Interim Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Executive Director Thomas Prendergast was appointed the new permanent director on Friday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The official appointment is still pending confirmation by the New York state Senate.
Prendergast was named interim director of MTA when acting director Joseph Lhota resigned to enter the 2013 New York mayoral race. He previously served as the head of New York City Transit, guiding the entire system through the recovery process following a series of major weather events, including the blizzard of 2010, Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Prendergast was especially lauded for the transit agency’s performance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, with partial subway service returned in less than three days while other agencies remained shut down for weeks. The majority of subway lines were back in operation within a week of Sandy’s departure.
The challenges awaiting Prendergast in his new position include continued repair and recovery work from Sandy and negotiations with transit workers, who have worked the last year without any contract.