Polly Trottenberg

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Polly Trottenberg
Polly Trottenberg (50386135547) (cropped).jpg
22nd United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation
Assumed office
April 14, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byJeffrey A. Rosen
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
In office
January 27, 2014 – December 11, 2020
Appointed byBill de Blasio
Preceded byJanette Sadik-Khan
Succeeded byMargaret Forgione (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1964-03-16) March 16, 1964 (age 57)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mark Zuckerman
EducationBarnard College (BA)
Harvard University (MPP)

Polly Ellen Trottenberg (born March 16, 1964)[1] is an American civil servant who is serving as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under Pete Buttigieg since April 14, 2021. She previously served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Trottenberg was born in Boston and grew up in Pelham, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Barnard College in 1986 and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.[3][4]


Early career[edit]

Trottenberg was the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, helping develop the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program.[5]

Trottenberg also served as a transportation policy adviser for Senators Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in addition to holding positions with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the nonprofit Building America's Future.[6]

NYC DOT[edit]

Polly Trottenberg was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on December 31, 2013, to replace Janette Sadik-Khan as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.[7] Trottenberg was sworn in on January 27, 2014.[8][9]

At NYC DOT, Trottenberg spearheaded the de Blasio administration’s efforts around a range of transportation issues, including:

  • Expanding cycling with the growth of the city’s on-street protected bike lane network from 36 miles to over 120 miles, DOT committed to the Green Wave, a plan to create key commuting connections and extending further into traditionally underserved communities.  The Citi Bike bike share system, the largest in North America, also continued to grow.
  • Working closely with MTA New York City Transit, DOT expanded access to buses, including an additional 64 more miles of dedicated bus lanes around the City since 2014, for a total of nearly 138 miles. The 14th Street Busway, begun in 2019, received international attention for increasing ridership and decreasing travel times.
  • In 2014, New York City was the first American city to adopt Vision Zero, a multi-agency effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities through enforcement, engineering and education. Traffic fatalities in New York City have been recorded since 1910 — and seven of the city’s eight safest years happened after 2013.  As part of Vision Zero, Trottenberg successfully advocated for State legislation that allowed the City to lower its default speed limit to 25 MPH and expand its speed-camera program to 750 zones and 2,000 cameras, making it the largest such program in the world.
  • In 2020, DOT served as New York City’s lead agency addressing changes to the urban streetscape in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City was dramatically transformed through major DOT initiatives like Open Streets, Open Restaurants, Outdoor Learning and Open Storefronts. The Open Restaurants Program, with over 10,700 restaurants serving diners on sidewalks and streets, is among the largest in the world.[10]

Trottenberg was also a board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, having been confirmed for a 10-year term on June 23, 2014.[8] Seen as a voice of "sanity" on the board,[11] she resigned from the position on June 3, 2019.[12] Trottenberg also served as the chair of TRANSCOM, a coalition of 16 transportation-related agencies in the New York metropolitan area, from 2015 to 2019.[13]

Biden administration[edit]

In November 2020, Trottenberg was named a volunteer member of the Joe Biden presidential transition Agency Review Team to support transition efforts related to the United States Department of Transportation.[14] On January 18, 2021, it was announced that Trottenberg would serve as United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation in the incoming Biden administration.[15] On February 13, 2021, her nomination was formally submitted to the Senate for confirmation.[16] On April 13, 2021, Trottenberg was confirmed in a 82–15 vote.[17] She was sworn into office on April 14, 2021.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Trottenberg is Jewish.[19]


  1. ^ Nominations to NASA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, and the Department of Transportation: Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, July 8, 2009. 2010. ISBN 9780160856518.
  2. ^ Wolfe, Kathryn a. "Trottenberg: Tick tock on transportation". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  3. ^ "Founders Day | Barnard College". barnard.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  4. ^ "Polly Trottenberg". National Association of City Transportation Officials. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  5. ^ Fried, Ben (December 31, 2013). "NYC's Next Transportation Commissioner Is Polly Trottenberg". Streetsblog.
  6. ^ "De Blasio Picks Trottenberg to be NYC Transportation Commissioner | WNYC | New York Public Radio, Podcasts, Live Streaming Radio, News". WNYC.
  7. ^ Davies, Alex. "Bill De Blasio Has Named His Choice To Run Transportation In New York City". Business Insider.
  8. ^ a b "Polly Trottenberg". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "Polly E. Trottenberg". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Polly Trottenberg Announces Departure from De Blasio Administration". The Official Website of the City of New York. November 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (June 5, 2019). "Trottenberg, a voice of 'sanity' on MTA board, submits resignation". Politico. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Kuntzman, Gersh (June 6, 2019). "Anatomy of a Resignation: Why Polly Trottenberg Quit the MTA Board". Streetsblog. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Commissioner Polly Trottenberg". New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. ^ "Agency Review Teams". President-Elect Joe Biden. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Biden Names Polly Trottenberg as Deputy Secretary of Transportation". www.ny1.com. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  16. ^ "PN117 — Polly Ellen Trottenberg — Department of Transportation". U.S. Congress. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  17. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation: Polly Ellen Trottenberg, of New York, to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation)" United States Senate, April 13, 2021
  18. ^ "Polly Trottenberg Joins U.S. Department of Transportation as Deputy Secretary" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Transportation. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  19. ^ "Jews in the Biden Administration". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2021-02-12.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Janette Sadik-Khan
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
Succeeded by
Margaret Forgione
Political offices
Preceded by
Steven G. Bradbury
United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation