NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated an experienced New York City transit executive to be the next chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Cuomo nominated Thomas F. Prendergast on Friday. The nomination is subject to approval by the state Senate.

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Starting in 2009, Prendergast was the MTA’s president of New York City Transit, which runs the bus and subway systems. He’s been the interim executive director of the MTA since Jan. 1.

Cuomo called him “a consummate public transit leader” and “the ideal candidate to oversee the nation’s largest transportation system.”

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“From the track bed to the budget to modernizing our system for the 21st Century, I can’t imagine anyone having a better understanding of how the region’s vast system operates and the challenges that it faces,” Cuomo said.

The Straphangers’ Campaign supports the nomination. It called Prendergast “accessible, knowledgable, smart and fair.”

Cuomo didn’t initially release the chairman’s salary. Joseph Lhota was previously paid about $300,000 a year.

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