Cuomo Picks Political Brawler to Head MTA

Posted in October 24th, 2011
no comments

New York State Governor Mario Cuomo’s new pick to head the City’s worn-out and peeling Mass Transit Authority may lack experience with mass transit, but he certainly knows how to do politics.

Joseph Lhota, the new nominee, is a former banker; he also served as deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani. Lhota is the veteran of many political battles, from the 1999 scuffle over offensive art in public museums, to tough negotiations with public employee unions. His predecessor, Jay Waldman, was widely seen as an extremely competent transport administrator who did much to make New York City’s transit system more efficient, user-friendly and economically viable.

However, there had been a number of bureaucratic confrontations at the state house and elsewhere that frustrated Mr. Waldman, a man not used to navigating the political landscape. Governor Cuomo is widely believed to have chosen Joseph Lhota precisely because he would be more suited for these battles.

New York, ever more crowded, has for years been grappling with decisions about taxing auto traffic, legislating roll off dumpsters, balancing cars against cyclists and pedestrians, and regulating truck deliveries such as NYC auto transport.

UAT wishes the new MTA chief the best of luck in managing one of the world’s most complex transport systems. Hopefully, none of his decisions will force NYC auto transport rates to increase.