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MBTA Names New Safety Chief

A MBTA bus (Michael Dwyer/AP)
A MBTA bus (Michael Dwyer/AP)

A longtime Chicago public transit executive has been named chief of operational and construction safety for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Boston area’s public transit agency, officials say.

Ronald L. Ester Jr. was appointed to the position of chief safety officer for the MBTA after more than 28 years with the Chicago Transit Authority, officials announced Tuesday.

“Ron has walked in the shoes of both the Chief Safety Officer and transit operations,” Steve Poftak, general manager of the MBTA, said 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” officials said.

An MBTA Safety Panel report released in December found that “safety is not a priority” for the agency.

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