The MBTA's chief safety officer is resigning, transit authority leaders say

MBTA Chief Safety Officer Ron Ester will resign from his role at the end of the month, the transit authority announced Tuesday. It's unclear why he's stepping down.

In a statement, Ester said he was "honored" to work for the organization and reflected on the challenges the T has faced in recent years.

"I am proud of the work that we have done to make our system safer during my tenure, despite the many challenges that we have faced," said Ester. "The MBTA has been underinvested in for decades, and it has taken a lot of hard work to make our system as safe as it is today."

The MBTA has faced increased scrutiny in recent years for safety issues affecting both passengers and employees. Notably, a man was dragged to his death in April of 2022 after his arm was trapped in a Red Line car door as the train left the station. In July of the same year, a fire on the Orange Line sent passengers fleeing from the train onto a rail bridge over the Mystic River.

Ester wrote in his statement that "there is still work to be done" to improve the safety of the T.

Rod Brooks, the MBTA's senior advisor for capital, operations and safety, will fill Ester's role upon his departure as the agency searches for a permanent replacement.

In an email to employees, MBTA General Manager and CEO Philip Eng said Ester has "made a real difference" in addressing T safety issues.

"During his tenure at the T," Eng wrote, "Ron was instrumental in implementing recommendations, policies and practices following the 2019 Safety Panel Report, including the Safety Management System, our COVID response efforts and recovery, and the subsequent FTA Safety Management Inspection."

Eng, who began leading the T last April, told WBUR's Radio Boston earlier this month that many of the issues facing the beleaguered transit system were due to a severe shortage of workers and attrition among current employees. He said the T was focusing on hiring and trying to prevent employees from retiring or quitting.

Ester came to the MBTA three years ago from the Chicago Transit Authority. His last day at the T is set for Aug. 30.


Katie Cole Associate Producer, Digital
Katie Cole is an associate producer for digital.



More from WBUR

Listen Live