Why New York Enticed Translink Chief

The Tyee

By Chris Keam

When Translink CEO Tom Prendergast starts running NYC’s transit system, he’ll have a visionary ally in Janette Sadik-Khan.

Translink’s challenges are once again in the spotlight, with a damning ministry report preceded by last week’s announcement that CEO Tom Prendergast is leaving Vancouver to become the president of New York City Transit. The reasons for Prendergast’s decision, rumored and official, include Translink troubles and Big Apple opportunities. But one largely unmentioned reality that surely played a role in Prendergast’s decision is the powerful compatriot he will have in Janette Sadik-Khan.

Sadik-Khan is New York City’s Department of Transportation commissioner. She’s spearheading an ambitious reboot of New York’s transportation priorities, with the goal of putting pedestrian, bike, and transit improvements in the fast lane. And she and Prendergast have worked together in both the public and private sectors for over twenty years.

In Vancouver on Monday, Oct. 20th Sadik-Khan addressed a Translink cycling strategy workshop, speaking to a capacity crowd at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. Her speech featured a vision of New York City re-imagined for the twenty-first century, where cars literally yield road space to pedestrians, cyclists, and buses — taking lanes and entire streets away from cars and putting them to new uses.



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