Rich Davey poses in front of an MBTA Green Line train. Photo courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority

New York City transit agency chief Richard Davey has accepted an offer to become the head of Massport.

The board of the quasi-public agency, which oversees the state’s airports and ports plus a large swath of land in the Boston Seaport District, voted Wednesday to offer Davey the job. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit’s parent agency, announced Davey’s departure shortly after the vote.

“I’m thrilled for Rich. He’s a Bostonian. He’s going home. And it’s obviously a great job at the top of the transportation industry, so congratulations to him. Congratulations to Boston for bringing home their native son, even if it creates a momentary disruption for MTA,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said at a news conference Wednesday announcing a temporary replacement for when Davey departs in “roughly two or three weeks.”

Davey will replace outgoing CEO Lisa Wieland, who left in August for a job leading electric and gas utility National Grid’s New England business. Davey’s five-year contract will earn him $420,000 per year and begin no later than Sept. 9, the $1 billion-a-year quasi-public agency said in an announcement.

Around 100 people expressed interest during a search process run by consultancy Isaacson, Miller, Massport said, with 48 of those candidates considered and 10 making through the first round – half of them women and six of them people of color, including Davey’s fellow finalist Eulois Cleckly, CEO of the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works.

As Banker & Tradesman previously reported, last fall Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava suspended Cleckley from his $288,000-a-year position for two weeks, after approving free bus fares on some routes without prior approval, the Miami Herald reported.

Davey has been president of New York City Transit since 2022, where he oversees the nation’s largest public transportation agency and a $10 billion operating budget.

Davey was a longtime transit leader in Massachusetts before his New York City sojourn. He rose from head of the MBTA commuter rail system in 2003 to general manager of the MBTA and then secretary of MassDOT from 2011 to 2014 under Gov. Deval Patrick. In that position, he also served as chair of Massport’s board during part of his tenure. Following his MassDOT position, he was a consultant before joining MTA leadership.

“Davey’s vast transportation experience makes him an ideal candidate for the position to lead the Authority,” Massport Board Chairwoman Patricia Jacobs said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be bringing someone on board with so much experience leading large and complex organizations. Davey will be building upon a solid foundation. The senior leadership team has kept the Authority in good standing, with strong bond ratings and growth across the three business lines, as well as strategic investments to reduce emissions, attract more business, improve the customer experience, while being a good neighbor.”

NYC Transit Head Accepts Massport CEO Job

by James Sanna time to read: 2 min