Metro-North President Stepping Down After Problem-Filled Year

Howard Permut announced his retirement from the commuter rail line

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Howard Permut, President, MTA Metro-North Railroad attends Grand Central Terminal 100th Anniversary Celebration at Grand Central Terminal on February 1, 2013 in New York City.

One month after a deadly train derailment killed four people, the president of New York’s Metro-North rail line announced he will retire.

Howard Permut, who has served as president of Metro-North since 2008, announced to staff members Monday afternoon that he will retire at the end of January, according to the New York Times. Permut has worked for Metro-North since 1983, the year the rail line became part of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and rose to become Metro-North’s president five years ago.

While Permut led Metro-North to a reputation as one of the region’s most reliable rail lines, 2013 was one tragedy after another for the company. In May, two trains collided during rush hour near New Haven, Conn., two weeks later a track worker was struck by a train and killed, and most visibly the high-speed crash on December 1 in the Bronx sent a Metro-North train hurtling off the tracks, killing four and injuring more than 60. The deadly derailment led to an emergency order by the Federal Railroad Administration to improve safety procedures, and a federal investigation into the four deaths is still ongoing.

According to the Times, Permut will be replaced by Joseph Giulietti, executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, who is expected to take over Metro-North by the end of January.

[New York Times]