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New Jersey Transit Executive Director Steven Santoro has announced plans to step down in April.Since taking the helm 15 months ago, Santoro has renewed the agency's focus on safety, customer service and communication, NJ Transit officials said in a press release. That focus was "especially important" during Amtrak's repairs at Penn Station New York over the summer, they added.Agency officials didn't mention Santoro's reasons for resignation. However, his departure will make way for New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy's pick to lead NJ Transit, Bloomberg reported late last week. Murphy has called the agency a "national disgrace."Santoro joined NJ Transit in 2000 as director of the Hudson Bergen light-rail project. In that role, he managed the multibillion dollar project's design, construction, commissioning and startup. Santoro also managed the start-up of the River LINE, a 34-mile passenger-rail system connecting Delaware River communities with the Northeast Corridor in Trenton, New Jersey, and the Atlantic City Rail line in Pennsauken, New Jersey.He later became chief of capital project management and then assistant executive director of capital planning and programs."We are deeply grateful for his stewardship and proud of the many strides we made as an agency during his tenure," said NJ Transit Chairman Richard Hammer. "As chief executive, Santoro guided NJ Transit during a very critical time in our history."
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