MBTA chief, citing health reasons, announces retirement

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BOSTON (AP) — The general manager of the MBTA, who took over after the Boston-area transit system was crippled last year by severe winter weather, announced Monday he’s retiring to concentrate on his fight with cancer.

“My decision to retire is a difficult one but I cannot continue to spend the countless hours that the job demands while continuing needed treatment and focusing on my health,” Frank DePaola said in a statement.

His last day is June 30.

DePaola took over the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in February 2015, shortly after Beverly Scott resigned following intense criticism for the T’s breakdowns during record-setting snowfall.

He helped restore public trust in the system, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said.

“Frank has been the kind of general manager that the MBTA needs, someone whose management style has helped the MBTA to increase the public’s confidence in the transit system’s performance while also leading the T workforce during a period of change,” Baker said.

MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve will become acting general manager on July 1. Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Gonneville also will take on additional responsibilities.

DePaola has worked in several capacities within the state’s transportation system, including as state Department of Transportation highway administrator, chief operating officer and acting Secretary of Transportation.

During his brief tenure as general manager, DePaola developed a program to make the system better able to handle harsh winters, ensured the Government Center Station renovation was completed on time and on budget, and supervised a re-design of the Green Line Extension project after massive cost overruns.

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