Howard Permut is a Senior Advisor with the Eno Center for Transportation and has extensive knowledge of the public transit industry based on his 40-year career in the field.
After starting his career in Chicago with the Chicago Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority, Mr. Permut was part of the original team that formed Metro North Railroad in 1983. He held a series of progressively more senior executive positions culminating in his appointment as President from 2008 until his retirement in January 2014.
Mr. Permut’s work was instrumental in Metro North’s transformation to a leading transit agency. His initiatives expanded ridership, improved safety and customer service, increased financial efficiency, implemented new fare and revenue generating strategies, redeveloped Grand Central Terminal and rebuilt the railroad’s infra-structure. As President, he led the railroad during a time of critical economic, weather, safety and operational challenges. During his tenure, Metro North was the first American railroad to receive the International Brunel Jury Award for best design and engineering among global railroads.
Mr. Permut has been a leader in strategic industry activities involving the American Public Transportation Association, Federal Railroad Administration, Transit Center, Regional Plan Association and the Transportation Cooperative Research Program. He has been an international management consultant and has lectured on transit management and leadership topics at universities throughout the world, including Curtin University (Perth), National Defense University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and Northwestern University. He was part of the team that developed and launched the National Transit Institute’s Senior Leadership Program.
He has a bachelor’s in geography from SUNY Binghamton, a master’s in transportation from Northwestern University, and attended the Harvard University Kennedy School Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.