Abdellah Chajai has been appointed CEO of Keolis Commuter Services after consultation with the Keolis Group and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Keolis has been operating and maintaining the MBTA commuter train network since July 2014.
âThe commuter train is an essential part of the MBTA transportation network and it will be essential to the economic recovery of our region as it emerges from the pandemic. We look forward to working with Mr. Chajai and benefiting from his global experience in the rail industry, âsaid Steve Poftak, Managing Director of MBTA.
The MBTA commuter train serves 140 stations in dozens of eastern Massachusetts municipalities and is a key market among Keolis’ North American operations. Keolis Commuter Services is one of the largest private employers in the Boston area, with more than 2,400 employees.
Chajai, who speaks six languages ââand is originally from France, has spent more than 25 years in the industry and transportation sector. He previously served as CEO of Keolis Amey Docklands (KAD), which operates a key part of the London transport network under contract with Transport for London and has achieved both growth and customer accolades under his leadership. In 2020, KAD won the prestigious âPassenger Operator of the Yearâ award at the UK National Rail Awards.
âWe could not be happier that Mr. Chajai is leading our team in Boston and I am sure the passengers of the MBTA Commuter Rail will share that sentiment soon. Abdellah is a proven leader who has developed and transformed transportation systems under his leadership, while always maintaining safety as a top priority, ” said David Scorey, President and CEO of Keolis North America.
Chajai has moved from London and will assume all CEO roles in the new year, after a brief transition with the support of interim CEO John Killeen. As part of the research, MBTA staff were involved in the process and approved Chajai’s appointment.
âI am delighted to come to a world class city and join a great rail system which is important to the quality of life of so many people,â said Chajai. âRail has always been about connecting people with each other and with economic opportunity and in the future it will also be a powerful force for climate resilience in the face of global warming and for economic recovery from the pandemic. . Of course, the safety of our passengers and employees is my top priority and the guiding star of everything we do. ”