04 Aug K&A Places Chief Safety Officer for Massachusettes Bay Transportation Authority
August 4, 2020 – Longtime Chicago public transit executive Ronald L. Ester Jr. will serve as the chief safety officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, officials announced Tuesday.
Ester was appointed to the position after spending more than 28 years with the Chicago Transit Authority, according to a statement from the MBTA. He served in various positions over the years, including chief safety and security officer, vice president of rail operations and capital projects oversight, and vice president of rail operations/communication-power control.
“Ron has walked in the shoes of both the Chief Safety Officer and transit operations,” said Steve Poftak, general manager of the MBTA, in the statement. “This unique blend of experience will serve the MBTA well and help us deliver a best-in-class safety program.”
Ester will be responsible for “strategic policy development, management, and oversight of safety programs” such as construction safety and operational safety, officials said. Ester will also address issues found in the MBTA’s Safety Panel Report in December. The transportation agency came under fire after experts published a 69-page report that found “safety is not a priority.”
“Ron Ester is a recognized public transit leader and is coming to Boston to share his expertise with the MBTA,” said Joseph Aiello, chairman of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board. “Ron will bring to the T his knowledge of transit safety and accountability.”
Along with decades of experience, Ester has received safety and security certification from the US Department of Transportation, the statement said. He also serves as an industry expert, providing peer review, for the American Public Transit Association.