As Joe Lhota, chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, stood before the media after a day of praise last Wednesday from the riding public and some editorial writers, one reporter asked him if the accolades produced an out-of-body experience.

“I’m getting used to it. It’s not what I expected,” Lhota said with a slight grin. “The only problem with laudatory comments like that is that there is only one place to go from there.”

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