By Philip Newman
Thomas Prendergast, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority since 2013 who presided at the opening of the Second Avenue subway in recent days, has confirmed his intent to resign within weeks as head of the sprawling transit system.
“Opening the Second Avenue subway this weekend was a crowning achievement for the MTA and I am proud to have been part of such a historic moment,” Pendergast said in in a statement released through Gov. Cuomo’s office.
The governor, who heavily promoted completion of the long delayed Second Avenue project, said Prendergast “will be remembered for improving the commute, and the lives, of millions of New Yorkers who depend on our mass transit system.
Prendergast, a native of Chicago, spent more than 25 years with the MTA, where he was president of New York City Transit overseeing the subways and buses and later the head of the Long Island Rail Road.
He took over the the MTA when Joseph Lhota resigned as head of the MTA to enter politics as the Republican candidate for mayor in 2012. CHECK
Pendergast pushed hard to obtain $29 billion in capital funds to expand the city’s transit system. He has also won kudos for bringing the damaged system back into operation after Hurricane Sandy flooded the East Side tunnels, took the A train out of service to the Rockaways and shut down subway stations in Lower Manhattan.
But his most visible and widely celebrated achievement was the opening of the Second Avenue subway after nearly 100 years on various drawing boards under many administrations.
The on-time completion of the Second Avenue Subway would have been impossible without Tom’d leadership and relentless commitment to meeting the goal and is an incredible way to end his long and successful career,” Cuomo said.