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Gov. Paterson To Name New Head Of MTA

FinanceManagement ChangeTransportationCorporate OfficersVehiclesGovernment

Gov. David A. Paterson is expected to name a new chairman and chief executive officer to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at noon Tuesday.

Jay Walder is will be put up for nomination as the MTA's new leader and may end up managing the nation's largest public transportation system.

The 48-year-old comes from Transport for London, where he served from 2000 to 2006 as its managing director of finance and planning. There, he introduced the Oystercard -- an E-ZPass-like smart card that links riders with their own account. He also was in charge of the transportation aspect of London's successful 2012 Olympic bid.

If Walder is appointed, there is speculation that he may introduce an Oystercard-like item that will uniformly link New York's subway, buses and trains, which currently asks commuters to use a combination of MetroCards, tickets and cash.

But Walder is no stranger to the MTA. His tenure there lasted from 1983 to 1995, where he began as an entry-level budget analyst and eventually became the executive director and chief financial officer. During this 12-year span, the subway system became graffiti-free and several stations were rebuilt. The MTA also invested in purchasing 2,500 new subway cars and rebuilding 3,500 existing cars. Walder was also on the committee that lead the MTA's elimination of two-fare zones.

Walder would take the place of former CEO and Executive Director Elliot Sander, who resigned from his post after a 28-month stint on May 22 -- one day after the New York State Senate passed a $2.3 financial rescue package for the MTA -- and current MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger.

Walder graduated from Harvard University with a masters in public policy with a specialization in finance. He also served as a professor for the school's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The New York State Senate, which recently reconvened after four weeks of a deadlock assembly, will have to approve Walder's appointment. The Senate will met Tuesday but will be on summer recess shortly.

Along with the expectation of a new leader, today, the MTA is set to announce each of its 36 subway lines will have a manager assigned to it. That person will act as CEO of their subway line and ensure, among other things, platform and car cleanliness as well as on-time arrivals and departures.

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