Former NYC subway chief reaches last stop on mayoral campaign

Former New York City subway chief Joe Lhota's (R) bid to become the city's mayor is expected to reach the end of the line on Tuesday with a potential historic defeat.

Polls have shown Lhota trailing Democrat Bill de Blasio by as many as 45 points. The GOP candidate led the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) before launching his political bid.

The former subway chief struggled to gain traction in overwhelmingly Democratic New York City, and he sought often to distance himself from national Republicans.

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Lhota, who is a former aide to New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani (R),  entered the 2013 mayor’s race after winning plaudits for his response to Hurricane Sandy as New York City subway chief.

The transit system was shut down during the storm after sustaining widespread damage, however, service was restored in about a week.

The New York City subway system carries more than 2 billion each year on 24 subway lines that cover 659 miles of track and service 468 stations.

By comparison, the second busiest public transit system in the United States is Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail system, which carries more than 200 million passengers per year. The D.C. Metro system has 103 miles and 86 stations.

The winner of Tuesday's New York mayoral race will replace long-time Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). Bloomberg, who was elected as a Republican in 2001, has served three terms as New York City's chief executive.

The expected de Blasio victory would be the first time a Democrat has won a New York City mayoral race since 1989.