Newly named NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News.
Last night, I wrote an entry about the shocking resignation of MTA New York City Transit President Howard H. Roberts effective December 1st. It did not take long for new MTA Chairman & CEO Jay H. Walder to name his successor as former Long Island Rail Road President & Senior Vice President of Subways Thomas F. Prendergast will replace Mr. Roberts. Here is more courtesy of a press release sent to me by the MTA:
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder today announced the appointment of Thomas F. Prendergast as President of MTA New York City Transit (NYCT). Prendergast joins NYCT from Vancouver, where he is the CEO of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, known as TransLink. A world-renowned transit expert, Prendergast is no stranger to the MTA, previously serving as President of MTA Long Island Rail Road and Senior Vice President of Subways at NYCT. Prendergast will assume his new role on December 1. He replaces Howard H. Roberts, who resigned yesterday.
“Tom is a leader who brings an extraordinary variety of experiences from around the world to a system that he already knows extremely well,” said Walder. “Tom’s work running one of the most technologically sophisticated systems in Vancouver will be invaluable as we take the MTA to the next level in performance and customer service.”
Prendergast, 57, brings more than 30 years of transportation experience to NYCT. He began his career at the Chicago Transit Authority and worked at the Federal Transit Administration before joining NYCT in 1982. He rose through the ranks, eventually running the subway system from 1990 to 1994. He then served as President of MTA Long Island Rail Road from 1994 to 2000. He joined TransLink in July 2008 after working in the private sector for eight years. During his time in the private sector, Prendergast worked in the engineering and construction management consultation sector and was directly involved in the delivery of transportation infrastructure and construction projects.
“It is a tremendous honor to return home to lead the outstanding men and women who run one of the world’s great transit systems,” said Prendergast. “I look forward to working with Jay Walder to implement the customer service improvements that New Yorkers deserve. Running New York City Transit is one of the great challenges and honors in the profession, and I will bring all of my energy and passion to the job.”
Prendergast holds a B.S. in Socio-Technological Systems Engineering from the University of Illinois and is a graduate of the Harvard Program for State and Local Government Executives.
Well it is safe to say that the hiring of Prendergast is a blast from the past. Lets hope that the same enthusiasm he showed for taking the position leads to a turn around of the much beleaguered transit agency.
Lets face it, he & everyone else at the transit agency has a lot of work to do with an infrastructure which is crumbling apart as ridership continues to grow, catching up with current & future technologies, & improving the sentiment from an extremely skeptical & dissatisfied ridership base. Good luck Mr. Prendergast, you will definitely need it & I hope for the better of everyone, that you get the job done.
xoxo Transit Blogger