MTA gets First Female Interim Executive Director

2016 wrapped up successfully for the MTA and their former CEO and Chairman, Tom Prendergast. Two successes, namely, were the construction of the Second Avenue Subway and the tentative contract agreement with the TWU Local 100. Now, with a new year and new posts to fill, the nation’s largest transportation system will see their first female Interim Executive Director, Veronique Hakim.

Veronique Hakim has been appointed to the leading position from Governor Cuomo. Hakim has close to 30 years of experience with public transportation, not just at the MTA but also with New Jersey Turnpike Authority and New Jersey Transit. She served as Executive Director of the NJTA in 2010 and was named to lead the NJT in 2014. This is no small feat, considering NJ Transit is the largest statewide public transit system in the nation. Hakim had a hand in integrating the MetroCard into the subway systems along with leading several large construction projects as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In handling the MTA’s multibillion-dollar construction program, not only did she oversee the creation of the Second Avenue Subway Station, but also the LIRR East Side Access and the Number 7 Subway Extension. She is also currently the President of New York City Transit, a position Prendergast was in before he was Chairman and CEO of the MTA. In an article on TheCheifLeader.com, Governor Cuomo gives his praise. “Ronnie Hakim is ready to embrace the challenge of running the nation’s largest transportation network during this transition,” Mr. ­Cuomo said in a statement. “She is a true transportation professional who has dedicated her life to improving the commute for millions of New Yorkers, and I am confident that in this new role she will continue doing that as we reimagine and modernize the MTA for the 21st century.”, Cuomo said to The Chief Leader.

Please see the article linked below for further information.

Cuomo Gives Hakim Shot To Take Helm at MTA

 

 

Transportation Workers Protection Act announced

New York, on both the state and city levels, has been hard at work reforming employee protections. Recently, City officials have been proposing legislation to protect construction workers. The effort has received wide support from other City officials and the Buildings and Construction Trade Council of Greater New York. The individuals supporting the bill also felt some push-back from the NYC Housing Authority.

Now the same effort has been introduced to the transportation sector. Recent measures have been made by Governor Cuomo to protect employees of airports. Similar to the bill mentioned above for construction workers, this piece of legislation also stresses preparedness and protocol for emergency response personnel so they can carry out their duties more efficiently. The proposed bill, to be titled the Transportation Workers Protection Act, will specifically include airport workers in the list of protected employees. An article, linked below, on WorkersCompensation.com, states, “Under current law, on-the-job assaults against transit employees – including bus operators, train operators, ticket inspectors, and conductors – are considered Class D felonies. However, current law does not specifically include airport workers in this category of transit employees. This new law will remove any ambiguity and explicitly include airport workers among those whom an assault against would result in increased penalties.”

The plan to draft the legislation was announced on January 25th by Governor Cuomo with the company of Hector Figueroa, President of Airport Workers’ Union 32JB.

NY Gov Announces Legislation to Protect Workers at NY Airports