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Joe Lhota Tapped To Head MTA As Agency Vows 'Top To Bottom Review'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Governor Cuomo is set to appoint Joe Lhota as the new Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman.

Lhota -- a former New York City deputy mayor -- previously served as MTA chairman in 2012.

This comes as straphangers faced another morning of delays, prompting the MTA to announce it will conduct a "top to bottom review" of how the agency handles and responds to delays in the subway system.

MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim apologized for the near daily subway meltdowns Wednesday, and explained the problem has been the 1930s signal system.

She pointed out that upgrading that technology won't happen overnight, but said "how we respond to events can certainly be improved."

"I want the riding public to know that we're attacking this with an all hands on deck attitude," Hakim said.

Progress is being made on the recently announced subway improvement system, and long term the MTA is investing $2 billion to upgrade antiquated signals, Hakim said.

"We're fixing old signals, we're installing modern equipment and we're working at an unprecedented pace," Hakim said. "We have to keep at it, we will, we will look to see how we can improve."

Commuters who take the A, B, C and D trains couldn't catch a break thanks to two separate issues in the subway Wednesday morning.

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters were called to a small track fire at Columbus Circle. Power had to be shut off while they dealt with the problem.

Earlier around 7 a.m. there were also signal issues at 145th Street that lasted for about 90 minutes.

Both issues have since been resolved.

The problems came a day after subway signal malfunctions at 34th Street-Herald Square brought the morning rush to a crawl on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of riders were impacted by the delays on A, B, C, D, E, F and M trains. The MTA said one rider jumped off a stalled F train and onto the tracks, risking electrocution.

The MTA says there's no timeline for when their review of subway delays -- and how to better handle them -- will be complete, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

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