Jay Walder previously worked for the MTA in the 80s and 90s, helping lead the authority out of a smaller financial black hole, and more recently with Transport for London. There he’s credited with straightening out the transit system’s funding mess, “put[ing] together a five-year, £10bn investment in the city’s London Underground, bus and road systems,” helped implement London’s congestion pricing system and launched the no-swipe Oyster card.

But as transit advocate Gene Russianoff points out, Walder is “taking on being the head of the M.T.A. at the time when its finances are the worst they’ve been in at least a quarter of a century.” Plus, the State Senate will have to confirm the nomination, and they’re not rushing to make it happen. |NYT|

Photo by Ozier Muhammad/NYT