New NJ Transit director decides not to take job

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The man picked to lead New Jersey Transit decided he does not want the job, just days before he was scheduled to start running the nation’s third-busiest commuter railroad.

Former Amtrak executive William Crosbie changed his mind because of concerns over relocating his family from Virginia, the state transportation department said in a statement Thursday. Crosbie was scheduled to start on Monday.

“The decision came as a surprise to us because of the level of mutual enthusiasm we both shared when he accepted the offer,” acting New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer said.

The former chief operating officer at Amtrak oversaw areas including transportation, infrastructure and security.

NJ Transit’s board on April 6 unanimously approved Crosbie as executive director to replace Ronnie Hakim, who left last fall to take a job at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Crosbie could not immediately be reached for comment.

His decision comes as the agency, which also operates a statewide bus system and light-rail lines, looks to close a $45 million gap in its operating budget.

Interim executive director Dennis Martin will remain in that position.

Martin told the state Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday that NJ Transit did not plan service cuts or layoffs. “We are monitoring our receipts and reimbursements and looking at cost efficiencies,” Martin said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the story Thursday.