MTA names new acting bus chief Frank Annicaro

Acting head of buses at MTA Frank Annicaro.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced Wednesday they have tapped Frank Annicaro to take over the mass transit agency’s buses and paratransit. 

The three-decade transportation industry veteran assumed the role earlier this month in an acting capacity as president of MTA Bus Company and senior vice president of New York City Transit’s Department of Buses.

“I am honored to accept this role,” said Annicaro in a statement. “I’m ready to hit the ground running to make sure our team is as prepared as ever to deliver world class bus service [to] millions of New Yorkers.”

He takes over the role previously held by Craig Cipriano, who was appointed as interim president of New York City Transit at the end of July, overseeing the city’s subways, buses, and paratransit, after Sarah Feinberg stepped down.  

Feinberg had been serving in an interim capacity for more than a year after the departure of “Train Daddy” Andy Byford. 

Cipriano appointed Annicaro for his temporary replacement, according to MTA. 

“Having worked closely with Frank in my former role, I  know firsthand how he is uniquely prepared to build upon the work we have done together,” Cipriano said in a statement. 

Annicaro spent 18 years working in MTA’s bus operations and most recently served as chief maintenance officer in charge of maintaining the agency’s fleet of buses. He managed bus procurement contracts and warranties and was part of the effort to get to a zero emission bus fleet by 2040. 

Previously he worked for more than a decade in private sector logistic services. 

MTA regional bus operations runs upwards of 300 bus routes, including more than 70 express routes and 20 Select Bus Service routes. The agency has a nearly 6,000-strong fleet making it the largest municipal bus operation in the country. 

Annicaro’s appointment is yet another temporary position at the MTA leadership, following several shakeups at the top of the 70,000-strong public authority in recent months. 

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed MTA construction boss Janno Lieber for the top gig as acting chairperson and chief executive officer on July 31, replacing Pat Foye, who is headed to lead the state’s Empire State Development Corporation in September.

The leadership limbo came started after Cuomo tried to push an 11th-hour bill amid this year’s state budget negotiations to split the top role. He originally intended to nominate Lieber as CEO running the day-to-day operations and Feinberg as the agency’s first chairwoman, in charge of the MTA board.

The bifurcation law is still stalled in the legislature, and good government groups have warned splitting the role would undo decade-old reforms to keep the Authority’s boss more independent from politicians. 

It is unclear whether freshly-minted Governor Kathy Hochul supports the leadership split.