Tom Nolan honored as he steps away from SFMTA board

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors gave a warm sendoff to retiring director Tom Nolan on Tuesday during the board’s regular meeting.

Former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Nolan to the SFMTA Board of Directors in 2006. The SFMTA board elected Nolan as the chairman in 2009.

Nolan also served as the former executive of Project Open Hand and a former member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the SamTrans Board and the Caltrain Joint Powers Board.

State and federal lawmakers wrote letters and sent accommodations to Nolan including from state Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

Pelosi wrote that Nolan has had an impact on transportation projects in the Bay Area over the last 30 years:

“His public service ensure that all people in communities can safely, efficiently and affordably be transported from work, school and home, while protecting our planet and eliminating congestion on our Bay Area roads.”

During his tenure on the SFMTA board, Nolan was tasked to find a new director of transportation to run the SFMTA, appointing former San Francisco Public Works Director Ed Reiskin in 2011.

Nolan was also an advocate on the board in approving the free Muni program for low- and middle-income seniors, persons with disabilities and youths.

SFMTA board Director Lee Hsu read a proclamation from Mayor Ed Lee, who declared Tuesday as “Tom Nolan Day.”

Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director Transportation, presented Nolan with a parking street sign that read:

“No Parking Except Tom Nolan. Beloved Chairman.”

Nolan said what was important to him was that Muni was available for everyone especially those who needed it the most:

“If I’m proud of one thing, it’s being involved in trying to provide that for low-income students, seniors, persons with disabilities.”

Reiskin said Mayor Lee intends to nominate former state Sen. Art Torres to fill the vacant seat on the SFMTA board. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will need to approve the nomination.