New Jersey Transit names Steven Santoro as new executive director

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

New Jersey Transit has named an insider to head the agency as it handles the fallout from a recent fatal commuter rail crash and questions about its overall safety record.

The agency’s board Thursday approved Steven Santoro as executive director. He’s been with NJ Transit for 16 years, including the last nine as assistant executive director of capital planning and projects.

The agency has had an interim director since Veronique Hakim left last fall.

State Department of Transportation Chairman Richard Hammer gave Santoro 30 days to issue a report on NJ Transit’s progress toward implementing an automatic braking system on its trains. Hammer chairs NJ Transit’s board.

A train sped up to double the speed limit as it approached Hoboken’s station Sept. 29, killing a woman on the platform and injuring more than 100.

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