Then-acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg, appointed interim president of...

Then-acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg, appointed interim president of New York City Transit, speaks with reporters after testifying about the May 2015 derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia.   Credit: AP/Cliff Owen

A former federal railroad chief has been tapped to temporarily lead the MTA’s subway and bus system, officials said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday named Sarah Feinberg as the interim president of New York City Transit, succeeding Andy Byford, who resigned last month. Feinberg said she was “thrilled” about her new job, which she formally begins March 9.

“As a transportation professional there’s no greater impact on public service than working with the people responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of eight million New Yorkers every day,” Feinberg said. “I could not be happier and more proud to join this incredible team and look forward to jumping into the work right away."

Upon the recommendation of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Feinberg joined the MTA Board a year ago, serving as chairwoman of the New York City Transit Committee — a post Feinberg said she will “step back from” in her new role. 

Because she has young children, Feinberg said she does not expect to be doing the job “in the long term.” The MTA said it is continuing its search for a permanent bus and subway chief.

Feinberg said she will prioritize improving subway performance, addressing safety and security issues, and increasing accessibility for riders. 

Feinberg previously held several positions in President Barack Obama’s administration, including as the first female head of the Federal Railroad Administration — the agency overseeing all American railroads, including the LIRR.

“Sarah is a top notch transportation expert who is a terrific choice to run the NYC Transit system that is so critically important to the thousands of Long Islanders who use the subways and buses every day,” said MTA board member Kevin Law, who represents Suffolk County.

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