Updated: Meera Joshi accepts NYC deputy mayor position

December 20, 2021

Land Line Staff

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Meera Joshi, FMCSA’s acting administrator since January, has been named New York City’s deputy mayor for operations.

According to multiple reports, Joshi was announced as deputy mayor during a news conference on Monday, Dec. 20.

The U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed Joshi’s departure and said she would remain in her post at FMCSA for the next month.

“We are very grateful for Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi’s leadership this past year at FMCSA and know that she will bring the same commitment, expertise, and vision to her new role,” a DOT spokesperson said. “She has engaged with truck drivers and the motor coach industry to chart a clear path for FMCSA to address our supply chain challenges, improve driver safety and job quality, and has built a strong team at FMCSA who will help build on this foundation.”

Joshi was named deputy administrator of FMCSA, which made her the de facto leader of the agency on Jan. 21. In April, President Joe Biden nominated Joshi to take the permanent role as administrator of the FMCSA.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee advanced Joshi’s nomination through a 22-6 roll call in October. However, Joshi’s confirmation still hadn’t been approved by the full Senate.

FMCSA has not had a permanent administrator since Ray Martinez left the position in October 2019.

Politico reported on Dec. 20 that Joshi will become New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ deputy mayor of operations after he is sworn in on Jan. 1.

“I am deeply honored to be selected by Mayor-elect Adams to carry out his mission together to build the heart and soul of New York, its infrastructure and its operations,” Joshi said in the Politico article. The publication also reported that Joshi thanked President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for appointing her to the FMCSA role.

‘Work-life balance’

During her time as FMCSA’s acting administrator, Joshi said she wanted to eliminate truck drivers’ stressors and to make truck driver a more attractive long-term career. In November, she attended the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Board of Directors meeting via videoconference.

“Some of the items that continuously come up since I started in January are all focused around the work-life balance of a truck driver,” she said. “We’re focused on safety, and to the extent that the work-life conditions aren’t there or they are not habitable, it does have a tremendous impact on safety. Overworked truck drivers, drivers who are dealing with roads and bridges that aren’t kept up, not having an adequate parking area, not having clean bathrooms, having to wait excessively while loading or unloading and not being paid.

“These are all stressors that we believe – and I think we will find agreement within this room – that have a direct connection to safety. So we’re focused on addressing some of these critical issues that underpin the ability of the industry to function safely on the nation’s roadways.” LL

Editor’s note: Land Line will continue to update this story as it receives more information. 

 

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