The never-ending revolving door atop the MTA just keeps on swinging. According to a report in The Times, with dreams of the mayoralty flashing before his eyes, MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota will step down from his post barely a year after assuming the office. As Lhota cannot run — or even talk about running — for mayor while serving as the head of a public agency, his resignation all but guarantees that he will at least publicly explore a campaign for Gracie Mansion.
With Lhota’s departure, he will have been the sixth person to leave the post since I started writing this column back in November of 2006. Lhota leaves just months before the MTA is set to raise fares and amidst praise of a fast response in light of the damage inflicted upon the system by Hurricane Sandy. Still, public perception of the MTA is not always a selling point in the city’s electoral politics, and Lhota will face a slate of high-profile, if less than inspiring, Democratic hopefuls as well.
And so the revolving door keeps moving. Someone else will have to head an agency requesting $5 billion in federal funds and in need of long-term fiscal and political stability. Who will it be next? And will they stay for longer than a year or so?