No spoiler alert was necessary on stories that discussed Steven Santoro’s decision to leave his post as New Jersey Transit executive director in April. He wasn’t going to keep his job anyway, and now Santoro gets to say he quit, rather than be fired.
But that’s not necessarily Santoro’s call. Gov.-elect Murphy spent the last year ripping apart management at the embattled transit agency – even before he called it NJ Transit a national disgrace. It’s possible that Murphy has already identified the new executive director – that’s his pick – and that Santoro could be told to pack up before his chosen departure date.
If Murphy doesn’t already have his executive director lined up, then he’ll have to move quickly. Fixing NJ Transit was one of his big campaign issues, and if the transitional period of his pre-governorship ends without anything more than a fancy white paper, there will likely be criticism of reforms moving too slowly out of the box. In less than two weeks, criticism of NJ Transit operations will be on his watch.