Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced on Monday that City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez will lead the city's Department of Transportation. Rodriguez, who has represented Upper Manhattan and chaired the Council's transportation committee, will be the city's first Latino transportation commissioner.

Adams did not originally plan to reveal Rodriguez as his transportation pick today, choosing to focus on the appointment of five new deputy mayors, including Lorraine Grillo as first deputy mayor. However, the NY Post reported that Rodriguez was likely going to be the next DOT commissioner, accelerating the news to be officially confirmed.

In a press statement that also announced Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk would remain the head of the TLC, Adams said, "Our city’s transportation system faces major challenges, from surging traffic fatalities to increased congestion on our streets. We need proven leaders who are ready to roll up their sleeves on Day 1 and address these issues, with a focus on making transit more equitable and efficient for all New Yorkers. I know Ydanis Rodriguez and Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk are up to the challenge, and I look forward to working with them to keep our city moving forward."

Rodriguez has been a loyal supporter of Adams during his mayoral campaign, frequently seen rallying crowds before debates earlier this year.

As a council member and as the council's transportation committee chair, Rodriguez has been a staunch supporter of Vision Zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio's initiative to reduce traffic-related deaths to zero. He has previously said the city must do more to work with prosecutors to charge drivers involved in collisions that injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists; pushed legislation to identify overcrowded sidewalks and address ways to reduce their congestion; and proposed ways to reduce single-occupancy vehicles.

Rodriguez has also pushed for more equity in the city's transportation options, both economic, like with Fair Fares, and geographic, with expanding Citi Bike to underserved neighborhoods. He has hailed the 181st Street busway as a project that could be replicated elsewhere.

“I thank Mayor-elect Adams for the opportunity to serve as the next New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner. I will work with the rest of my colleagues in the administration, the City Council, advocates, and the private and academic sectors, to carry on our vision of turning New York City into the most pedestrian and cyclist-friendly city in the nation,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “As the next DOT Commissioner, I am proud to soon be working alongside the many men and women in the agency who have been committed to improving the safety of our streets. I will continue looking for innovative ways to reduce our reliance on carbon-emitting vehicles and in its place build a City that prioritizes sustainability and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists."

Adams said earlier this year that he will be the city's first true bike-riding mayor, telling reporters in October, "You're going to see me on my bike all the time riding to and from City Hall in a real way."

Danny Harris, executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, praised the appointment, saying it was "a strong sign from Mayor-elect Eric Adams that he intends to make safe, equitable streets a priority in his administration. Rodriguez has been a powerful advocate for safe streets in every borough of New York City. As chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee for eight years, Rodriguez joined with crash victims and their loved ones to call for life-saving safety investments and advanced bold, forward-thinking legislation, such as the Streets Master Plan, which requires the DOT to build hundreds of miles of protected bus lanes, bike lanes and pedestrian space, the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program — to curtail the most reckless drivers — and a new law vastly expanding DOT’s role in crash investigations."

The NYC Department of Transportation says it has over 5,500 employees with an annual operating budget of $1.1 billion and a 10-year $19.7 billion capital program—plus "6,300 miles of streets and highways, over 12,000 miles of sidewalk, and nearly 800 bridges and tunnels, including the iconic East River bridges" and " one million street signs, 13,250 signalized intersections, over 315,000 street lights, and over 350 million linear feet of markings."

The Adams administration takes office on January 1st, 2022.