Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Joseph Lhota, a former New York City deputy mayor and budget director, was confirmed today by the New York Senate as the new chief of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the biggest U.S. transit agency.
Lhota, 57, replaced Chairman Jay Walder in October after Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated him to fill the post. Lhota was previously the executive vice president at Madison Square Garden Co. and deputy mayor of operations under former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Before that he managed the city’s $36 billion operating budget and $45 billion capital plan, Cuomo said in a statement announcing Lhota’s nomination.
The Senate’s confirmation is the only approval Lhota needs to permanently take the top job at the agency, which operates the city’s subways, buses and commuter railroads, including Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road. MTA trains and buses carry 8.5 million riders a day.
“Joe Lhota brings one-of-a-kind managerial, government and private-sector experience to the job and a lifelong commitment to public service that will benefit all straphangers,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in the statement. “I look forward to working together as we continue to reform the MTA, reduce costs, and improve service.”
MTA board members passed a $12.7 billion budget last month that includes an $86 million deficit.
Walder left the agency to take a position with Hong Kong’s urban rail operator.
--With assistance from Esmé Deprez in New York, Editors: Mark Schoifet, Mark Tannenbaum
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