‘Collaboration is the best way forward,’ New York transit authority official says

Profiles in Power highlights public officials nationwide who are improving their communities through their dedication, enthusiasm, creativity, and experience.

This week’s profile is Jamie Torres-Springer, president of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Construction & Development.

Public career highlights and education: I’ve spent most of my career working directly for government or working with public agencies while in the private sector. Since rejoining public service in 2018, I’ve focused on improving capital project delivery in New York by running New York City’s Department of Design and Construction. In my current role as president of MTA’s Construction & Development agency, I am responsible for delivering the $55 billion capital plan for the region’s subways, buses, commuter railroads, bridges and tunnels.

What I like best about public service: Making a real impact on communities. Public transportation is essential for making the region more equitable and sustainable. At MTA Construction & Development, we maintain, improve and expand the system for all New Yorkers so they can connect with their loved ones, get to their school or job, and access the culture and attractions of the city. Delivering a world-class Capital Program helps make all of that possible.

The best advice I’ve received: “Collaboration is the best way forward.” Whether working with consultants and contractors, community groups or my colleagues at public agencies, meaningful partnerships have always brought about the best outcomes.

People might be interested to know that: MTA C&D has saved more than $1 billion over the last two years. We are proud to be good stewards of public dollars and are focused on finding ways to deliver our capital projects better, faster and cheaper. With that aim in mind, we negotiated procurements below estimated budget, reduced cost of insurance and support services and improved internal processes to make deploying our resources even more efficient.

One thing I wish more people knew about the MTA’s Capital Program: It’s not just big, flashy expansion projects. Though projects like extending the Second Avenue Subway to East Harlem and Penn Station Access tend to get the most attention, more than 80% of our current Capital Program is dedicated to core infrastructure like signal modernization, ADA accessibility, and track replacement.

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