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Peter Kalilow Leaving MTA

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Peter Kalilow Leaving MTA Reply with quote

New York CityChairman leaving MTA
Some say Peter Kalikow's power was weakened after Spitzer named a new executive director

May 8, 2007

Signaling a changing of the guard at the top of the country's largest mass transit system, Peter S. Kalikow announced yesterday his long-expected resignation as chairman of the MTA.

"Make no mistake about it, this is one tough job," Kalikow told reporters at the Park Avenue headquarters of his real estate development firm. "There is no job that I can think of that has such an enormous impact on the daily life of so many people."

Kalikow has served as head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which controls the city subway system and the Long Island and Metro-North railroads, since 2001.

He will remain in the position until Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who oversees the agency, appoints a replacement in the next few weeks.

Observers say Kalikow's power has been on the wane since January, when Spitzer appointed Elliot G. Sander as MTA's executive director and chief executive.

"Most people view the transition at this point as already having taken place," said Jonathan Orcutt, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group. "The model of having a rich guy who doesn't need to be paid heading the MTA will probably go by the wayside."

Kalikow won praise for a capital improvement project that included the purchase of 4,400 new subway cars, progress on the new Second Avenue subway line and the planned extension of the No. 7 line to the West Side.

He also weathered tough times during the December 2005 transit strike, which halted subway and bus service in the city for nearly three days and cost the city nearly $1 billion.

Riders were not expected to see any immediate changes to the running of the agency. But when asked about the possibility of subway and bus fare hikes, Sander said: "It is still a real possibility."

Kalikow said the advice he has given Sander both privately and publicly is to "raise fares only as a last resort, but do not keep the fares artificially low."

The transit workers union declined to comment on the resignation.
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