Profiling NYC Transit's New President—Starting the Job Just Days Before a Global Crisis

Sarah Feinberg took over as the interim president of New York City Transit on March 2, 2020. In May 2020, Feinberg rides the subway to a deserted office to begin the work of bringing public transit back from an unprecedented crisis.

1 minute read

May 27, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


New York Subway Coronvairus

Kevin Benckendorf / Shutterstock

Irin Camron writes a profile of Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of the New York City Transit Authority, who took over from Andy Byford just a few days before the state of New York entered a state of emergency due to the pandemic. 

New York Transit employees have been particularly affected by Covid-19, writes Camron, and anti-urban pundits have been predicting the demise of the MTA since the outbreak took a turn for the worse in March.

As of this writing, at least 123 transit workers have died of COVID-19; facing financial ruin, the state-run MTA is panhandling in Washington for its survival; anyone who has a choice is avoiding public transportation, and Feinberg is managing the fallout from an unprecedented overnight closure and cleaning of the trains. 

Feinberg, faced with the task of digging New York Transit out of this unprecedented crisis, is still riding the subway to work on the 30th floor of 2 Broadway. The article documents Feinberg's route to the position—via Washington, D.C. and the Obama administration, as well as a board position with the MTA—and the ongoing work of protecting MTA workers and riders amidst a public health emergency.

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