Tom Prendergast, the new President of NYC Transit, visited the Transit Riders Council at their December 17th meeting. He made some brief introductory remarks emphasizing the gravity of the financial situation. He predicted that it would be 2011 before the MTA and Transit would see a better fiscal environment. When asked about service cuts he was adament: “We are going to take care of people who are totally dependent on transit.” However, he added,”we might have to trim service in order to prevent cutting it completely. ”
Prendergast admitted that he was not fully informed on all the issues yet (he was appointed November 5, 2009), but indicated that he will be an avid listener and will not shy away from criticism.
When asked what he thought his biggest challenge would be (outside of funding issues), he replied:
1) Bringing in technology improvements to better serve the riders
2) Changing the mindset of engineers about implementing new technology
3) Enticing labor to embrace new technology
The Council was impressed by Prendergast’s forthrightness, pleasant demeanor, expertise and innovative thinking. He indicated that he values the riders’ opinions and is quite willing to work with NYCTRC. As he settles in we look forward to actions that move the transit system forward.