Replacing Walder at the M.T.A. 'Puts the Governor On the Hook'

Matt Chaban notes that no matter who Governor Cuomo picks to replace Jay Walder as head of the M.T.A., there will invariably be a downside for the new governor.

Basically, he’ll own the M.T.A.


Still, transit advocates and straphanging pols are hitching their train to the governor, either out of desperation or legitimate belief that he could transform the M.T.A. in ways that have been talked about but rarely acted upon. “It puts the governor on the hook,” Mr. Russianoff said. “It will be his pick running the agency, and he will be accountable for what happens to the M.T.A.”

There are few greater political liabilities than the M.T.A., which is why the Cuomo administration has held it at arm’s length for so long. Even with Mr. Walder in place, he could keep this up for only so long, but now, unable to point to a Paterson appointee calling the shots, the responsibility will be his all the more.