John Fenton came to Metrolink about two years ago, after the disastrous crash of a Metrolink train and a freight train in Chatsworth. He said Monday he is stepping down for family and professional reasons to become the chief executive officer of Patriot Rail Corp., a Boca Raton, Fla holding company that operates 12 regional freight railroads. From the LA Times web story:
Fenton’s departure after almost 25 months on the job leaves Metrolink with a leadership vacuum at a time when the operation is trying to bolster ridership, reduce costs and install cutting edge safety measures, such as positive train control, a sophisticated collision avoidance system....
“There is nothing at Metrolink that is causing me to leave,” Fenton said. “It’s been a wonderful experience and one of the most gratifying jobs I’ve had or will ever have. We’ve made a lot of progress since I arrived. I feel really good about the position that Metrolink is in.”
The railroad, which has 512 miles of track, is the third largest commuter service in the nation. It averages more than 40,000 riders per week day from six Southern California counties, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.
“I am deeply saddened that he is leaving,” said Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition. “He’s turned a moribund agency into a vibrant, healthy organization.”