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NYC Transit's Bianco to retire; agency preps for Line 7 Extension opening

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) President Carmen Bianco will retire from his post by August, the agency announced yesterday.

Bianco has served as president since September 2013, a period that included hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and significant snowstorms, NYCT officials said in a press release. Under his leadership, 80 percent of subway service was restored within five days of Sandy's impact, they said.

Bianco is the seventh person to serve as the agency's president since the position was created in 1980. Prior to assuming that role, he served as head of NYCT's Department of System Safety from 1991 to 1995, as well as senior vice president of the agency's Department of Subways.

"Carmen Bianco is a one-of-a-kind leader as well as a trusted friend, and while I understand why he is ready to retire now, we will all miss his detailed experience, his thoughtful perspective and his constant drive to make transit better for both our customers and our employees," said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast in a statement.

Previously, he held safety roles at Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

Meanwhile, NYCT announced on Monday it has begun training staff to operate trains along the new 7 Line Extension. Train operators began training May 28, and will continue during the morning and afternoon for several weeks, NYCT officials said in a separate press release.

In total, the agency will train 672 train operators, eight dispatchers and 12 tower operators on the extension by June 30.

MTA Capital Construction Co. President Michael Horodniceanu said the agency plans to announce an opening date for the line in the next several weeks.

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