Governor David Paterson is expected to nominate Jay Walder to head the MTA. (Former executive director Eliot Sander resigned in May.) The Daily News calls him a "transit executive who has held high-level posts in London and New York" and City College's Robert Paaswell, director of the University Transportation Research Center at City College, says, "His knowledge of both the MTA and how to bring a large system well-planned into this century are without peer."
Walder worked for Transport for London between 2000 and 2006; when he left the agency (to join McKinsey as a consultant), London Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said, "Jay's work at TfL has broken the cycle of short-term, stop-start investment and means London's transport system faces the future in a much healthier state." The Telegraph notes his work included "put[ting] together a five-year, £10bn investment in the city's London Underground, bus and road systems."
The Daily News adds that Walder's stint with the MTA in the early 1980s included being "on a fare policy task force that did the groundwork for the MTA's termination of two-fare zones" while the Post reports that he "was the author of a recent report that called for the end of the swipe MetroCard, sources said yesterday. Walder told former MTA honcho Elliot Sander about several new ways that straphangers could buzz though turnstiles like cars though E-ZPass tolls." In London, Walder helped launch the Oyster card, a pay-as-you-go card which which commuters tap on pads.
Of course, the State Senate would need to confirm Walder. The Senate comes back from a four-day weekend, after five weeks of mostly doing nothing but fighting for power, tomorrow.