Transportation environmentalist Amanda Eaken is Mayor London Breed’s pick to join the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Office announced today.
The seven-member board has had a vacancy since director Joel Ramos stepped down to join SFMTA as a public outreach staffer in June. Eaken’s appointment will make the board whole and add statewide and national expertise.
Eaken, who resides near the Panhandle, is director of transportation and climate for the Natural Resources and Defense Council and director of transportation for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, which aims to provide $70 million across 20 U.S. cities to meet climate goals.
“As a regular Muni rider and bicyclist in the city, I am excited for the opportunnity to improve the reliability of our transportation network and help San Francisco implement our transit first goals,” she said in a statement.
Eaken’s appointment also comes at a tumultuous time at SFMTA, as Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin has taken heat from Breed and the public over the recent Muni citywide slowdown, controversial revelations around contractor Shimmick Construction’s history of safety violations, and what Breed called an “opaque” scooter permitting process.
A letter sent by Breed on Aug. 20 lambasting Reiskin was widely seen as an attempt to oust him, but only the MTA Board of Directors has to power to fire him. A board majority signaled they have confidence in Reiskin at a meeting this week, but this appointment by Breed could potentially give her another vote.
In a statement, Breed praised Eaken’s “extensive track record” in promoting public transportation policies.
“Her expertise on issues regarding transportation, land use, and the connection to sustainable communities will bring a valuable perspective to the SFMTA Board of Directors,” Breed said.