The Real Deal New York

Scott Rechler joining MTA board

He claims NYC transportation is at a "point of crisis"
June 20, 2017 05:01PM

Scott Rechler and the NYC subway (Credit: Metropolitan Transport Authority)

RXR Realty’s TRData LogoTINY Scott Rechler was named as a member on the 17-person Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.

Rechler, previously the vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was appointed to the board by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Crain’s reported. The governor recently warned that New York City commuters are facing a “summer of hell” with delays and repairs at Penn Station causing LIRR and New Jersey Transit trains to be out of service at peak hour.

“When the governor asked me to join the board, my inclination was, we’re at a point of crisis, and we all need to roll up our sleeves to make sure that New York remains economically competitive,” Rechler said, according to Crain’s. “This is sort of equivalent to what crime was in the city in the ’70s and ’80s. A day doesn’t go by that the subways and trains aren’t delayed meaningfully, that people miss or are late to job interviews, doctor appointments or school.”

Hours after Rechler was appointed to the board, his colleague at RXR Seth Pinsky told the audience at the LIC Summit 2017 that it took him nearly two hours to get from Brooklyn to Queens due to extensive signal problems at Herald Square.

Rechler did not refer to any specific changes he hopes to make as a board member, according to Crain’s, but suggested the increasing cost of overruns on capital projects is an area he wants to target.

Rechler sold his real estate investment trust Reckson Associates to SL Green Realty for $6 billion and formed RXR in 2007. He joined the Port Authority in 2011, and announced his departure in April last year.

In February, he floated the idea of breaking up the Port Authority as a possible solution to the agency’s problems, along with appointing an independent CEO and revamping its management structure. [Crain’s]Miriam Hall