Phillip Eng Named as Long Island Rail Road President

MTA Long Island Rail Road is welcoming its next president: transportation veteran Phillip Eng. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Joseph J. Lhota and MTA Managing Director Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim announced his appointment on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Eng first joined the MTA in March 2017 when he was appointed Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for leading major initiatives across all of the MTA’s agencies with a focus on innovation and technology while maintaining and improving safety and reliability. Modernization of the transportation systems became a key focal point during his time as COO to improve customer service with the development of new fare payment systems, mobile ticketing apps, technology integration, and procurement of new rolling stock and buses. Finding efficiencies and opportunities to streamline functions, Eng also was an integral part in the delivery of MTA’s 2015-2019 $29.5 billion Capital Program.

From October 2017 to January 2018, Eng concurrently held the position of Acting President at New York City Transit.

“Phil has shown exceptional leadership and dedication during his time at the MTA, and I know he will bring his enthusiasm for developing a world-class transportation system to the LIRR,” Lhota said. “With 35 years of experience in the New York transportation sector, I couldn’t imagine anyone better suited for this position at this crucial time as we work toward creating a robust future for the commuter rail.”

“Phil is a true professional in the field of transportation who has impressed all of us at the MTA since he came aboard,” said Hakim. “He has the ability to quickly assess any challenging situation and find a workable solution. We look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Eng succeeds Patrick Nowakowski, who served as LIRR president for nearly four years.

Eng’s appointment comes at an exciting and important time for the LIRR, as billions of dollars in key infrastructure programs are currently underway and expected to be delivered over the next several years. The Double Track Project, which will add a second track to the Ronkonkoma Branch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale, is slated for completion later this year. Work has begun on the LIRR Expansion Project, which will bring a third track to the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, while crews continue to make progress on the East Side Access project. Eng will oversee the implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), unveiled last month, which is aimed at improving service reliability, seasonal preparedness and customer communications.

“My life’s work has centered on conceptualizing the best possible options to make transportation options more reliable, allowing commuters to get where they need to go safely and quickly. I am honored to be chosen to lead the LIRR and its team of talented women and men as we work together to make the daily experience on the trains a better one. The transformational infrastructure projects that are underway, along with the implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan, will make a lasting impact on the region’s quality of life and economy,” Eng said.

Before joining the MTA, Eng started his career in public service at New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in 1983 as a Junior Engineer. He gained expertise while working his way up from Construction Supervisor, to Director of Operations, to Regional Director of the Department’s New York City office and Chief Engineer, until his final post there as Executive Deputy Commissioner. His leadership focused on all aspects of the Department including: engineering, operations and capital planning, where he was also directly responsible for the delivery of the Department’s $2.5 billion annual capital construction program. During his tenure there, Eng played an integral role on significant projects such as the I-81 Environmental Impact Study (EIS), LIRR Mainline Expansion Project EIS, Rochester Station and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge.

A graduate of Cooper Union, Eng earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree and is a licensed professional engineer in New York State, and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Eng was born and raised on Long Island. He grew up in Williston Park, moved to Mineola as his first residence, and now resides in Smithtown with his wife, Carole, and their two sons and twin daughters. “My home stations have been East Williston, Mineola and Smithtown now,” he said.