Ed Reiskin likely to be named new San Francisco Muni chief

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is expected to announce its new chief Thursday — and all signs point to Ed Reiskin.

The agency’s board of directors will hold a 10 a.m. meeting where Reiskin, the heavy favorite to replace Nathaniel Ford, is likely to be introduced as the new executive director of the SFMTA, which manages transportation in The City.

Reiskin, currently director of the Department of Public Works, has had the backing of Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials despite lacking prior transit experience.

Tom Nolan, chair of the SFMTA’s seven-person board, wouldn’t officially confirm that Reiskin will be named the agency’s new chief, but he left little doubt who the pick would be.

“All signs are pointing toward Ed,” said Nolan, who added that he was waiting until today to make any official

The SFMTA’s board has the final say on hiring the executive director, who will oversee an agency that employs 5,000 people and implements policies for Muni, bicyclists, pedestrians, taxis and motorists.

Since July 1, when Ford stepped down under pressure from directors, the SFMTA has been led on an interim basis by Debra Johnson. Johnson was considered Reiskin’s only true competition to succeed Ford.

Johnson and Reiskin met with the SFMTA board during a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

Reiskin is seen by many as a capable administrator who can handle the agency’s needs while also appeasing the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors, which frequently weigh in on agency matters.

Before joining Public Works, which employs 1,100 and maintains The City’s streets and sidewalks, Reiskin spent time as the director of San Francisco’s 311 information service program. Prior to that, he was a deputy mayor and interim city administrator in Washington, D.C.


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