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MTA tabs former NTSB director Mayer as chief safety officer

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced the appointment of former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Managing Director David Mayer as the agency's first chief safety officer, a position created to reinforce safety as a top priority for all MTA agencies.

Mayer will begin his new duties Dec. 1 and report to MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast.

"Having someone to oversee and lead safety initiatives throughout the system can only enhance and improve our efforts," said Prendergast in a press release. "David's experience with the National Transportation Safety Board, and exceptional work on safety projects in all modes of transportation, makes him the best person for the job."

Mayer's appointment was announced the day before the NTSB is scheduled to announce the probable causes of five accident investigations involving MTA Metro-North Railroad. The accidents occurred between May 2013 and March 2014. The federal agency is scheduled to hold a press conference later this morning.

Mayer will work closely with Metro-North Railroad Chief Safety Officer Anne Kirsch, Long Island Rail Road Chief Safety Officer Loretta Ebbighausen, New York City Transit Vice President System Safety Cheryl Kennedy, MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President of Safety Programs and Initiatives James Foley, and MTA Capital Construction Vice President of Safety Peter Kohner. They will continue to monitor the condition of crews and equipment at their respective agencies, reporting to their agency’s president.

"I'm excited to join a transportation network that is focused on promoting a safety culture while constantly looking for ways to improve its practices," said Mayer. "I look forward to the challenge of proactively serving a population of over 15 million people."

Mayer began his career at the NTSB in 1991 in the Office of Research and Engineering. In 2001, he was named assistant managing director and then was promoted to managing director in 2009.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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