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The New York State Senate has confirmed Thomas Prendergast as chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.Prendergast has served as MTA's interim executive director since Jan. 1. He succeeds Joseph Lhota."As interim executive director, Tom was vital to the recovery of the MTA after Superstorm Sandy and he will continue to play a crucial role in making the MTA more modern, efficient and storm ready," Cuomo said in a prepared statement.Prendergast served for more than three years as president of MTA New York City Transit and six years as president of MTA Long Island Rail Road.Prendergast's "extensive professional experience, both within the MTA and in other public and private sector transportation positions, will serve him well as he addresses the numerous issues and challenges facing the MTA," said State Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr., who chairs the Senate's Transportation Committee.A native of Chicago, Prendergast began his career at the Chicago Transit Authority in 1975. He later joined the U.S. Department of Transportation, then moved to the New York City Transit Authority in 1982. He also at one time worked for TransLink.