Local elected officials Monday were mourning the sudden death of Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Jablonski while the transit agency struggled to cope with the loss of the long-time transportation leader.
Jablonski died Sunday at age 67. He had a more than 40-year transit career and spent the last 16 years as chief executive officer at MTS, said Rob Schupp of the MTS.
Schupp told City News Service the transit authority was still “in the process” of putting together a complete picture of Jablonski’s life, and that “it’s going to take a while” to adjust.
According to Jablonski’s public LinkedIn page, before starting at MTS in 2004, he spent a decade as CEO of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati. Before that, he served as general manager of Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co. in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for four years each.
The transit system has not released the cause of death, but leaders around the region offered messages of mourning.
“We are shocked and saddened about the passing of Paul,” MTS Board Chair and San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. “He was a good man who not only ran a great agency, but was a respected national transit industry leader.
“The entire MTS family is grieving right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul’s family,” Fletcher said.
Deputy CEO Sharon Cooney will serve as the interim chief executive officer, Fletcher said.
San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward posted condolences to Jablonski’s family and colleagues on Twitter.
“Sad day to hear the news of @sdmts CEO Paul Jablonski’s sudden passing. He was a strong advocate for our mass transit system and worked hard to keep operations strong and accessible for all. Condolences to his family and all in the MTS family.”
Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, also posted on Twitter about Jablonski’s death.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of @sdmts Paul Jablonski’s passing. He worked his way up from a bus driver to the CEO of one the nation’s largest transit systems. I loved working with Paul and admired his steady leadership. My condolences to his family and everyone at MTS.”
Jablonski is survived by his wife, four children and grandchildren.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: