Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast announced the Jan. 31 retirement of MTA Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut and the appointment of Joseph J. Giulietti as his successor.
Permut has been a senior Metro-North executive since he helped found the railroad in 1983 and has served as president for more than five years, overseeing the railroad’s expansion of service and ridership. 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.
“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. 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,” Prendergast said.
“Howard Permut’s career spans the entire history of Metro-North, a time in which the railroad enhanced its service to double its ridership and carry more customers than any other railroad in the nation. I want to thank him for his service to the railroad and to the people of New York and Connecticut during his distinguished career,” Prendergast said.
Giulietti began his career in 1971 with Penn Central while attending Southern Connecticut State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and English. In 1978 he became a road foreman with Conrail, where he advanced to become assistant manager for operating rules. He 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.
Giulietti joined the agency now known as the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority in 1998 as deputy executive director and was named executive director two years later. The authority operates the Tri-Rail commuter rail system through Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, as well as other regional transportation services.
“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. “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.”
“We hate to see Joe leave the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. His leadership has been instrumental to our success as we approach the eve of Tri-Rail’s 25th anniversary. It is gratifying to know that one of the top transit systems in the nation has recognized his expertise, as did our Governing Board when he joined us in 1998. This opportunity brings him back to his roots. His intimate knowledge of Metro-North will be invaluable as they enter this period of transition and change. The Board and the staff thank him for his service and wish him continued success in his new position,” said South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Chair Steven L. Abrams.
Permut began his MTA career in 1979 and was one of 10 people chosen to help form Metro-North from former Conrail commuter lines in 1983. He was named president in 2008. During his tenure Metro-North improved its financial efficiency, expanded and improved its infrastructure, modernized customer service and celebrated Grand Central Terminal’s centennial.
“I am proud of all that Metro-North has accomplished over the past 31 years, and glad to have had the opportunity to direct the railroad’s progress as president,” Permut said. “The tragedies and challenges of the past year have deeply affected me as well as all Metro-North employees. We have implemented many steps to address these issues, and I know the railroad will continue to work aggressively to ensure Metro-North customers will always have a safe and reliable ride.”