BOSTON (CBS) — MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez is out after a little more than a year on the job, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack announced Tuesday.
Ramirez, a former GE executive, took over the agency in September of 2017. He is leaving the T by mutual agreement and will be replaced by vice chair of the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board Steve Poftak.
The change comes as the T struggles with aging equipment, delays and frustrated partners.
“I was brought in to the MBTA from the outside corporate world to bring a fresh business perspective and skills to the MBTA,” he said in a statement. “With the progress we have achieved around financial and operational execution, this is a good time to transition to someone with different skill sets.”
When Ramirez took the position, he said his job was to “help create a long term road map and plan to get us to fully transform the T into what it needs to be: a world-class transit system serving the people of a world-class city and Commonwealth.”
He added, “No one should expect that this gets done in one year or two years.”
State officials say as part of the separation Ramirez will get $152,000 pay, which includes health benefits through April 2019.
Poftak, who will leave his post as executive director of Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute, is taking over as general manager on Jan. 1.
“Steve Poftak is the right person to facilitate a smooth transition and continue the important work to reform the MBTA for customers,” Pollack said. “Steve knows the personnel, he knows the issues, he knows the system, and most of all, Steve knows the importance of accelerating progress toward fixing the MBTA.”
Poftak said he looks forward to improving service and reliability on the struggling system.
“I am excited about leading the MBTA to provide a premier region with a premier transit agency,” he said in a statement.
Riders interviewed by WBZ-TV Tuesday said they would love to see things improve.
“If they could just increase the capacity at rush hour, I think a lot of people would be happy,” one rider said. “And the other thing, when there’s a problem on the train, tell people what it is.”