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With new subway line open, MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast to retire

NEW YORK — MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast is retiring after nearly three decades with the transit agency and “finishing the monumental” Second Avenue subway, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo said Prendergast will retire in “early 2017.”

Prendergast’s career spans more than 25 with the MTA, including serving as president of NYC Transit and president of the Long Island Rail Road. He has been the chairman and CEO of the MTA since June 2013.

During his chairmanship, the agency has grappled with repairing damage from 2012’s Superstorm Sandy while wrapping up major new projects.

Last year saw the opening, on Manhattan’s far West Side, of what was then the city’s first new subway station since 1989.

News of his impending retirement comes a day after the public took its first ride on the Second Avenue subway, a long-awaited addition to the transit system. The line, which travels under Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has been envisioned since the 1920s.

The nearly 2-mile segment adds stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd streets and connects them to a different subway line at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue. It’s seen as crucial to alleviating congestion in the nation’s biggest subway system.

It’s expected to carry about 200,000 riders daily.

The MTA hopes the line will reduce travel time by 10 minutes or more for riders in Manhattan. It will stretch 8.5 miles from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in lower Manhattan when completed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.