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No bonus — yet — for MBTA general manager

MBTA general manager Luis Ramirez in 2017. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File

State officials have put off a decision on whether to award the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority a bonus for his first year at the helm.

In a recent letter to the MBTA’s governing board, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said she and general manager Luis Ramirez decided “not to complete a formal, written assessment” of his first year yet because many of the initiatives he has undertaken are still being implemented. Pollack said Ramirez could still receive a bonus, but the review will be completed later.

Ramirez was eligible for a bonus of up to $32,000, on top of his $320,000 yearly salary.


The document detailing Ramirez’s bonus incentives stipulated that he would be judged on whether he achieved 17 objectives, from reaching contracts for major projects to developing a new organizational chart, by June 30, 2018.

State transportation officials did not immediately explain why they could not yet determine whether he had achieved those goals.

But Ramirez said he had chosen to defer his review, suggesting that service had not yet improved enough for him to accept a bonus.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments we have made at the T in my first year here,” he said in a statement. “But I also realize that getting the T to the level our riders want and deserve will take much more than just one year. That is why I’ve elected to defer a final determination on my first year [goals] and any annual bonus that would result until the end of year two of my contract.”

Ramirez is eligible for an even larger bonus in the second year of his contract, up to $48,000. In her letter to the board, Pollack included the goals for the second year.

They include making hires for key positions, such as a commuter rail executive, by Dec. 31; implementing the state’s new equal-pay law by the start of the next fiscal year in July; developing a new financial model to track long-term projected revenue and spending; issuing new construction and vehicle contracts; and establishing new measurements of systemwide safety.


Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.