Photo Courtesy of Marc Hermann/MTA
The Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Group is tasked with making recommendations on strategies to improve and fund public transit in the New York City region.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota on Friday announced their appointments to the Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Group.
The panel was established under the 2018-2019 State Budget and tasked with making recommendations on strategies to improve and fund public transit in the New York City region.
Cuomo has appointed Kathryn Wylde and Rhonda Herman to serve on the group. Wylde is president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, NYC’s leading business organization. Prior to taking over the partnership presidency in 2001, Wylde was the founding CEO of both the partnership’s housing and investment fund affiliates. The Brooklyn resident serves on a number of boards and advisory groups, including the City Economic Development Corporation, the Fund for Public Schools, Manhattan Institute, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and the Governor’s NYC Regional Economic Development Council and his Fix NYC panel.
Rhonda Herman has served on the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council since 2008. The White Plains resident has worked at the Internal Revenue Service since 1982, and she has held various management positions in Information Systems, Small Business Self Employed and the Wage & Investment divisions. She was a Girl Scout Troop Leader for 12 years and co-president of the White Plains High School Parent-Teacher Association. She now serves as co-chairwoman of the Senior PTA Scholarship Recognition Program.
Lhota has appointed Fernando Ferrer to the panel. Ferrer has served as vice chairman of the MTA Board since 2011, and has also served as acting chairman of the board twice. In 2016, the Bronx native was appointed by Cuomo to serve on the Board of Trustees of City University of New York for a term ending in 2023. In addition, he is co-chairman at Mercury, a public strategy firm. He also serves as a director of Sterling Bancorp and Sterling National Bank.
Ferrer served in the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987 and was Bronx Borough President from 1987 through 2001. And in 2005, Ferrer became the first Latino to win the Democratic Party nomination for New York City mayor.
The appointments were announced a day after the transit advocacy organization Riders Alliance fired off a letter to Cuomo, demanding that he assemble the Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Group by Aug. 15.
“The longer we wait, the more modernization will cost us and the more we and our 8.5 million fellow daily riders will suffer needlessly,” RA leaders wrote. “The time to act is now. We are counting on your leadership to get the job done.