Following a 33-year career at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Joseph Smith, who currently heads the entire MTA bus operation as senior vice president of the Department of Buses for NYC Transit and president of MTA Bus and Long Island Bus, announced his retirement, effective December 31.
Smith began his career in 1977 as a bus operator at the Amsterdam Depot and rose through the ranks, eventually leading the historic consolidation of the MTA's three bus divisions.
Under his leadership, the operation of the MTA's three bus divisions was merged, saving more than $86 million in 2009 and improving service for the MTA's 2.8 million bus customers. Smith also increased the number of environmentally-friendly hybrid-electric buses along with easy-to-board low-floor buses.
Additionally, working closely with the New York City Department of Transportation and the NYPD, Smith developed the city's first Select Bus Service routes-the SBS Bx12 and SBS M15.
As the head of buses for the MTA, Smith oversaw an operation consisting of nearly 6,000 buses, 40 facilities stretching from Yonkers to Rockville Center, nearly 18,500 employees and 900 square miles of territory. Additionally, he has the responsibility of providing accessible transportation through the Access-A-Ride and Able Ride paratransit divisions of NYC Transit and Nassau County, respectively.
In a career marked by achievements, Smith improved his department's efficiency by recycling usable parts culled from buses being removed from service. So far, that program has saved the MTA more than $17 million.
The MTA will conduct a search to fill the position.