N.J. Transit Executive Director Jim Weinstein will step down this month and be replaced by Veronique Hakim, the current head of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday.
Hakim, the turnpike authority's executive director since September 2010, will succeed Weinstein at the agency, the news release said. Hakim will be replaced by Joseph Mrozek, a deputy commissioner at the state Department of Transportation.
Both moves are expected to be complete by March 1, Christie said in a news release.
Weinstein, who spent four years at the helm of N.J. Transit and is one of the longest-serving members of Christie's cabinet, has come under fire in recent weeks for the massive train delays before and after Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Thousands of fans waited for hours to leave the Meadowlands Sports Complex after the event Feb. 2, as NJ Transit reported having to transport three times as many fans as it does during a typical NFL game.
In a prepared statement, Christie called Hakim and Mrozek "effective, capable professionals who focus relentlessly on getting the job done for our state." Christie also thanked Weinstein "for his dedication and service through our entire first term together. I wish him well in the next phase of his career."
Hakim spent more than 23 years at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City, most recently as executive vice president with its capital construction program, the news release said. Mrozek was appointed a DOT deputy commissioner in February 2010, following a career in the private sector.