June 20, 2014
Two New Members Join MTA Board
NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Metro-North Commuter Council’s Neal Zuckerman
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that two new members are joining the MTA Board. New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will assume the seat formerly occupied by former New York City Budget Director Mark Page. Neal Zuckerman of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council will take the non-voting seat formerly occupied by the Council’s Jim Blair.
Trottenberg and Zuckerman were confirmed to their positions today by the New York Senate after being nominated recently by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Trottenberg had been recommended to Governor Cuomo by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Zuckerman had been recommended by the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council to the MTA. The Senate today also re-confirmed two existing Board members, Andrew Albert and Ira Greenberg.
“Polly Trottenberg and I already have a great working relationship through her leadership of the New York City Department of Transportation,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “I am delighted that we’ll be able to build upon and further strengthen that relationship through her new role on our Board. I have the utmost respect for the work of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Council to the MTA and its constituent organizations including the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council. In that vein, I welcome Neal Zuckerman to our board and look forward to working with him on a more regular basis going forward. I thank both Commissioners Page and Blair for their long service to New Yorkers through their service on our Board.”
“I thank Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo and the NY State Senate for entrusting me with this role on the MTA’s executive board,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As one of the Mayor’s representatives, I pledge that the City and the MTA will be strong partners in providing safe and essential transit services to the millions of people who ride the system every day. New Yorkers rely on the MTA to provide access to jobs and opportunity and our transit network is fundamental to the economic vitality of the City and the region.”
“The MTA’s heritage includes a great deal of high quality customer service and efficiency, but last year’s difficulties with Metro-North have given us pause,” said Neal Zuckerman. “I am proud to join the MTA Board to help management and my fellow board members, from the perspective of a commuter, reach resolutions to some of the difficulties that have been become a focus recently.”
Polly Trottenberg was sworn in as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation on January 27, 2014. Responsible for one of the largest portfolios of any municipal agency, NYCDOT provides for the safe, efficient and sustainable movement of people and goods throughout the five boroughs.
With an annual operating budget of $900 million and a five-year $6.3 billion capital program, NYCDOT’s assets cover more than 25 percent of New York City’s land area. Every day, 4,500 skilled and dedicated agency employees meet the challenge of maintaining a state of good repair for 6,000 miles of the world’s busiest streets and highways, one million street signs, 315,000 street lights and 12,700 signalized intersections. Together with operating the Staten Island Ferry, the nation’s busiest commuter ferry service, and managing 789 bridges, including the iconic East River Bridges, NYCDOT upholds and enhances the transportation infrastructure crucial to the city’s economic vitality and quality of life.
With NYCDOT serving as one of the lead agencies in implementing Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, Trottenberg’s priorities include establishing policies and programs to dramatically reduce traffic fatalities and injuries and continue the effort to make New York's streets the safest in the country. Trottenberg is also focused on improving public space and transportation options, including Select Bus Service and cycling, in underserved neighborhoods so that all New Yorkers have access to jobs, education and opportunities to improve their daily lives.
Trottenberg’s 22 years of government experience include over four years at USDOT, most recently as the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, where she developed key initiatives for the Obama Administration, including the groundbreaking TIGER discretionary grant program. In 2008, Trottenberg was named as the first Executive Director of Building America’s Future, a non-profit organization that advocates for increased investment in infrastructure and major transportation policy reform. During her 12 years on Capitol Hill, Trottenberg served with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Barbara Boxer. Prior to her work in Congress, Trottenberg also served at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Trottenberg holds a B.A. in History from Barnard College and an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government and lives in Brooklyn.
Neal Zuckerman is a Partner and Managing Director in the New York office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and advisor on business strategy with 81 offices in 45 countries. Neal’s professional advisory work is centered on media and entertainment companies, with a particular focus on supporting the transformation of media companies into sustainable, digitally-oriented businesses through growth strategies, business development and large-scale change. Prior to BCG, Zuckerman served in related roles at Time Warner and McKinsey & Company.
Zuckerman is a resident of Garrison, NY (the station from which he commutes on Metro-North), and was appointed as Putnam County's representative to the Metro North Railroad Commuter Council (MNRCC) in 2010 by Governor Paterson and nominated by then County Executive Bob Bondi. The Metro North Railroad Commuter Council, an arm of the Permanent Citizens' Advisory Council to the MTA, is a statutory entity that serves as a source of timely advice to the MTA about its finance, operations, management, planning and service. In addition to his role on the MNRCC, Zuckerman serves in a variety of community-based roles, to include as a member of the Philipstown Planning Board, a Trustee of the Desmond-Fish Library, and a former President and Trustee of the Putnam County Historical Society. He is also the former chair of the New York Public Radio Community Board of Advisors.
Prior to his business career, Zuckerman was a Captain in the U.S. Army, having served as a helicopter pilot and in various staff roles. He holds a B.S. in History from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
The Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council was created by the New York State Legislature in 1981 to represent the official voice of Metro-North riders. It’s eleven volunteer members are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, and Rockland County Executives, and the Bronx Borough President.
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.