Federico Martino ’18

Federico Martino ’18

Summer Fellowship at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)

For his Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship, Federico Martino ’18 learned the intricacies of a New York State governmental agency. He worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) with the Strategic Initiative Team, the organization’s internal consulting arm that responds to challenging problems facing the six million people who use MTA service daily.

Martino's first project was to address the increasing concerns from disabled customers regarding agency’s paratransit service, also known as Access-A-Ride. Currently, this resource is very costly for the MTA to operate and maintain while providing a moderate level of service to those who rely on it. Martino reviewed customer satisfaction reports to evaluate where the service is succeeding and where it could improve. From there, he created a dashboard with key performance indicators to be presented to agency executives who use it to influence policy decisions.

The New York City Subway is one of the only systems that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, and effectively maintaining it is a constant challenge. Martino analyzed ridership patterns from origin to destination at every station to see which lines and stops were used very little overnight. This information was used to temporarily shut down certain stations for critical cleaning and repairs. One of the challenges he faced was attempting to gain an understanding of the workings and strategies of a huge governmental agency in such as short time.

Acquiring the expertise to handle these tasks and troubleshoot problems would not have been possible without Martino’s Columbia Business School education. He cites a cultural awareness of the American market as well as a knowledge of marketing and business analytics as being invaluable to the fellowship. In terms of the relationship between business and social and environmental issues “In today’s market,” Martino said “I don’t see them as being separate.” As a major educational institution in the city, he feels that Columbia Business School has a responsibility to echo this sentiment through the new and creative ideas that students such as himself are using to create change.

Martino is grateful for the funding he received from the center because it allowed him to work in the public sector, a field he plans to continue in after graduation. As someone who worked in Angola and Portugal in governmental and volunteer capacities, Martino was excited to work in a role that was equally as rewarding and where he was able to positively impact the lives of 400,000 disabled New Yorkers and millions of other subway riders. 

By Sophie Drew