July 24, 2014

MBCR GM knows who does the heavy lifting

BOSTON — Have you ever thought it would be nice to hear an employer give credit to the front-line workers who do the heavy lifting?

Well, such long overdue recognition came from Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) General Manager Hugh Kiley Jr. March 1, and he should know it didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

In reporting a record on-time performance for Boston’s commuter railroad, whose conductors – the men and women who decide when the wheels turn and when they don’t — are represented by the UTU, Kiley said, “Credit must go to the 1,900 men and women who focus every day on the customer experience, as well as the union leadership, which has created a true partnership with management to provide excellent results for customers.”

Indeed. Trains don’t run on time on their own. It is the union-represented men and women on the front lines who ensure the trains run on time – and Kiley said what has long needed to be said by senior management.

Kiley took over as GM of MBCR in October 2010, following some 40 years of achievement with Conrail and Norfolk Southern, and as co-chair of a talented team that designed, in Chicago, a public-private transportation partnership to improve the efficient flow of rail freight and rail passenger trains through that congested region – the $3.2 billion Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE).

Kiley began his railroad career as a brakeman on Penn Central.

As for the record performance, MBCR posted a record 94.7 percent on time percentage in February for its commuter trains – a continuation of a high-level of MBCR service that began in 2011.

In praising MBCR employees and their union leadership, Kiley also cited the hiring of additional train and engine crews and MBCR’s emphasis on training.

MBCR provides service to 40 million commuters annually to and from some 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.