By David Madden

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS)— New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has tapped a top public transit consultant to take over New Jersey Transit.

Kevin Corbett serves as an executive in a global transportation consulting firm, AECOM, which has a record of working with NJT.

Now, he’ll take over an agency Murphy has labeled a “national disgrace” thanks to mostly bad service and a long neglected need to fix equipment and infrastructure.

“It will not be easy,” Murphy told KYW Newsradio during an event at the New Brunswick commuter rail station. “Of that we are certain. There are years of overlooked issues to account for. But with the right leadership, and we think we’ve got just that, we can yank this system back from the brink.”

The state last week began an audit of NJT and Murphy asked for the patience of riders as they seek to address issues going forward.

Corbett expects to hit the ground running.

“I think we need to rebuild a professional, motivated and accountable team at New Jersey Transit,” he said. “There are a lot of good people. We need to get them motivated and bring on other people to supplement it and bring it to where it is. It’s the human element that’s most important.”

Corbett’s selection must be approved by the NJT board of directors, and that’s expected in short order.