Former Amtrak executive William Crosbie opted not to take the New Jersey Transit executive director post just days before his scheduled April 23 start date.

New Jersey Transit is back at the drawing board looking for someone to lead the nation's third-busiest public transportation system.

Former Amtrak executive William Crosbie, who was unanimously appointed NJ Transit executive director tapped on April 6, decided he did not want the job just days before his scheduled April 23 start date. Crosbie, who previously spent seven years as Amtrak chief operating officer and a short stint as its interim president, opted to not take the position due to concerns about relocating his family from Virginia, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation officials.

He spent nearly four years as president, CEO and regional director for international transportation engineering consulting firm SYSTRA USA before announcing plans to take the New Jersey job.

"The decision came as a surprise to us because of the level of mutual enthusiasm we both shared when he accepted the offer," said NJDOT Commissioner and NJ Transit Chairman Richard T. Hammer in a statement. "I have informed NJ Transit's board members of this development and that the search process for a new executive director will continue."

Crosbie was slated to succeed Dennis J. Martin, who has served as the agency's interim executive director since last December after Veronique Hakim departed to become president of New York City Transit. NJDOT spokesman Steven Schapiro said Martin will continue to serve as interim executive director and there is no timetable to find a permanent replacement.

NJ Transit is facing a $57 million budget deficit and is tasked with finding a way to pay for its share of the planned Gateway Tunnel rail project connecting New Jersey to Manhattan. The agency raised fares 9% last year to address a $56 million budget gap.

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