Thomas Prendergast, who has served as president of NYC Transit for more than three years, has been tapped by Gov. Cuomo to be the next chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Prendergast, a native of Chicago, began his career with the Chicago Transit Authority in 1975. He moved to the New York City Transit Authority in 1982 following a term with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
He worked in numerous management posts before serving as president of the Long Island Rail Road from 1994 to 2000.
He also ran the transit system in Vancouver, British Columbia, from 2008 to 2009.
“Tom Prendergast is a consummate public transit leader who is the ideal candidate to oversee the nation’s largest transportation system,” Cuomo said in a statement on April 12. “From track bed to 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.”
Prendergast said he was honored by the appointment.
“The MTA will improve the customer experience, operate more efficiently and build for the future,” he said, adding that the MTA will “aggressively build smarter and better” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Prendergast must be approved by a vote of the state Senate. He will replace former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, acting chairman since Joseph Lhota resigned in January to run for mayor.
Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, said in a statement that his group has found Prendergast to be accessible, knowledgeable, smart and fair.
“Tom Prendergast has the hands-on skill and long commitment to transit to make a great head of the MTA,” he said.