A former federal railroad official who served in President Obama’s administration has been appointed to lead New York City’s beleaguered transit agency and it’s nearly 50,000 employees.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority appointed Sarah E. Feinberg as interim president of the transit system Tuesday, according to an email from the MTA.
Feinberg, who currently is the MTA Transit committee chair and served as Federal Railroad Administrator under President Barack Obama, will begin her new role March 9.
“We’re thrilled to have Chair Feinberg lead New York City Transit at this important time in the MTA’s history,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye.
Feinberg takes over the troubled public transit system following the resignation of Andy Byford, a British executive with experience in transit systems all over the world.
In his resignation letter, Byford said a planned structural reorganization at the MTA would diminish his role as president to focusing only on day-to-day operations. His last day was Friday.
Feinberg served in the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2010 as special assistant to the president and senior advisor to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. She also served as the chief of staff for the Department of Transportation, where she provided advice and counsel to the secretary of transportation and helped lead and direct the agency and its more than 57,000 employees, the MTA said in the email.
Feinberg also previously served on the Amtrak Board of Directors, and currently serves on the StoryCorps Board of Directors and the NHP Foundation Board of Directors. Feinberg is a native of Charleston, West Virginia, and she and her family reside in New York City.
The MTA will conduct a search for a permanent replacement.