The new head to run the city’s subways and buses, as The Post predicted a couple of weeks back, is Howard Roberts, a transportation consultant who once supervised the man who will now supervise him: Elliot (Lee) Sander, MTA chief executive and executive director.
The two worked together in New York City Transit’s surface transportation division in the mid-1990’s, Mr. Roberts as the division’s chief operating officer and Mr. Sander as head of the Manhattan bus department.
Full release after the jump.
– Matthew Schuerman
MTA Picks Howard Roberts to Head NYC Transit
West Point Grad Returns to Run City’s Subways and Buses
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced the appointment of Howard H. Roberts, Jr., as President of MTA New York City Transit (NYCT). Roberts previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Pennsylvania’s SEPTA transit system and returns to NYCT more than twenty years after serving as its vice president for surface transit. Most recently a transportation consultant, Roberts served in the U.S. Army from 1961-1981, with assignments ranging from the White House to the rice paddies of South Vietnam. Roberts graduated sixth in his class at West Point and holds masters degrees in public affairs and engineering from Princeton University.
“We interviewed many exceptional candidates from around the world and within the MTA family, but Howard’s experience, leadership and management style made him the clear choice,” said Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO. “I have seen Howard’s unique ability to lead people first hand and expect great things from NYC Transit under his leadership.”
Roberts served in positions of leadership at NYCT from 1981-1986, first as Finance and Administration Vice President (June 1981 – April 1983) and then as Surface Transit Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (April 1983 – September 1986). Roberts joined the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in 1989, where he served as Deputy General Manager until January 1997. In that role Roberts was responsible for managing all operations and overseeing construction for the fourth largest regional transportation system in the country.
Roberts starts in his new role on Wednesday, April 11, leading an agency that employs 47,000 employees and moves 7 million riders each weekday. He replaces Lawrence Reuter, who served as president of NYCT from March 1996 to February 2007. Millard “Butch” Seay oversaw the agency as Acting President since Reuter’s departure in February and will now resume his duties as Senior Vice President of the Department of Buses.
“Butch stepped in at a critical time and did a terrific job overseeing Transit during this transition,” Sander said. “Butch and all of the men and women at NYC Transit deserve tremendous credit for not only keeping the system running but also implementing a number of new initiatives to better serve our customers.”
Roberts’ initial priorities for NYCT include safety, security and improvements in customer service and labor relations.