The new president of New York City Transit will be Thomas Prendergast, who served as head of the city’s subways from 1990 to 1994 and later as head of the Long Island Rail Road. M.T.A. chairman Jay Walder confirmed the hire this morning and said an announcement will be made this afternoon, just one day after he accepted the resignation of outgoing president Howard Roberts.
The announcement was noticeably quick, given the often-glacial pace for filling vacancies in the Paterson Administration. The top job at the State Department of Transportation has been vacant for six months, and other high-level posts have experienced similar delays.
The difference, it would seem, is job security. Mr. Walder’s contract carries a “golden parachute” that pays him a considerable windfall if he’s fired before the end of his contract, which stretches well beyond December 31, 2010–when, barring a turnaround in the governor’s poll numbers, the Paterson Administration could conceivably come to an end.