Adams appoints TWU president to his congestion pricing board

August 2, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday nominated John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union, to the Traffic Mobility Review Board, which deals with the ongoing congestion pricing plan. 

Should congestion pricing be approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the TMRB would develop recommendations for toll rates — as well as any credits, discounts, or exemptions — and then present the recommendations to the MTA Board for consideration before the program is implemented.

Samuelsen grew up in Brooklyn, and his first job was on a track gang in Brooklyn in the early 1990s. According to his Linkedin page, he still lives in the borough.

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“John Samuelsen is a champion of safe, reliable public transit, and he shares my commitment to getting congestion pricing done so we can invest in mass transit and reduce traffic,” said Mayor Adams. “I am encouraged to see this process moving forward, and my administration will continue to work closely with our partners at the MTA, in Albany, and in Washington, DC to get this done for all New Yorkers.”

Related: Adams names Prospect Park Alliance President Donoghue as parks commissioner

“Day in and day out, transit workers are the front lines of keeping New Yorkers on the move,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi“John Samuelsen will be an important voice on the Traffic Mobility Review Board to ensure congestion pricing improves mobility for all.”  

John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union and a Brooklynite. Photo courtesy of nyc.gov

“My appointment to the TMRB is an historic recognition by Mayor Adams of the importance of MTA workers as the second biggest stakeholder in our nation’s largest transportation system,” said Samuelsen. “Workers will now have a voice in the implementation of this important plan.”

While Samuelsen was still in his probationary period, his co-workers elected him shop steward, and he fought vigorously for a safer subway workplace. From 2001 to 2006, he served as chair of the TWU’s Track Safety Committee and chair of the Track Division. 

Related: Hochul Hints Congestion Pricing on a Slower Drive to Finish Line

From 2002 to 2005, he was acting vice president of the Maintenance of Way Department, representing 7,100 workers providing essential services to NYCTA in track, line equipment and signals, power, and structure. 

During that time, he also served as lead negotiator for all safety-related issues during contract bargaining between Local 100 and NYCTA and authored the Comprehensive Track Safety bill passed by the New York state Legislature.

He was elected president of Local 100 in December 2009 and was re-elected overwhelmingly in 2012 and 2015. He served as Local 100 president until September 2017.


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