Skip to main content



September 10, 2014
N JT-14-046

NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today appointed Neil S. Yellin as the agency’s new Deputy Executive Director and Robert M. Lavell and Dennis J. Martin, as Vice President and General Manager of NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations and NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations, respectively.  The candidates were presented to the board following a nationwide candidate search conducted by Krauthamer & Associates, an executive search firm.


“Neil Yellin is a transportation veteran whose distinguished career includes executive experience in both rail and bus management, in his most recent position as Senior Vice President of Long Island Railroad, and previously having served as President for MTA Long Island Bus.  Both Robert Lavell and Dennis Martin, who have been acting in their current positions for several months, combined have more than 70 years of experience in the transportation industry.  All three are committed to helping us achieve great success as we continue to provide quality public transportation for our customers and the communities we serve,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.


Neil S. Yellin has nearly 35 years of public sector leadership experience, 27 of those years in the public transit industry.  Mr. Yellin is a leader in policy administration and administrative functions, including human resources, training, contracts, and procurement.


Since 2008, Mr. Yellin has served as a Senior Vice President for Administration/Chief Safety Officer at the Long Island Rail Road where he developed a system of merged procurement and contracting initiatives that resulted in significant cost savings, facilitated the Agency’s migration of all human resources and procurement systems from a legacy system to a leading-edge technology platform and also developed an inventory management program that reduced inventory platforms.  These initiatives produced significant savings and efficiencies for the Agency.


During Mr. Yellin’s distinguished career, he has served as the President of MTA Long Island Bus and Vice President of Policy and Planning for MTA Long Island Bus and held several key positions in New York City’s Human Resources Administration.


Robert M. Lavell has over 40 years of industry experience and served as Acting Vice President and General Manager of NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations since March 2014.  Mr. Lavell is a career railroad professional with broad experience in operations, equipment, infrastructure and safety.  Mr. Lavell’s focus throughout his career has been to provide safe, secure and reliable service to customers, leveraging equipment technologies that improve the customer experience.


For the past six years, he has served as Deputy General Manager of Equipment for NJ TRANSIT where he has provided leadership for all aspects of maintenance of equipment, including safety, budget and planning of rail facilities and equipment modifications.  Mr. Lavell previously served 30 years with Amtrak, including as Regional Vice President of Equipment Maintenance.


As NJ TRANSIT’s Deputy General Manager of Equipment from 2008 to 2013, Mr. Lavell established the agency’s first E-Learning program which has enhanced the formal training programs for over 1,400 employees.  Mr. Lavell also implemented a component-based maintenance program which has increased reliability of NJ TRANSIT’s rolling stock by approximately ten percent which is reflected in increased on-time performance. This program reduced material costs by over $1 million and increased the availability of reliable equipment for customers.

Dennis J. Martin
has 30 years of transit industry experience, specifically with NJ TRANSIT, and has served as Acting Vice President and General Manager of NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations since June 2014.  Mr. Martin has a customer-focused approach and proven business leadership ability that will allow him to seamlessly take over as Vice President and General Manager of NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations, General Manager, NJ TRANSIT Mercer, Inc. and General Manager, NJ TRANSIT Morris, Inc.


Mr. Martin is a highly experienced business professional with the demonstrated ability to lead diverse teams of employees to new levels of success across various disciplines and to introduce change in a large organization.  He has strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 30 years of hands-on experience in transportation, customer service, call center management, operations planning, scheduling, supervision, terminal operations, revenue security, project management, and emergency response.


As Senior Director of NJ TRANSIT Customer Resources from 2003 to 2011, Mr. Martin directed the development and implementation of corporate-wide customer service strategies including customer relationship management, provision of transit information, training, reward and recognition programs, data collection, issue identification, analysis and reporting.  Mr. Martin successfully implemented a cloud-based customer relationship management system utilizing  The system has transformed all customer information input channels and provides NJ TRANSIT operations and executive management with a 360° view of the customer experience.


From 1998 to 2003, Mr. Martin served as Director of Terminal Operations for NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations, where he directed bus operations within the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the nation’s busiest transportation terminal, and was accountable for bus operations, on-time performance, lease agreements, ticket sales and revenue collection and security.  During his tenure as Director of Terminal Operations, Mr. Martin led the evacuation coordination of New York City during the August 2003 regional blackout and established temporary operations at the Meadowlands Sports Complex and directed on-street boarding of customers during the Port Authority Bus Terminal shutdown.  




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 262 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.