Report: NYCT’s Davey Heading Back to Boston

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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NYCT President Richard Davey. Photo by Marc A. Hermann/MTA

MTA New York City Transit President Richard Davey will leave his job to become CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, “according to people with knowledge of the decision,” the non-profit Gothamist, a subsidiary of National Public Radio affiliate WNYC-FM, reported May 14. Davey came to NYCT from his post as Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation.

Davey’s departure “is the latest example of turnover at the prominent post that’s had four leaders in just over four years,” Gothamist reporters Clayton Guse and Stephen Nessen wrote. “Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen, who represents NYC Transit’s workforce, said he’d been told Davey is leaving New York. ‘My trade union counterparts in Boston confirmed to me that Davey is just waiting on an approval vote from the Massport board,’ said Samuelsen, who holds a seat on the MTA board.”

Davey “neither confirmed nor denied his new job” during a May 14 news conference, Gothamist reported, and quoted him as saying, “I do get calls from time to time because I [have] a great team that makes me look good.”

“An MTA board member who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the matter also confirmed Davey’s imminent departure,” Gothamist reported. “A former statehouse bureau chief for the Boston Globe, Frank Phillips, first reported on X that Davey would be taking the helm at Massport.”

The MTA, Gothamist noted, “has struggled to retain a long-term head of its subways and bus operations since former NYC Transit President Andy Byford resigned in February 2020 following a feud with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The year before, Cuomo pushed through a reorganization of the agency that stripped some of the NYC Transit president’s control of subway maintenance and turned it over to the MTA’s construction department, which at the time was led by Janno Lieber, who became the agency’s chair in 2021.”

“The New York City subway and bus system would be a lot better off if it was Janno [Lieber] leaving and not Richard Davey,” Samuelsen told Gothamist, which noted that the TWU official “has repeatedly launched public attacks against Lieber over the past two years during his union’s contract negotiations with the MTA.”

Davey’s transit career began in 2003 at Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR). In 2008, he was promoted to General Manager, and in 2010 took on the General Manager role at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). He has also held the positions of Vice President, Public/Private Partnerships and Senior Advisor to the CEO at Transdev (2016-17); CEO of Boston 2024 (2015), which led the campaign for Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics; and Secretary and CEO of MassDOT (2011-14), where he was responsible for the operation of the state’s highways, bridges and tunnels, and freight and passenger rail programs, as well as 15 regional transit agencies and 36 airports.

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