New M.T.A. Chief Talks of Need to ‘Restore’ Public Trust

ALBANY—Jay Walder, David Paterson's just-named designee to run the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is promising accountability.

"There's no question the taxpayer and the riding public need to understand, need to demonstrate, need to see and need to believe that they're getting value for the money in the way we operate the trains and the buses and the bridges and tunnels, in the way that we undertake the massive capital investments that are underway. And that has to be an immediate focus," he said at an event with the governor in New York.

The first several months of this year saw legislators squabble over a bailout for the authority, with many complaining about how opaquely it is run. Walder said the bailout would provide "short-term comfort" but that a long-term solution is needed.

He added:

"We must restore the public trust and confidence to this organization. We won't have the credibility to argue for the capital program that this system needs unless we restore the accountability of public trust and public confidence. I believe we can do that, I'm certain we can achieve that."

Walder will serve as both the chairman of the M.T.A.'s board and the authority's CEO. He replaces Lee Sander, who resigned just after the bailout was approved. Walder's appointment requires senate confirmation, but he is not seen as quite the lightning rod as some other people Paterson considered for the job.

New M.T.A. Chief Talks of Need to ‘Restore’ Public Trust