The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that Iris Weinshall will join the MTA Board effective July 1, assuming the seat currently occupied by Mark D. Lebow.
Weinshall was confirmed to the position today by the New York Senate after being recently nominated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. She had been recommended to Governor Cuomo by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Iris Weinshall brings to the MTA Board a depth of experience in infrastructure maintenance and upgrading and transportation management and policy that will be of tremendous benefit to us we continue to strive to make improvements to everything we do,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “We will benefit from her expertise, and we are looking forward to welcoming her into her new role on the MTA Board starting next month.”
Iris Weinshall served as New York City Transportation Commissioner from September 2000 to January 2007. She is currently Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management at The City University of New York, where she is responsible for the University’s award-winning design and planning initiatives and a five-year capital construction budget of more than $3 billion for 23 colleges and University professional schools.
As CUNY Vice Chancellor, Weinshall is responsible for physical plant maintenance and operations, facilities planning, and capital programs; planning, negotiating, and implementing capital construction and rehabilitation programs in consultation with a broad range of constituencies including the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and the City University Construction Fund; and monitoring and providing technical assistance and support to the campuses for the operation and utilization of the 26-million-square-foot, 300-building CUNY plant.
As New York City Transportation Commissioner, Weinshall supervised a $5 billion capital program that included the construction of the widely-praised Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Under her leadership, the NYC DOT consolidated its offices at 55 Water Street in lower Manhattan and launched a major program to rehabilitate and maintain the city’s huge network of bridges and roadways, including the nearly $3 billion rehabilitation of the city’s East River Bridges. Ms. Weinshall implemented programs to improve traffic flow and upgrade the city’s infrastructure, while making the city's streets and sidewalks safer for millions of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
Ms. Weinshall was appointed Special Transportation Advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2003, with responsibility for shaping the city’s transportation strategy. Mayor Bloomberg also named her to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. During Commissioner Weinshall’s tenure, pedestrian fatalities in New York fell to their lowest level since 1910. The THRU Streets Program, implemented in 2003 by Commissioner Weinshall and Mayor Bloomberg to enhance traffic flow in Midtown Manhattan, has reduced cross-town travel times by 25% and increased vehicle speeds by 33%. In addition, DOT filled a record 260,000 potholes in 2005 and was able to respond to pothole complaints reported to the city's 311 line in four days, on average.
Ms. Weinshall graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College, and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2000, she was named Alumna of the Year by the Brooklyn College Alumni Association, the group's highest honor, in recognition of her commitment to the betterment of the community through her many professional and civic achievements.
About the MTA Board
The MTA Board is comprised of 23 members. Seventeen voting members cast 14 votes, and six members are non-voting. All members, including the Chairman, are nominated by the Governor of the State of New York and confirmed by the New York State Senate. Before being nominated, four of the voting members are recommended by the Mayor of the City of New York and seven are recommended by the executives of the seven suburban counties in New York State that are served by the MTA. The six non-voting members are recommended by organizations that represent organized labor or MTA customers.