Susan Kupferman, senior advisor to the chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, died Wednesday morning at age 54 after a long illness.

“The MTA has lost a true professional in our industry, and her wisdom and counsel will be sorely missed,” chairman and chief executive Thomas Prendergast said in a statement. “Susan brought to the MTA not just her expertise in mass transit, which was substantial, but a clear understanding of the political and social environments in which we operate, making her an invaluable advisor on many different policy issues.”

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