CLEVELAND -- The Board of Trustees of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) today approved the appointment of Joe Calabrese of Syracuse as the agency's new Chief Executive Officer/General Manager.
Calabrese, 47, begins work Monday, Feb. 28, as the sixth person in RTA's 25-year history to lead the Authority.
"Joe Calabrese has exceptional qualifications for this job," says RTA Board President George F. Dixon III. "We are pleased to have him in Cleveland."
Calabrese, who is in the process of moving to Cleveland, says RTA will continue to play a major role in a "resurging city on a tremendous rebound."
"RTA is facing some tremendous and exciting opportunities. The projects on the drawing board will have a significant and positive impact on economic development and job growth."
Calabrese says RTA has a strong reputation in transit circles for having "a first-class, professional executive management team."
A strong transit background
Calabrese has 25 years of public transit experience. From 1993 to November 1999, he was Executive Director and President of the seven-county Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro). At Centro, he reversed a 15-year trend and increased ridership.
From 1994 to 1999, he served on the board of the New York Public Transit Association, the largest statewide trade association of its kind in the nation. He led the group as President in 1998-99. He is also active in the American Public Transit Association (APTA).
Calabrese started his transit career in 1975, working at Centro in a number of areas -- operations, labor relations, human resources, safety and training, and government relations. He was Assistant General Manager when he left in 1986 to co-found a private company, MetroVision of North America Inc., which provides passenger information systems to the mass transportation and aviation industries.
From 1986 to December 1993, he took the company public and established regional offices in the nation's five largest mass transit markets. He sold the company to return to Centro as Executive Director.
In a 1998 national study, he was named one of the most innovative and creative managers in the transit industry.
Clarence D. Rogers Jr. will assist Calebrese in the transition. Rogers has served as Interim General Manager since Ron Tober resigned last year. Today, Rogers assumes new duties as Executive Deputy General Manager -- the number two position at RTA.
Calabrese has a degree in economics from Syracuse University and a MBA from the University of Buffalo.
His wife, Debra, is a school teacher in the Syracuse area. They have two adult sons.