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An interview with Sally Librera

Senior Vice President & Americas Transit Leader, AECOM

Sally Librera

Sally Librera AECOM

What is the state of mass transit in New York?

New York is taking huge, historic steps. Having worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for most of my career and having led the New York City subways team through the darkest, early days of the pandemic, I have tremendous respect for the people who keep our systems moving, and the degree to which New York needs transit to survive and flourish. I'm proud that New York hasn’t defined success as getting back to a pre-pandemic state, but instead is making the system stronger than it has ever been. New York is making history with congestion pricing, decarbonization, rapidly expanding accessibility and an unmatched level of investment in core infrastructure that keeps systems safe and reliable. It is an incredible moment in time – unprecedented transit investment and a strong focus on connecting global and local experts to deliver world class transit well into the future.

What role do you play in supporting mass transit in New York?

As New York pushes for faster, better and cheaper approaches, I work with teams nationally and internationally to identify the most innovative and successful approaches to delivering good work efficiently. I partner with teams and agencies delivering light rail, heavy rail and bus systems in cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Melbourne, London, Montreal and Bangkok, among others. In each case, we understand not only what is working, but why, and how that can be applied to New York, whether it be through technical design solutions, digital design efficiencies, accelerated construction techniques, carbon reduction or innovations in financing and commercial delivery models.

What project on the horizon do you find most exciting?

I am passionate about all things transit in New York, and picking one project is a bit like naming a favorite child, but I am very excited to see IBX move forward. IBX is much more than a transit line – it will change the city's landscape, redefine where people live, how they move, and the opportunities they access. It will unlock new housing, support lively neighborhoods and offer more transit to currently underserved communities. Introducing light rail in New York will require a different technical skill set, creating new jobs and industry in and around New York. And all of this will happen on an existing underutilized corridor – a rare gem in our dense and vibrant city.