Statement on Gov. Cuomo’s Nomination of Joe Lhota to Head MTA

TSTC executive director Kate Slevin issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Cuomo’s nomination of Joseph Lhota to head the MTA:

Lhota.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign welcomes the opportunity to work with Joseph Lhota as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the MTA on our shared goals of fiscal stability and transportation progress for the agency.

Many challenges exist for the nation’s largest transit agency, such as:

  • Ensuring dedicated taxes for transit, such as the payroll tax, remain intact and are not diverted to non-transit uses;
  • Ensuring federal support for transit projects is not reduced;
  • Fully executing the remaining three years (2012-2014) of the MTA’s construction and rebuilding program;
  • The maintenance, and expansion, of service levels for the system’s subways, buses, and rails; and
  • Keeping fares affordable despite growing agency debt.

Ridership throughout the system is steady and rising. 41 million more people rode the subways in 2010 than in 2007. Metro-North ridership increased 5.8% over the past year. Commuters need transit now more than ever and are relying on a strong leader who will promote transit as the engine for regional economic growth.

We hope Mr. Lhota’s business acumen will help guide the agency towards more sound fiscal footing without compromising service and affordability for the system’s 8.5 million daily riders.  We also hope he will continue the innovative service improvements executed by his predecessor, including subway countdown clocks, rapid bus service, and nonstop tolling.

We urge the Senate to swiftly approve Governor Cuomo’s nomination for Chair/CEO of the MTA, Joseph Lhota.

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5 comments to Statement on Gov. Cuomo’s Nomination of Joe Lhota to Head MTA

  • [...] work cut out for them just to keep fares affordable and prevent the system from deteriorating. As summarized by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the challenges they face [...]

  • Jimmy

    Yes. This is a clear example of a well qualified individual being appointed to a position based on his expertise and experience. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Mr. Lhota was Executive Vice President of Cablevision in 2010, the year that Cablevision was the largest contributor to the campaign to elect Cuomo Governor. Much like the current Thruway Authority Chair, there can be no question as to ‘pay to play’ in this instance. Kudos to you, TSTC, for supporting this appointment.

  • Red

    If you were shrewder, Jimmy, it’d be obvious to you that this is not the most supportive statement.

  • Jimmy

    Red, you have a keen sense of irony. Kudos to you as well.

  • R Troy

    If we want to pick someone from out of a generally well hated company to take over a well hated agency, then Mr. Cuomo got it right. CV badly overcharges customers (IMHO), as does MTA. Though CV service is somewhat more reliable then LIRR.

    Another hack, instead of a bona fide transportation expert. I do wonder what Cuomo has earned from this abomination (oops, nomination). Cuomo is coming across to me as a strong arm and possibly super crooked governator who seems mainly interested in taking care of his rich friends. Sounds like his HUD days. While I thought his father’s only real talent was his flowery speachmaking, I tended to believe that he was honest. I’ve never thought that of the son, and this just reinforces that impression.

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