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¡Prepárate! {Click to listen to episode 13}

As the city that never sleeps, New York City has over 12,000 miles of sidewalks, close to 800 bridges and tunnels, 6,300 miles of streets and highways, which are used every day by eight million New Yorkers, countless commuters, and millions of tourists. On the latest episode of ¡Prepárate!, NYC Emergency Management’s Spanish-language podcast, co-hosts Inés Bebea and Yokarina Duarte talk with NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, whose agency is tasked with repairs, maintenance, street closures during events, and the growing number of cyclists — just to name a few. The Dominican-born Commissioner is eager to make the streets safe for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists alike, while also prioritizing equity in transportation and roads throughout all New York City neighborhoods.

“Access to good roads or fast repairs should not depend on if you live in an upper- or middle-class zip code. Equity in transportation is a lifeline to our immigrant communities as they rely on our roadways to provide for their families and go to work,” said Commissioner Rodriguez, who  emigrated to New York City as an 18-year-old and held various jobs such as taxi driver, restaurant employee and teacher before being elected to the New York City Council representing Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. “Equity in transportation is what this new administration believes in, and what I want to do for the people of New York City to even the playing field for the next generation.”

Under his supervision, NYC DOT also oversees programs like Open Restaurants, Open Streets, Vision Zero. In line with the  previous administration, Rodriguez and his team are committed to reducing the number of deaths due to speed, and creating roadways that are safe for cyclists and vehicles.

You can listen to ¡Prepárate! on SoundCloud and Spotify.


Ydanis Rodriguez began serving as Commissioner for New York City Department of Transportation on January 1, 2022. As NYC DOT Commissioner, Rodriguez oversees more than 5,500 employees, an annual operating budget of over $1.1 billion, and a 10-year capital budget of $19.7 billion. Rodriguez is the first Latino and only the second person of color to serve in the position.

Previously, Commissioner Rodriguez served in the New York City Council, representing the 10th District that includes the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. First elected in 2009, he became a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee, which he then chaired from 2014 through 2021.

Prior to elected office, Commissioner Rodriguez taught in New York City public schools for more than fifteen years. Born in the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez arrived in New York City in 1983 at the age of 18 and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from City College of the City University of New York.                                                       


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