Thomas Prendergast, the Chairman of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is likely to retire by early 2017. According to three different sources, the highly anticipated opening of the second avenue subway could mark the finale of Prendergast’s tenure as the chairman of MTA.
Spokesperson of Prendergast is yet to make any official statement on the matter. However, a trusted source with the awareness of Mr. Prendergast’s plans confirmed that the MTA boss is leaving. One source believes that he can retire as early as this month.
Prendergast served in MTA, the largest transportation network of North America for decades. According to a source, Tom initially had plans to stay for three years. However, he decided to extend his tenure to finish the Second Avenue Subway project, working closely with the New York Governor, despite having family priorities. He should feel proud and satisfied for the outstanding accomplishment of completing the Second Avenue subway within the deadline.
A list of potential candidates has already turned up including Pat Foye, the Executive Director of the “New York and New Jersey Port Authority” who was handpicked by the Governor for the job. However, as long as the Port Chairman John Degnan is in chair, the governor may prefer Foye to stay with Port Authority. Other potential replacements as the MTA boss are Veronique (Ronnie) Hakim; President of the New York City Transit, Matt Driscoll; state Department of Transportation Commissioner, Anthony Foxx, the US Transportation Secretary and finally John Porcari, an ex-Secretary of US Transportation. The names of Joseph Lhota (the ex MTA Chairman), Cuomo’s special counsellor Rick Cotton and Larry Schwartz, an MTA board member also came up as potential candidates.
Mr. Prendergast started out with Transit in 1982 as assistant director of system safety before took office as Long Island Rail Road president in 1994. On January 1, 2013 he replaced Lhota to become the interim MTA executive Director. He was confirmed by the state Senate as the permanent chairman as well as chief executive officer after six months. In the recent times Cuomo put Prendergast at gunpoint to inaugurate the Second Avenue subway line for New Year and subsequently he joined for a ceremonial first ride on the New Year’s Eve.
Prendergast has effectively completed the largest capital plan in MTA history during his term. Increasing the number of countdown clocks on subway platforms and an upgrade of the bus fleet was also executed successfully by the current MTA boss.