On Thursday, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman/CEO Jay H. Walder informed Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his intention to resign effective Oct. 21, 2011. Walder will be joining the MTR Corp. in Hong Kong as CEO and a member of the board of directors.
"I want to thank Governor Cuomo and former Governor Paterson for the honor of serving the people of New York State," Walder said. "The MTA's transportation system is the foundation of the metropolitan region and we are fortunate to have thousands of dedicated men and women who work so hard to provide these critically important transportation services to millions of people each and every day. I believe that we have accomplished quite a lot in a short period, with the support of two Governors, the Mayor, a hard-working board and many others."
Walder joined the MTA in October 2009, and in less than two years, led an unprecedented overhaul of how the MTA operates, bringing fiscal stability and advancing a series of projects that are improving the daily experience of the MTA's 8.5 million riders.
Under the banner of "Making Every Dollar Count," Walder introduced efficiency measures that are expected to yield $3.8 billion in cumulative savings by 2014. The effort focused on streamlining the MTA's seven companies, consolidating functions and eliminating redundancies. In the face of a fiscal crisis, contracts were renegotiated with suppliers, healthcare arrangements were rebid and administrative costs were reduced across the board.
At the same time, Walder drove a customer service agenda that showed customers a new vision for 21st century transit service even as costs were reduced. Countdown clocks were activated at more than 150 stations, security cameras were brought online, a new user-friendly website was introduced, an all-electronic tolling pilot was launched, and new smart card technology was tested and is moving forward for the entire transportation system.
The introduction of Select Bus Service on the busiest bus route in the country - along with bus-lane enforcement cameras - demonstrated the promise of the MTA's bus system. Real-time bus information debuted in Brooklyn and will reach Staten Island by the end of the year.
"In challenging times, we brought stability and credibility to the MTA by making every dollar count, by delivering long overdue improvements and by refusing to settle for business as usual," Walder said.
The MTR operates commuter rail in Hong Kong and intercity rail services from Hong Kong to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong in China. The MTR is also building new rail lines in Hong Kong and China. In addition, the MTR operates rail systems in London, Stockholm and Melbourne and provides rail consultancy services in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.