Mayor Adams Suggests Deputy Mayor Joshi And City Planning Director Garodnick For MTA Board Roles

February 8, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the recommendation of Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi and New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) Director and City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Dan Garodnick.

Recommended to serve on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board — showcasing his commitment to providing New Yorkers with a safe, reliable, and accessible public transportation system by appointing two longtime supporters of public transit to the MTA Board. Currently overseeing the Adams administration’s transportation and infrastructure portfolio, Deputy Mayor Joshi spearheads the administration’s street safety work — which helped make 2023 New York City’s second-safest year for pedestrians since Vision Zero began in 2014 — while also creating vibrant public spaces in all five boroughs and preparing the city for congestion pricing. Director Garodnick leads the city’s land use priorities, including neighborhood plans in every borough and three citywide zoning text amendments focusing on the environment, economic development, and housing. All MTA board nominations are subject to New York State Senate confirmation.

“Deputy Mayor Joshi and Director Garodnick are the perfect people to help secure the MTA’s future and deliver a world-class, safe, reliable, and accessible transportation system to all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “New York City’s transit system is our backbone, and once confirmed to the MTA Board, Deputy Mayor Joshi and Director Garodnick will help ensure our backbone is stronger than ever. We want to thank Governor Hochul and our partners at the MTA for their collaboration on moving our city forward.”

“Perhaps nothing impacts the smooth operations of New York more than its public transit system; it is the backbone around which our economy functions and our identity as New Yorkers is built. Supporting the MTA’s fiscal and operational wellbeing through this moment of transition would be a great honor and privilege,” said Deputy Mayor Joshi. “From delivering needed upgrades to effectively operationalizing congestion pricing, I am committed to faithfully serving the people of New York as a member of the MTA’s Board of Directors. I am deeply grateful for Mayor Adams’ nomination and look forward to the State Senate’s review.”

“Our mass transit system is the lifeblood of New York City and our entire region. I’m honored to be recommended by Mayor Adams to this important role, and I will work every day to deliver the safe and reliable transit system that New Yorkers rely on and deserve,” said DCP Director Garodnick. “Transportation is a critical part of smart planning and land use, and this is a tremendous opportunity to advance even stronger housing, job, and transit efforts in the years to come.”

Over his two years in office, Mayor Adams has prioritized making the city’s transit system safe, reliable, and accessible. Mayor Adams launched the Subway Safety Plan to address public safety concerns and support people experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness on New York City’s subways almost two years ago. Additionally, last year, Mayor Adams and New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced an agreement to baseline $75 million in funding for Fair Fares — which provides discounted Metro Cards to low-income New Yorkers — in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. This milestone marked the first time the city guaranteed annual funding for Fair Fares, and this year, Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams increased the baseline to $95 million while adding another $11 million to provide free MetroCards to Summer Youth Employment Program participants. Additionally, the administration has partnered with the MTA to invest in transit-oriented development, including a joint $500 million investment in accessibility, public realm upgrades, and more around the Broadway Junction station in East Brooklyn.

Meera Joshi

Meera Joshi is the deputy mayor for operations, overseeing New York City’s infrastructure, public realm, and climate portfolio. Every day, her teams work to expand the city’s open, green, and aquatic space; reduce New York City’s building and transportation emissions, as well as its waste stream; and protect New Yorkers from the ever-mounting threats from excessive heat and rainwater.

Prior to joining the Adams administration, Joshi was President Joe Biden’s nominee for administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency responsible for regulation of interstate trucking.  In this role, she led initiatives aimed at improving roadway safety, the working conditions of truck drivers, and accountability mechanisms to integrate automation. Joshi was previously chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission — the nation’s largest for-hire transportation regulator — where she spearheaded Vision Zero campaigns, keeping high risk drivers and unsafe vehicles off the road. She led landmark policy changes, including establishing robust open transportation data standards, enacting the nation’s first for-hire driver pay protection program, and providing broad and on-demand access to for-hire transportation for passengers who use wheelchairs.  

In addition to her roles in transportation oversight, Joshi was previously the inspector general for the New York City Department of Correction, responsible for investigations of corruption and criminality at all levels of New York City’s jail operations between 2002 and 2008; and the first deputy executive director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, leading investigations of civilian allegations of police misconduct. 

Joshi holds both a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dan Garodnick

A life-long New Yorker, Dan Garodnick is the director of the New York City Department of City Planning and chair of the City Planning Commission. In this role, Garodnick spearheads the city’s land use priorities, including neighborhood plans in every borough and three citywide zoning text amendments focusing on the environment, economic development, and housing.

He previously served as a lawyer, not-for profit executive, and 12-year member of the New York City Council. As a member of the City Council representing the East Side of Manhattan, Garodnick chaired the Planning and Economic Development Committees and served as a member of the Land Use, Education, and Transportation Committees. He authored and passed over 50 laws, including tax relief for small businesses, a right for tenants to sue a landlord for harassment, an expanded TransitCheck program, a biotech tax credit, transparency in the use of economic development incentives, the city’s first “green” energy code, and various good government reforms.

Garodnick has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

“Deputy Mayor Joshi and City Planning Chair Garodnick will be outstanding representatives of the city on the MTA board, bringing a wealth of knowledge about the city’s evolving infrastructure needs and ensuring close cooperation between City Hall and the leaders of the transit system upon which we all depend,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“I applaud the mayor’s choices for the MTA board in Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi and Planning Chair Dan Garodnick. They are both extremely qualified, dedicated public servants who I have had the pleasure of working with over many years,” said Carl Weisbrod, senior advisor, HR&A Advisors and former chair, New York City Planning Commission. “I am confident both will do exceptional work to strengthen one of our city’s most important and unifying resources — its public transit system.”

“We are thrilled at the recommendation of Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi and City Planning Chair Dan Garodnick to the board of the MTA,” said Tom Wright, president & CEO, Regional Plan Association. “They are both dedicated and outstanding public servants who will bring important perspectives and expertise to the MTA board. Especially at this critical time, when the MTA is on the cusp of implementing congestion pricing and developing a new five-year capital plan, Deputy Mayor Joshi and Chair Garodnick will play a vital role representing the city’s interests and helping the MTA navigate this delicate moment. We commend Mayor Adams on these excellent recommendations and fully support their confirmation.”

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