Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday named a top CTA deputy to serve as the city's transportation commissioner.
Rebekah Scheinfeld, who currently serves as the CTA's chief planning officer, will take the helm of the Chicago Department of Transportation in late January, Emanuel's administration announced in a news release. She'll begin on an interim basis, with her permanent appointment subject to City Council approval.
Scheinfeld, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, has worked at the CTA since 2011. In her post there, she has overseen the agency's bus and train scheduling as well as planning for major infrastructure projects and new transit service, such as dedicated bus rapid-transit lanes.
In making the announcement, Emanuel noted Scheinfeld's role in overseeing the planning of the $425 million reconstruction of the south end of the Red Line, a project that was expedited by closing rail service on that stretch for five months. The mayor has touted the project as being on time and on budget.
"Rebekah will continue to build on our successful record and ensure that every Chicagoan has access to world-class transportation systems," Emanuel said in the news release. "Her strong management and planning skills will bring a lot to the agency as it continues the critical work of making sure Chicago has a strong, vibrant, accessible transportation network."
Scheinfeld will succeed Gabe Klein, who stepped down in November to return to the private sector. Klein, who served as Emanuel's first transportation commissioner for 21/2years, oversaw the creation of the Divvy bike-sharing system, the construction of the city's first protected bike lanes and the debut of Chicago's speed cameras.
Scheinfeld's work will include managing the expansion of those programs as well as the construction of the Chicago Riverwalk along the main branch of the Chicago River and the development of the Bloomingdale Trail on an old, elevated rail line on the Northwest Side.
Before her arrival at the CTA, Scheinfeld was an attorney at the Chicago-based law firm Mayer Brown, where she worked on infrastructure and transportation projects, according to the city. Prior to that, she worked as a development manager of mixed-income housing for the Chicago firm East Lake Management & Development and as director of government relations at the New York City Parks Department.
Scheinfeld earned a bachelor's degree in urban studies from Brown University and her law degree and master's in business administration from Northwestern University, an Emanuel spokesman said.
In 2011, while working at Mayer Brown, Scheinfeld also did pro bono work for Emanuel's transition team, focusing on transportation and infrastructure, according to the mayor's office.
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