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The Blue Ribbon Commission on
Sustainability and the MTA
Blue Ribbon Commission

In September 2007 former MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander charged the Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA with developing sustainability-related recommendations for the MTA and its operating agencies. The recommendations aim to expand the "greening power of transit" to more riders and communities, while managing and reducing the MTA's per-rider energy consumption and environmental footprint. To develop the plan, the 22 commissioners divided into Working Groups covering key areas of sustainability planning: Energy/Carbon; Facilities; Smart-growth/TOD; Materials Flow; Water Management; and Climate Adaptation. In addition to the commissioners, each group worked with designated MTA staff, research consultants, and pro bono experts.

Working Groups
Energy/Carbon Group

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  • Focused on the MTA's electrical use, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions
  • Chaired by Ashok Gupta, air and energy program director, Natural Resources Defense Council


Facilities Group

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  • Creating standards for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of MTA buildings and other facilities
  • Chaired by Robert F. Fox, Jr., Cook+Fox Architects



Materials Flow Group

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  • Focused on MTA policies for procurement, waste management, and recycling
  • Co-chaired by Marcia Bystryn, executive director, the New York League of Conservation Voters
  • Co-chaired by Michael White, executive director, Long Island Regional Planning Board.


Water Management Group

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  • Developing MTA policies for water conservation, groundwater uses, and protection of the regional water supply
  • Chaired by Alex Matthiessen, chief executive officer, Riverkeeper.



Smart Growth/Transit-Oriented Development Group

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  • Developing ways to expand transit access and usage through collaboration with local communities on local development initiatives and feeder system
  • Chaired by Ned Sullivan, president, Scenic Hudson



Climate Adaptation

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  • Developing ways to adapt and mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change and global warming on the MTA network.
  • Chaired by Klaus Jacob, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University


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