By TLC Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus
I wanted to devote this article to a man who is a colleague and a friend, who has moved on from his long and distinguished service as a Board Member of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to the helm of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Elliot G. “Lee” Sander began his tenure with the TLC a decade ago, bringing with him a wealth of transportation knowledge, both operational and policy, forged in practice as a respected former transportation commissioner between 1994 and 1996. In addition to benefiting from his totally unique experience, he brought a palpable energy to the (unpaid) role of TLC Commission member, and was – without exception – always the first to volunteer to participate or lead analytical and other special projects. This, despite tremendous demands on his time as Director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU; and as Corporate Senior VP/Director of Strategic Development for the world-renowned transportation firm DMJM Harris.
In his years with the TLC, Lee saw and took part in the most significant regulatory changes and accomplishments ever undertaken, from the 17-point reform plan of 1998 to the prohibition of cell phones in 1999, and from our regulated industries’ recovery after the devastating effects of 9/11 to the fare increase of 2004. Lee’s wellspring of knowledge allowed us, as a body, to study the issues before us with an eye toward their impact, not only on the taxicab or for-hire vehicle industries, but on the comprehensive transportation network.
We are simply thrilled and proud that Lee’s new assignment puts him in charge of the largest, most dynamic and complex mass transit system in the world. We know the MTA will be in the best hands imaginable, and that both New York City and State will benefit mightily from what we at the TLC have had the opportunity to enjoy for almost a decade of Lee’s public service at the TLC.
We paid tribute to Lee with a plaque at our most recent public Commission meeting, and while it takes advantage of a play on words, I think it sums up our thoughts quite nicely.
As you leave us to help move more than a billion people
Per year at the MTA – we pause in admiration to think of how
You moved us here at the TLC with your intellect, wisdom and integrity.