MTA CEO Lee Sander is stepping down from his post, just a day after the state legislature approved a major bailout of the authority. WNYC's Mathew Schuerman has more.
REPORTER: It's unclear just how much Sander is being pushed out and how much he's graciously stepping aside to let Governor Paterson name his own MTA chief. (See statement below.) The 53-year-old Sander was appointed by Paterson's predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, two years ago. Sander's widely respected by transportation experts, mainly because he was one of them. He worked in transportation for more than 30 years, in both the public and private sectors. But this morning, Paterson said he wanted a leadership change at the authority. While he didn't blame Sander specifically, he said the debate over the rescue plan made clear that the public lacked trust in the MTA. The resignation becomes effective May 22nd. No replacement has been named.
MTA Statement Re: Resignation of CEO Elliot G. Sander
Governor Paterson today accepted the resignation of MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Sander. Mr. Sander offered his resignation to the Governor earlier this year in anticipation of yesterday's passage of legislation that joins the Chairman and CEO positions at the MTA. Mr. Sander's resignation is effective May 22, 2009, ending a tenure that began January 1, 2007.
MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander said: "It has been a great honor to lead the 70,000 hard-working men and women who run the world's greatest public transportation system. I am tremendously proud of our accomplishments making the MTA a leaner, more efficient and effective organization. Each of the MTA's agencies is performing at peak levels, the relationship with our employees is dramatically improved and we communicate more frequently with our customers. The integration of the MTA's three bus companies, the merging of back office functions across 7 agencies and the introduction of line general managers on the subway system will save the MTA millions and improve the agency's performance. New innovations like rider report cards, text message alerts and Select Bus Service have improved the customer experience. There is more work to be done, but I leave confident knowing the MTA is headed in the right direction. I am grateful to Governor Paterson and Governor Spitzer for this wonderful opportunity. I wish Governor Paterson the best of luck in choosing a successor who will build on the progress the MTA has made over the past two and a half years."