Polly Trottenberg is a Distinguished Visiting Urbanist at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Polly Trottenberg has an extensive 25+ year public sector career in all levels of government, serving for the last seven years as New York City’s Transportation Commissioner. She runs a complex 5,800-person agency responsible for the safe, efficient, and equitable operations of New York City’s transportation network, including 6,000 miles of roadways, 789 bridges, the nation’s largest traffic operation and parking system, the Staten Island Ferry, and extensive bicycle, pedestrian and public plaza infrastructure, as well as key initiatives in urban mobility, smart transportation technologies, and safety.
Trottenberg helped implement the landmark Vision Zero program, the first in the U.S., taking a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to significantly reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. She has also focused on improving transportation access through prioritizing bus service, including implementation of the ground-breaking 14th St. Busway, strengthening and expanding North America’s largest bike-share program, car-sharing, and freight mobility initiatives.
Trottenberg led NYCDOT through COVID-19 response and recovery, prioritizing transforming City streets to promote livability, sustainable transportation, and economic recovery. Within a matter of months and at an unprecedented pace, DOT implemented nearly 50 miles of Open Streets, 19 miles of protected bike lanes, and 14 miles of Open Streets: Restaurants. NYC’s Open Restaurants program is the largest in the world, with over 10,500 restaurants.
Trottenberg served in the Obama Administration for five years as the Assistant Secretary and Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where she focused on fostering a more sustainable and equitable transportation system. And she has extensive experience serving three U.S. Senators – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Charles Schumer, and Barbara Boxer.
Trottenberg serves on the Boards of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA), and TRANSCOM. She also served as one of NYC’s representatives on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for five years.
Trottenberg graduated from Barnard College and received her Master's in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.