Home>Feature>NJ TRANSIT customer experience officer Stewart Mader is out

NJ Transit Customer Advocate and Chief Customer Experience Officer Stewart Mader. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

NJ TRANSIT customer experience officer Stewart Mader is out

By David Wildstein, October 05 2020 2:37 pm

Stewart Mader, the embattled chief customer experience officer at New Jersey Transit, is out.

Mader and the state’s public transit agency have decided to part ways and his eighteen-month stint serving as customer advocate has ended.

“NJ TRANSIT will take this opportunity to re-examine in its entirety, including the qualifications of a replacement candidate, as well (as) the position’s location in our organizational structure,” said the agency’s president and CEO, Kevin Corbett, in a memo to board members.

Mader’s last day was Friday, Corbett said.

He was hired by the Murphy administration to the $127,000 customer service job after leading a PATH rider’s council to advocate on behalf of commuters.

Before joining NJ TRANSIT, Mader worked as a digital strategist for Fitch Ratings, a credit rating group.

In February, Mader took responsibility for sending out an official New Jersey Transit tweet bashing a Bergen Record report that CFO Bill Viqueira suggested the hiring of his brother-in-law as the $128,000-a-year labor relations counsel for the agency.

Following the story, a tweet from the official New Jersey Transit twitter account bashed the story.

The Murphy administration quickly distanced itself from Mader’s tweet, which the New Jersey Globe found was done by Mader at the behest of NJ TRANSIT chief administrative officer Jeannie Kwon, the central player in a storm over the hiring of a relative of the embattled agency’s CFO.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said at the time that Mader’s involvement in the incident had made her lose confidence in his ability to serve in his position.

Weinberg is proposing a NJ TRANSIT reform bill requiring an independent customer advocate hired directly by the agency board and reporting to the board.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Weinberg would seek to  create an ombudsman position.

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