Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Metro-North president to step down

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Howard R. Permut, president of MTA Metro-North Railroad and an original team member of the railroad since its creation in 1983, reportedly will step down from his post by month's end.

Permut announced the move to staff members late Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, according to sources reached by The New York Times. One source told the newpaper that Joseph Giulietti, currently executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), is expected to succeed Permut.

An MTA spokeswoman contacted by Railway Age Tuesday declined to comment on the report.

Permut became Metro-North president in 2008, continuing to advance service options for riders besides traditional "commuters" and overseeing Metro-North's rise to the largest regional passenger rail carrier (by ridership) in the U.S., surpassing longtime champion sister Long Island Rail Road. An emphasis on off-peak service, counter-rush service to large suburban New York satellite cities such as White Plains, N.Y., and Stamford, Conn., reflected such efforts.

But several incidents marred Metro-North's public status in 2013, including a fatal accident Dec. 1 near Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx, N.Y., where a train derailed at a speed exceeding the limit, killing four an injuring 70 – the first passenger fatalities directly attributable to rail operations by the railroad in its 30-year history.