After two big blunders, New Jersey Transit chief resigns

The NJ transit chief was criticized for his handling of Superstorm Sandy and the Super Bowl. Credit: Getty Images
The NJ transit chief was criticized for his handling of Superstorm Sandy and the Super Bowl. Credit: Getty Images

New Jersey Transit’s chief resigned after stumbles following the Super Bowl and Superstorm Sandy, the latest transportation official appointed by Governor Chris Christie to leave.

James Weinstein, appointed by Christie in 2010, will leave office on March 2, the agency said Wednesday. The governor’s office announced his resignation on Tuesday but did not give a reason for his departure as head of the nation’s third largest mass transit agency.

NJ Transit runs a rail network and buses that enable commuters to get to jobs across the state and in Philadelphia and New York.

Weinstein was heavily criticized for poor planning during the Super Bowl, in which thousands of passengers were left stranded, and Superstorm Sandy, when commuter train cars were parked in an area that was later flooded by the storm.

He steps down less than three weeks after complaints surfaced about the planning and execution of mass transit during the February 2 Super Bowl in East Rutherford. Super Bowl attendees heeded recommendations that they take trains and buses to the game, but NJ Transit greatly underestimated ridership, leaving thousands delayed getting to the game and then stranded for hours trying to get home.

Weinstein’s leadership also came under fire after it was revealed NJ Transit left a third of its fleet in low-lying railyards during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, resulting in $120 million worth of damage to train cars and equipment. A New Jersey State Senate panel has called for an investigation into why the fleet was not moved to higher ground.

Weinstein will be replaced by Veronique Hakim, currently executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

His departure marks the third resignation submitted by a top Christie appointee at a state transportation agency amid controversy over his job handling. Late last year, two officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bi-state agency that oversees bridges and airports, resigned after questions emerged about last-minute lane closures that led to a massive traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge.

One of the Port Authority officials to step down, David Wildstein, orchestrated the lane closures with the help of two of Christie’s inner circle apparently as political punishment for a Democratic mayor who did not endorse the governor’s re-election.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jonathan Oatis)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

Movies

Interview: Elisabeth Moss on not talking about the…

Elisabeth Moss talks about how it's best if you don't know the opening twist in "The One I Love" and giving up Peggy Olson after nine years of "Mad Men."

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.