Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, via a story in the Wall Street Journal, that he had elevated interim M.T.A. executive director Thomas Prendergast to chairman and C.E.O., ending more than three months of rudderlessness at the top of the sprawling transportation authority.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed executive budget diverts $20 million from the M.T.A. and sows concern among some transportation advocates.(1)
Some transportation advocates are talking up, if not explicitly endorsing, Tom Prendergast, the authority's interim executive director, for the job of chairman and executive director.
Now that Joe Lhota has left the M.T.A., the M.T.A. is considering a small-scale introduction of platform screen doors, as a subway-pusher prevention measure.
"It's obvious I'm not at the M.T.A. anymore, because they're talking about doing that," cracked Lhota today, during his remarks at the New York Building Congress.
Yesterday, when Joe Lhota formally announced that, after just a year, he was leaving his position as M.T.A. chairman for a possible run for mayor, he promised that he would remain the M.T.A.'s lobbyist in chief, a job at which he has excelled, through the end of the month. "I will continue to fight through the end of the year to get the supplemental resolution passed in Washington, as will everybody at the M.T.A," he promised.
But today, it wasn't Lhota who went down to Washington to plead the M.T.A.'s case for post-hurricane relief from the Senate. It was Tom Prendergast, the M.T.A.'s head of transit in New York City.
In an email, Gene Russianoff, a transit advocate with the Straphangers Campaign, called it "a good illustration of my point that heavy turnover it M.T.A. leadership—6 M.T.A. Chairs and C.E.O.'s in 6 years—reduces developing personal connections and presence."
There was lots of backslapping this afternoon as Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined elected officials and academic leaders at N.Y.U.'s Polytechnic Institute in downtown Brooklyn to announce a a long-sought agreement paving the way for applied-sciences campus at an underutilized M.T.A.-occupied building nearby.