Thomas F. Prendergast, a 38-year transit veteran who oversees New York’s subways, will take over as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Prendergast, 60, who began a career in transit in his native Chicago in 1975, has presided over the city’s network of subways and buses for the past three years. He’s been serving as interim MTA executive director since January, when Chairman Joseph Lhota stepped down to a pursue a run for New York mayor.
“From the track bed to the budget, to modernizing our system for the 21st century, I can’t imagine anyone having a better understanding of how the region’s vast system operates and the challenges that it faces,” Cuomo said today in a statement.
Prendergast helped revive the subway system after it was flooded last year during Hurricane Sandy, for which the agency was widely praised. He’ll be the seventh leader of the MTA in the past seven years. New York’s Senate must confirm the nomination.
The MTA, the biggest U.S. transit agency, employs 66,000 workers, has a $13 billion budget and carries 8.5 million riders a day on subways, buses and commuter railroads.