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Five Hall of Fame inductees honored

December 15, 2004

NEWARK, NJ — As NJ TRANSIT turns 25 years old, the Corporation today honored founders Brendan Byrne and Lou Gambaccini with proclamations for their significant contributions to the state’s transportation system. The legacy of former N.J. Governor Byrne and former DOT Commissioner Gambaccini has already provided millions of New Jersey commuters with a quarter-century of safe, reliable and affordable public transportation.

“Thanks to the courage and conviction of Governor Byrne and the vision of Lou Gambaccini, today we have the nation’s third largest transit system that is a vital part of the state’s transportation network,” said Commissioner of Transportation and Board of Directors Chairman Jack Lettiere.

At a silver anniversary reception this evening, NJ TRANSIT will induct five people into the 2004 Hall of Fame for their contributions to the Corporation.

“Tonight’s honorees have each made a difference through their leadership and unique contributions,” said Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Their commitment to NJ TRANSIT’s core mission has ensured our progress and the continued mobility of this state and region during 25 years of tremendous growth.”

This year’s five inductees include:

Shirley A. DeLibero: One of the most accomplished women in the transportation industry, Ms. DeLibero spent eight years as Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT from 1990 through 1998. Under her leadership, NJ TRANSIT made improvements in customer service, quality and safety, as well as enhancements to the efficiency of its operations. Ms. DeLibero was later named President and CEO of Houston Metro.

Albert R. Hasbrouck III : Mr. Hasbrouck wrote the New Jersey Public Transportation Act of 1979, which created New Jersey Transit Corporation. In November 1974, he became Deputy Attorney General and Chief Hearing Officer of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). In 1978, Mr. Hasbrouck was named Chief Regulatory Officer. At that time, then-Commissioner Louis J. Gambaccini appointed him to a task force to study New Jersey’s public transportation system and its needs. At NJ TRANSIT, Mr. Hasbrouck was Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and Labor Relations.

George W. Heinle: Mr. Heinle was the company’s first Vice President/General Manager of NJ Transit Bus Operations, joining the agency when TNJ and Maplewood Equipment Company were purchased in 1981. He consolidated them into one company shortly thereafter. During his tenure, NJ Transit purchased almost 3,000 buses, developed and implemented major capital improvements at most major bus garages improving service for all 450,000 daily passengers at the time.

Martin E. Robins: As NJ Transit’s first Acting Executive Director, Mr. Robins headed the team that created the agency. During his tenure, he worked on the purchase of Transport of NJ, reorganized bus routes, won Board approval to build the Meadows Maintenance Facility and negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement with 16 rail unions. Since leaving NJ Transit, Mr. Robins became the founding director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center where he conceptualizes and implements policy research and public forums on transportation-related issues affecting the state.

Harold L. Hodes: Mr. Hodes served as Chief of Staff in 1979 to Governor Brendan Byrne and remained a force in Trenton for more than 20 years. Despite substantial opposition, Mr. Hodes ensured that the bill creating NJ Transit was posted for a vote in December 1979. The Public Transportation Act of 1979 passed by one vote. Mr. Hodes serves as a Commissioner of the New Jersey Turnpike, and a member of the Board of Trustees at Monmouth University. He is also a visiting professor at Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at The Mezzanine, 744 Broad St., Newark at 7:30 pm. Tickets to the Silver Anniversary reception are available at the door for $25. A portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.