Today’s news:

Lhota approved as MTA head by state Senate

TimesLedger Newspapers

The state Senate has unanimously approved as MTA chairman Joseph Lhota, who promised to “create a more efficient and effective MTA.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Lhota was the man for the job.

“Fortunately, Gov. Cuomo has selected a very capable leader in Joe to manage the largest mass transit system in the nation and build on the tremendous progress made under Jay Walder,” he said.

Lhota expressed gratitude for the confirmation and said, “As a lifelong New Yorker and transit rider, I understand the importance of the MTA to New York’s economy and the responsibility of being chairman. I am grateful to Gov. Cuomo for his nomination and to the Senate for its support, and I look forward to creating a more efficient and effective MTA for our riders and New York taxpayers.”

Lhota served as deputy mayor and budget director in the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and was executive vice president of administration for the Madison Square Garden Co.

He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

A native New Yorker born in the Bronx, Lhota is the son of a retired NYPD lieutenant and was raised on Long Island. He lives in Brooklyn.

Lhota faces tremendous problems, led by a shortage of money, at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

His predecessor, Jay Walder, shut down two subway lines, curtailed many bus routes and consolidated many departments as well as carried out layoffs at the cash-strapped MTA. He resigned to take over a Hong Kong transit agency.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

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