Metro-North Hires New Chief Safety Officer

Dec. 14, 2015

MTA Metro-North Railroad on Dec. 14, announced that it has named Justin R. Vonashek as the agency’s new vice president of system safety. The position will oversee all efforts to ensure the safety of its customers and employees as the Railroad continues to improve work practices and invest in new technology and equipment. Vonashek will report to Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti and work closely with MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer and MTA Sr. Advisor, Corporate Safety Initiatives Anne Kirsch.

“Metro-North is committed to safety in all of our operations, and we are pleased to bring Justin on board to lead those efforts,” said Giulietti. “We look forward to the experience and insight he brings from having worked in major cities such as Boston and Chicago.”

Before joining Metro-North, Vonashek was the chief safety, security, emergency preparedness and regulatory compliance officer at MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston. Aside from developing and monitoring safety goals for the organization, he was also responsible for ensuring compliance with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory requirements.

Vonashek began his career at Metra in Chicago, in 2005, as a transportation specialist where he was responsible for over 200 train and engine service employees to ensure the safe and efficient operation of trains. He received various promotions while at Metra, eventually serving as director of regulatory compliance from September 2011 until February 2014.

“I look forward to collaborating with Metro-North’s team of men and women who have the institutional knowledge to drive change when it comes to safe and efficient operations,” said Vonashek. “It will be exciting to help advance the next generation of safety technology that Metro-North has already begun.”

The Chicago native holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is currently working on a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Management. In 2013, he was named a Top 40 Under 40 award recipient by Mass Transit Magazine.

Vonashek will begin at Metro-North on Jan. 4.