2020 Virtual Transportation in New York Summit

December 08, 2020  
1:00PM - 4:00PM
Developing and Enhancing Transportation Systems Throughout New York
Event Description

Up until COVID 19 hit, New York residents relied on its public transportation systems and roads to get everywhere. The world has changed, and this event will discuss how transportation will rebuild and reshape the city and state.  It will bring together experts across sectors to assess the current state of New York’s transportation systems, break down recent legislative actions, and look towards the future of all things coming and going in New York.


Rick Cotton
Executive Director, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Rick Cotton became Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on August 14, 2017. Prior to joining the Port Authority, since January 2015, Mr. Cotton served as Governor Cuomo's Special Counsellor for Interagency Initiatives, serving as the point person within the Governor's office for most of the Governor's major downstate infrastructure priorities including LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Moynihan Train Hall and Penn-Farley Complex, the new Tappan Zee Bridge, the expansion of the Javits Center, and the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway project. Mr. Cotton joined the administration following 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held a number of positions beginning in 1989, including 20 years as EVP and General Counsel and four years in London as President and Managing Director of CNBC Europe. He also served as Executive Secretary to the Department at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Deputy Secretary of Energy John Sawhill at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Cotton received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Eric Beaton
Deputy Commissioner for Transportation Planning and Management, New York City Department of Transportation
Eric Beaton is the Deputy Commissioner for Transportation Planning and Management for the New York City Department of Transportation. In this role, he oversees the design of city streets, including the City’s Vision Zero street safety program, development of bicycle, pedestrian, and public space programs, and the implementation of Select Bus Service and other transit priority projects, in partnership with the MTA. Additionally, he oversees the installation and maintenance of the city’s 225 million linear feet of roadway markings, and the production, installation, and maintenance of the over one million street signs citywide. Eric has worked at DOT since 2006 in a variety of roles, most recently as Senior Director for Transit Development. In this role, he worked in partnership with the MTA to build a program making the city’s buses faster, more reliable, and easier to use through the use of improved fare collection, dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, real time passenger information, and other mobility and safety treatments. Eric has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Phillip Eng
Phillip Eng
President, MTA Long Island Rail Road
Phil Eng is the President of the MTA Long Island Rail Road, the largest commuter railroad in the nation serving over 89 million riders a year. Phil initiated the railroad's Forward program – a set of strategic initiatives aimed at improving service reliability and enhancing the customer experience. Under Phil’s leadership, Long Island Rail Road is delivering an historic $6B capital program to modernize and expand its infrastructure, including Double Track, Main Line Expansion, East Side Access, Jamaica Capacity Improvements, new M9 fleet and Centralized Train Control. Phil first joined the MTA in 2017 as the Chief Operating Officer where he spearheaded initiatives focused on modernizing transportation systems through innovative technologies. These include the development of new fare payment applications and testing new signaling systems. Phil also served as the Acting President for New York City Transit leading the early efforts of the Subway Action Plan. Phil began his career in public service in 1983 at the New York State Department of Transportation as a Junior Engineer. He gained expertise working his way up through various groups from Structures, Bridge Inspection, Maintenance, Design and Construction. At NYSDOT Phil held various positions including Construction Supervisor, Regional Director, Chief Engineer before his final post as Executive Deputy Commissioner. During his tenure at DOT, Phil played a vital role improving project delivery and use of design build while delivering significant projects such as the I-81 Environmental Impact Study, Rochester Train Station, and construction of the new Kosciuszko and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge bridges. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering at Cooper Union and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Phil is a native Long Islander, and currently resides with his wife, Carole, and their four children in Smithtown.
Catherine Rinaldi
President, MTA Metro-North Railroad
Ms. Rinaldi is the sixth president of Metro-North Railroad, and the first woman to hold that position. She joined Metro-North in January 2015 as Executive Vice President, and in that role, spearheaded the development of Metro-North’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. In October, Ms. Rinaldi unveiled “Way Ahead,” a customer-facing version of the Metro-North Strategic Plan, which sets forth Metro-North’s strategies for setting the standard for safety, reliability and innovation in the delivery of excellent customer service. She is focused on improving the reliability of Metro-North’s service, while at the same time continuing the intensive infrastructure program essential to maintaining the safety of the Metro-North system. She has overseen the implementation of a host of customer-facing initiatives, from the capitally-funded Customer Service Initiative, which will improve the delivery of real-time service information both in Grand Central Terminal and outlying stations, to a multi-million station upgrade at White Plains station, Metro-North’s third busiest station and a major reverse commute destination. On the safety front, she has led efforts to implement positive train control across Metro-North in compliance with federal requirements. Metro-North’s customer facing safety program TRACKS, which stands for Together Railroads and Communities Keeping Safe, won the 2018 APTA Gold Award for Safety. Ms. Rinaldi has implemented a series of efforts to improve employee engagement, and, specifically, the engagement of women in the Metro-North workforce. She created a Lunch and Learn series at Metro-North, and moderated a series of panel discussions regarding women in transportation, designed to create additional networking and professional development opportunities for the women of Metro-North. She also created a quarterly Women’s Book Club, which has provided opportunities for all Metro-North employees to discuss work-life balance, as well as themed events in connection with Women’s History Month and Black History Month. More recently, Ms. Rinaldi has championed the creation of a professional group consisting of women engineers at Metro-North, with a view toward the creation of similar professional groups elsewhere in the railroad. Under her leadership, Metro-North has implemented formal knowledge transfer and succession planning initiatives designed to address problems of retention and attrition experienced not only at Metro-North, but in the railroad industry as a whole. She is actively involved in efforts to build upon existing training programs to ensure that Metro-North’s newest generation of employees have the skills necessary to work safely. She has overseen the creation of focus groups in different departments and at various levels of the organization, to be able to hear from employees throughout Metro-North what they view as their biggest challenges, as well as areas of opportunity. Ms. Rinaldi was honored as the Woman of the Year by the Greater New York Chapter of WTS in 2018. Prior to assuming her position at Metro-North, Ms. Rinaldi served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to the Chairman at MTA from 2011 through 2014. In that capacity, she served as a senior adviser to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota during his initial term at MTA HQ and subsequently to former MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and was responsible for administrative matters affecting the MTA Board, with oversight responsibility for MTA’s Human Resources and Planning function. She also served as Vice President and General Counsel at the Long Island Rail Road from 2008 to 2011, and as Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel at MTA Headquarters from 2003 until 2006. Before coming to MTA, she held a variety of positions in the public sector, including principal law clerk to the Chief Judge of the State of New York. Ms. Rinaldi is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Keith Todd Kerman
Deputy Commissioner, Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)
Keith Todd Kerman is a Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and New York City’s first Chief Fleet Officer. Keith is leading fleet safety and sustainability efforts as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero and NYC Clean Fleet initiatives. He has implemented some of the nation’s leading efforts in shared servicing, telematics, truck side-guards, electric vehicles, solar carports, and biofuels. NYC operates the largest municipal fleet in the United States with over 30,000 units. Keith works daily with NYPD, FDNY, DSNY and over 50 agencies on a wide variety of service, fiscal over-sight, emergency response, and risk management programs. Keith and his team have assisted in many roles as part of the COVID-19 response. Keith is now in his 27th year of public service, having served over 17 years with NYC Parks, most recently as Assistant Commissioner for Citywide Operations working at the Arsenal in Central Park. Keith is a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard College, as is his wife and classmate Attorney Denise Delgado-Kerman. Keith and Denise have two young children, Todd Nelson and Keith Norman. Keith has been recognized widely in NY State and nationally. In 2019 Keith was one of six awardees of the Sloan Public Service Award which has been called the Nobel Prize of NY public service.
Leroy G. Comrie Jr.
New York State Senator, District 14
New York State Senator Leroy Comrie was elected to represent the 14th Senatorial District of Queens (encompassing portions of Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest and Kew Gardens) in November 2014, officially taking office January 1, 2015. He grew up in the South Queens communities that he now represents, attending P.S. 116, I.S. 8, Jamaica High School and the University of Bridgeport, where he developed his passion for politics and government. He is a lifelong member of Saint Albans the Martyr Episcopal Church and before he was a public official, he was elected to serve as President of his local Community School Board. Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 legislative term, his committee assignments have included Cities, Consumer Protection; Finance, Racing, Gaming & Wagering; and Rules. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, which gives him oversight over the state’s 150+ public authorities such as the MTA, Port Authority, and NYCHA. Senator Comrie believes that government must be responsive to the needs of all people. His office is the conduit through which access to quality education, healthcare, and services for seniors; programs and resources for youth; avenues to enhance small business growth; increased public safety measures; and smart sustainable economic development that provides living wage jobs in the community are provided. Senator Comrie served twelve years as the Deputy Majority Leader of the New York City Council, as well as the Chairman of the Queens Delegation; while holding many distinguished and critical leadership roles. He served as Chair of the Committees on Rules, Consumer Affairs and Land Use during his Council tenure. In those roles, he had broad oversight and direct access over the city’s budget process and legislative agenda often negotiating major concessions between the City Council and the Mayor. Senator Comrie’s positive impact in government is evident with his long track record of legislative accomplishments such as increasing tax exemptions for seniors, instituting the city’s first foreclosure prevention program, curtailing “pay-day” loans, improving the criteria for safety on construction sites, reducing truck traffic emissions, improving electrical and building codes, advocating for the containment of waste transfer stations, and increasing job opportunities by establishing direct-to-work training programs for residents across the city. For the past five years, Senator Comrie has taken his decades of experience to Albany, where he continues to serve the public and work tirelessly with his colleagues to ensure that residents of the 14th Senatorial District and all across New York State have the very best possible opportunities and quality of life. In 2019, Senator Comrie was appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), the oversight body originally that reviews the financial soundness of plans and approves the project-based spending of a number of the state’s largest authorities. Leroy Comrie, Jr. is the son of the late Ruby Frith-Comrie and the late Leroy Comrie Sr., both of whom immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He is the brother of Ronald E. Comrie, and has been married to Marcia Moxam since 1990. They are the proud parents of two delightful young adults.
Steve Brunner
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Cubic Transportation Systems
Steve Brunner is the senior vice president and general manager of the Eastern Region of the United States for Cubic Transportation Systems. Steve is responsible for all transportation customers from Boston to Puerto Rico and has been instrumental in successfully deploying the OMNY contactless fare payment system on public transit in New York City and surrounding areas. Steve has held numerous positions within Cubic, including engineering, program management and executive leadership.
Melinda White
Chief Executive Officer, Transit Wireless
Melinda leads Transit Wireless with more than 20 years of experience in the wireless and telecommunications industry. With strengths in strategy, operations, finance, product, marketing and consumer/commercial sales, she brings an entrepreneurial perspective to the operation, and seeks new ideas, products, and processes to better meet the demands of the market. As CEO of Transit Wireless, Melinda leads the business strategy, drives revenue from its fiber network, and provides industry-leading “Smart Transit” and 5G neutral host services to mobile network operators and transit authorities. Most recently, Melinda served as the CEO of Black Walnut Ventures where she advised companies on strategy and operations. Prior to joining Black Walnut Ventures, Melinda was the West Region President at Frontier Communications. She has held senior leadership roles at Wink Communications, Cox Communications and Cellular One. A thought leader across 5G, Smart Networks, P3 (public-private partnerships), and edge strategy, her work has received numerous awards. Her accolades include: 2019 Notable Woman in Tech by Crain’s New York Business 2019 Responsible 100 by City and State and one of the 50 Leaders in Gov Tech 2016 National Asian American Consortium Community and Engagement Leadership 2016 Women on Board by Catalyst 2015 Women of Influence by the Portland Business Journal 2014 Women in Wireline to Watch by Fierce Telecom 2012 Woman of Power and Influence by the National Organization for Women Melinda currently serves on the boards of Transform, Inc. and California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). She earned an M.B.A. from Tulane University in Louisiana and a B.B.A. from Howard Payne University in Texas.
John A. Gasparine
Associate Vice President, WSP USA, Inc.
John A. Gasparine is an Associate Vice President of WSP USA, Inc. and has over 19 years of multidisciplinary experience in the fields of public health and transit. John entered the workforce with a degree in biology, was a licensed Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) in the State of New Jersey, and worked for several years in the fields of public health and epidemiology. Ten years ago he entered the transit industry and has grown to lead transit policy, planning, operations, and program management initiatives across the country. He was the lead author for the APTA COVID-19 Guide, the New York MTA Global Practices Report, and is presently helping multiple transit agencies with various aspects of pandemic response and their reopening plans across the nation.
Mike Finley
CEO, Boingo Wireless
Mike Finley is CEO of Boingo and serves on the company’s board of directors. He is responsible for the company’s strategic direction and leading the business into the 5G future. A respected leader in the wireless industry, Finley served nearly nine years at Qualcomm prior to Boingo, most recently as president of North America and Australia. He has more than three decades of experience in senior management roles, including executive positions at Nextel, Sprint, Verizon, Airtouch Cellular and Cellular One. Finley received a B.S. and B.A. in marketing from Creighton University and attended the General Manager Program in Executive Education at Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and is a member of the Creighton University Hall of Fame.
Frank Reig
CEO and Co-Founder, Revel
Frank Reig is the Co-Founder and CEO of Revel, a shared electric vehicle company. Prior to Revel, Frank held senior roles in the energy and corporate sustainability sectors. He received an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and also holds a Culinary Arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Frank started his career as a chef at a restaurant in Manhattan.
Carlina Rivera
NYC Council Member
Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District which includes the diverse neighborhoods of the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill, and the Lower East Side. Carlina has been riding her bike on the streets of her Lower East Side neighborhood since she was a kid, and upon taking office in 2017, she prioritized making New York City streets safer and more equitable for all. One of her first major victories was passing legislation requiring the creation of supplemental bike lanes when an existing lane is blocked by construction. Since then, she has championed numerous protected bike lanes in her District, as well as the City's first-ever Busway on 14th Street. She also co-sponsored the Safe Streets Master Plan, which requires the creation of 250 miles of protected bike lanes in the next five years, and introduced legislation calling for the creation of an Office of Active Transportation to ensure that the City is effectively responding to the street safety concerns of all New Yorkers. And when COVID-19 struck, she introduced a bill calling on the city to open 100 miles of street space to pedestrians and cyclists. The bill played a pivotal role inspiring the city’s current Open Streets program, and Carlina is currently working on amended version of her bill to ensure their is a pathway to permanence for the Open Streets program.
Tim Johnson
Director of IoT Sales, Public Sector, T-Mobile
Tim Johnson has an extensive tenure leading Emerging Solutions organizations across several industries. He is currently the Director of IoT Sales, Public Sector for T-Mobile, where he leads a team to provide State, Local and Education communities with connected solutions which Enable Opportunity. He has held several leadership roles in sales and Product/Business Development where he drove IoT/Connected Community Eco-system growth, including around advanced transportation/mobility solutions. Previously, he also served as Sprint’s Global business development manager where he created a business unit focused on providing solutions for connected vehicles and vehicle to infrastructure solutions for global automotive OEM manufacturers.
Andrew Bata
Technical Advisor – Transportation Sector, APTIM
Andrew Bata has joined APTIM as a Technical Advisor in the Transportation Sector to assist with developing its transportation unit. He is a career urban transportation professional having served in various executive roles for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) where he led units for service planning, innovation, and new technology deployment. His focus is enhancing public transit by championing sophisticated customer service concepts including advanced real time information systems, “21st Century” station design features, and rolling stock design concepts that meet current passenger comfort demands and service. He is the former president and current board member of the Intelligent Transportation Society of New York and a professor of transportation at Columbia and New York Universities. Mr. Bata has conceived and implemented a wide variety of projects that enhanced service delivery, improved operations, and radically upgraded real time information. In previous positions for the New York MTA, he was the Chief Strategic Technology Planner and the Director of Service Planning as well as chairing the Speed Policy Committee reviewing alternative policies and providing technical solutions for improved operational efficiency. In addition, he also served as Assistant Director of Planning for MetroNorth Railroad, responsible for passenger and crew schedules and strategic operations planning. APTIM, with Andrew’s leadership, will build on its long time presence in the region and capitalize on its recent successes with clients such as the Port Authority of New York / New Jersey (PANYNJ) and New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR)

Welcome and Introduction By Zach Williams, City & State NY


Introduction by Andrew Bata, Technical Advisor - Transportation Sector, APTIM


Keynote Speaker Rick Cotton, Executive Director, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


Next Level Value: Utilizing Transportation Data to provide Must Have Solutions for Connected Communities by Tim Johnson, Director of IoT Sales, Public Sector for T-Mobile


How Coronavirus Is Reshaping New York’s Transit Systems

When the pandemic hit New York in the Spring ridership in the city’s transportation system shut down by 90%.  Subways were overwhelmed with homeless people, buses were empty, streets were closing.  As the summer came and went, the government began to urge New Yorkers to get back on the subways and buses with safety and cleaning protocols in place.  Leaders urge that this is a time of improvement with smart new technology improving the transit system, NYC ferries, e-bikes and scooters.  What does the future of public transit look like going into the Winter and 2021 and what will happen to all of the public-private projects that had been planned or started?

Melinda White, Chief Executive Officer, Transitwireless (moderator)

Catherine Rinaldi, President, Metro-North Railroad

Phillip Eng, President, Long Island Railroad

Senator Leroy Comrie, Chair, Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions

Steve Brunner, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Cubic Transportation Systems

Mike Finley, CEO, Boingo Wireless

John A. Gasparine, Associate Vice President, WSP USA, Inc.


Moving New Yorkers Safely

Although many people are still working from home, for those commuting, the concern is that traffic will be worse than ever. However, equally or more important is their safety, regardless of the transportation method they choose to use. The city has put forth policies to improve the safety of all commuters, most notably Vision Zero and initiates to make transportation cleaner. Our panel will assess the success of these efforts while also looking forward to other future efforts including adding new technologies, lowering the speed limits, redesigning streets, bike lanes and intersections to increase pedestrian safety, piloting connected vehicles, developing new rules to limit delivery gridlock, and more.

Jeff Coltin, Senior Reporter, City & State NY (moderator)

Eric Beaton, Deputy Commissioner for Transportation and Management, New York City Department of Transportation

Keith Todd Kerman, Deputy Commissioner for Fleet and Chief Fleet Officer, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services

Council Member Carlina Rivera, sponsored bike legislation

Frank Reig, Co-Founder & CEO, Revel


Sessions Conclude

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