Following in the footsteps of previous MTA President Tom Prendergast, Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim is an excellent choice as interim executive director. She is an even better one to serve as the next permanent MTA president.
As current New York City Transit President, she runs the nations largest bus and subway system.
This positions her head and shoulder above any potential rival to be the ideal candidate for runnning the nation’s largest public transit system — the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Previously, she served as Special Counsel at NYC Transit as well as Executive Vice President and President. As General Counsel at the MTA Capital Construction, she worked on mega projects such as the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and the #7 subway extension to Hudson Yards.
She has served as the Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT, the nation’s second largest transit agency. She also served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
While working for both the MTA and New Jersey Transit, she never promised what could not be delivered.
As they say in Brooklyn, her word was her bond. This gave her excellent credibility with other major funding agencies such as the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration.
The MTA is heavily dependent upon US DOT FTA for $6 billion and more toward funding the $27 billion 2015 – 2019 Five Year Capital Program.
She makes an excellent advocate for annual formula and potentially billions more in future federal discretionary dollars. The MTA could not find a better permanent leader. She has the experience to hit the ground running on behalf of commuters and taxpayers.
(Larry Penner is a transportation historians and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.)