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Former MTA Head Says NY's Infrastructure Was 'Terrible'

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The former head of the MTA told reporters on the first day of his new job that New York's transit system was cash-strapped and crumbling when he took it over three years ago.

"New York, when I arrived there, was in a financial crisis," Jay Walder, who left the MTA in October to run Hong Kong's well-funded rail system, said on Tuesday. "The system simply did not have enough money to continue to operate. The assets were not being renewed. And the infrastructure was in terrible condition."

He added: "What I did was to be able to right that financial basis and to be able to put the system back on firm financial footing."

Walder, who took over in 2009,  presided over some of the most severe cuts to the city's transit system in a generation, ending dozens of bus lines, shutting down two train lines, ending weekend bus service in some areas and making trains noticeably less frequent. He also eliminated 3,500 jobs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Walder's management Thursday, and said the MTA has started to make some improvements. He also said the agency is in good hands with Joseph Lhota, Jay Walder's successor.

Lhota's confirmation hearing is coming up Monday in Albany.

To hear Jay Walder's comments to the Hong Kong media, go here.

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Comments [2]

Donna Pasquini from Coeymans

You should live in Town of Coeymans,ALBANY County,where sewer lines and storm sewer are running in to each other and storm sewer is collapsing and causing damage to home owner's and town is doing nothing to help home owner's.Water lines are old and need repair breaking constantly. Highways need repair badly but money is taken away from the highway budget every year until they can hardly function. Welcome to upstate New York.

Jan. 06 2012 12:57 AM
John H from Croton, New York

The state of New York needs someone like this for Verizon. Their infrastruction is a disaster. Lead cable left in the field and hanging down everywhere. And they have many many many utlilties poles up that are waiting for upgrades and change-over to the new utility poles. Some for 3 to 4 years now.
I live in upper Westchester and have complained for years and nothing is done about it. This is a non-money making thing and they refuse to do anything about it.

Jan. 05 2012 10:10 PM

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