Senate confirms Brewster’s Tom Prendergast as MTA chief

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The state Senate confirmed Brewster resident Thomas Prendergast as chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority late Thursday.

Prendergast, 60, succeeds Joseph Lhota, who resigned late last year to run for New York City mayor.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Prendergast for the post in April, and he was unanimously confirmed by the full Senate around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The confirmation was one of dozens taken up by the Senate in the waning days of the 2013 legislative session, which is slated to end Friday.

Since 2009, Prendergast has served as the head of New York City Transit, the MTA subsidiary that oversees the city’s subway and bus systems. Prior to that, he headed the city of Vancouver’s public transit authority and had previously served as president of the Long Island Rail Road.

He’s been interim executive director of the authority since January.

“The MTA faces enormous challenges to continue improving service while cutting costs and rebuilding stronger after Superstorm Sandy,” Prendergast said in a statement. “Leading the MTA through these challenges is critical to the lives of millions of New Yorkers and the future of the New York economy.”

Prendergast’s confirmation was praised by Cuomo, who cited his breadth of experience when making the nomination earlier this year.

“Tom Prendergast has a proven track record of leadership and transportation expertise, especially when it comes to the managing the vast transportation network of the MTA,” Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.

The MTA oversees the New York City transit system, as well as the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad, which runs as far north as Poughkeepsie.

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