New Leader Joins Metro-North After Derailments, Service Problems

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Joseph Guilietti has been named the new president of Metro North following the retirement of Howard Permut. Photo Credit: Metro North

FARIFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North veteran Joseph Giulietti has been named the successor to embattled President Howard Permut, who announced he will retire from his position with the commuter railroad effective Friday, Jan. 31. 

Giulietti has served as executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority for more than 14 years and previously was a Metro-North executive for 15 years starting at the railroad’s inception. Metro-North's New Haven Line serves Fairfield County. 

“I am pleased to welcome Joe Giulietti back to Metro-North, where he will take the reins at a critical moment. Joe began his railroad career as a brakeman and assistant conductor on the Penn Central Railroad, and has honed his operational and leadership skills through positions of increasing responsibility," Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said in a statement.

"I am confident Joe will quickly focus on enhancing Metro-North’s strong operational standards and safety practices, while continuing to develop the railroad’s future as a critical link in the region’s transportation system and economy.”

Permut's retirement comes on the heels of a trying year for the commuter railroad. The railroad suffered two major derailments in the last year, one of which included four fatalities, and a power outage that slowed the New Haven Line to a crawl for 12 days. 

Giulietti originally joined the newly formed Metro-North in 1983 as superintendent of transportation, and later became engineer of track for the Harlem and Hudson lines, assistant director of transportation and schedule coordination, and director of a project to reduce operational inefficiencies and increase productivity.

“Having worked at Metro-North when it began operations 31 years ago, I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead a railroad that is such a vital part of life for the people it serves,” Giulietti said in a statement. “Metro-North’s customers have learned to have high expectations of their railroad, and I want to ensure it always performs safely, efficiently and effectively for the future.”

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