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Long IslandTransportation

MTA tags experienced boss for LIRR East Side Access 'finish line'  

A portion of the East Side Access project

A portion of the East Side Access project is seen April 11. Credit: Charles Eckert

The MTA’s beleaguered East Side Access project has a new leader, the agency announced Monday.

At a Manhattan meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s LIRR Committee, MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber announced that Arthur R. “Rob” Troup, has been appointed as senior program executive for the $11.1 billion megaproject, which aims to link the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal by 2022.

"East Side Access is making dramatic progress, and Rob has what it takes to get it to the finish line on time in 2022,” Lieber said. "With more than 40 years of experience in public transportation — including a lot of construction in densely populated urban environments — he knows what it takes to get a complex project like this built.”

Troup most recently worked as deputy general manager for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and previously worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The MTA said, in both agencies, Troup “was responsible for executing multibillion dollar, five-year capital budgets while maintaining day-to-day operations, safety and efficiency.”

Troup will take over leadership of East Side Access as the MTA works to correct course for the project, which has been beset by budget overruns and construction delays since it was first proposed nearly two decades ago. Since then, the budget has more than doubled, and the targeted completion date has been pushed back by 13 years.

In April, the MTA again raised the price tag for East Side Access by nearly $1 billion, but it also outlined several changes in how the project is managed, including streamlining approval processes so that project changes that used to take 300 days can be made within three months.

Retiring East Side Access project executive William Goodrich, in his final presentation to the MTA board on Monday, said the changes “are achieving the intended results.”

“Although there are and will continue to be challenges to overcome, significant progress continues and the momentum of the project is building,” said Goodrich, who also expressed his appreciation to the MTA “for the opportunity to lead such a vital and transformative project for the region.”

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