MTA announces bus chief Craig Cipriano as interim Transit boss

MTA will promote bus chief Craig Cipriano to interim president of New York City Transit on July 31.
Marc A. Hermann / MTA

MTA’s bus chief Craig Cipriano will take over as interim president of New York City Transit on Saturday, July 31, managing the agency’s subways, buses, and paratransit, officials announced Friday.

Acting Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and chief executive officer Janno Lieber said he intends to appoint Cipriano after the current interim transit chief Sarah Feinberg steps down on July 30 after 17 months in the temporary role, while also promoting Demetrius Crichlow, an executive within the subways department.

“The pandemic revealed how important it is to have continuity and seasoned leaders at the MTA managing the daily challenges of our system,” said Lieber in a statement. “Craig and Demetrius exemplify the very best of what NYCT has to offer. I know I will rely on them immensely as we continue the critical work of modernizing mass transit in the years ahead.”

The news comes a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed MTA construction boss Lieber to lead the 70,000-strong Authority in an acting capacity as outgoing agency boss Pat Foye leaves Friday to head up the state’s Empire Development Corporation in September.

A Brooklyn native, Cipriano has worked for MTA for more than 30 years, starting in the subways division at Coney Island Yard in his home borough.

He ascended to lead North America’s largest bus agency and paratransit operation, implementing a borough-wide redesign of the Staten Island bus network. Overhauls for the remaining four boroughs remained stalled due to the pandemic.

His appointment as interim president of NYCT takes effect on July 31.

“Growing up in Brooklyn I knew firsthand how important the B42 bus and L train were to the people in my neighborhood, but I never dreamed I would one day have the honor of running New York City’s world class transit system.” Cipriano said. “I am excited to return to my subway roots where I began and lead the agency at this critical juncture as we work to bring ridership back and support the city’s recovery — building upon the improvements we have already made.”

Crichlow was promoted by Feinberg, effective immediately, to senior vice president, a permanent promotion to the top of the subways division where he’ll report directly to Cipriano.

Demetrius Crichlow was promoted to senior vice president of NYCT’s department of subways on July 30.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

He started working as an assistant signal maintainer at the Long Island Rail Road in 1997, following in his father’s footsteps who was a subway inspector.

Crichlow moved to MTA Headquarters at 2 Broadway in 2006 as a special assistant for then-chairman and CEO Peter Kalikow.

Prior to his current role, he served as acting executive vice president of subways, the number two role in the department. Crichlow’s new role was left vacant after the retirement of Frank Jezycki in January.

“I strongly believe that the subway system is a powerful force for equity in New York City and I am grateful for the opportunity to help move the department forward alongside Craig and Janno,” said Crichlow.”The men and women who work for the Department of Subways are dedicated, committed professionals with real expertise and I am eager to work hand-in-hand with them.”

The MTA leadership is still in limbo as Lieber’s acting role expires after six months, with a possible three-month extension.

Gov. Cuomo, who controls the MTA, wants to split the top role into two positions, and 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.

But his bill to bifurcate the position is currently stalled in the Albany legislature, and good government groups have warned that splitting the role would undo 2009 reforms to keep the Authority’s chief more independent from politics.

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