NEW YORK (AP) - Metropolitan Transportation Authority Joseph Lhota says he is resigning his post to explore running for New York City mayor next year.

Lhota announced his resignation Wednesday. He says he'll announce next month whether he's entering the mayor's race.

The Republican has headed the board of the nation's largest transit system for a little more than a year.

Lhota has been hailed for the MTA's handling of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. That sparked political chatter about his mayoral prospects.

He previously worked as a deputy mayor and city budget director under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

City law prohibits Lhota from running for mayor while serving as MTA chairman.

Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer became vice chairman on Wednesday. He'll take over as acting chairman Jan. 1.