Daniel Grabauskas

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Daniel Grabauskas
General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
In office
Preceded by Michael H. Mulhern
Succeeded by Richard A. Davey
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation
In office
Preceded by James H. Scanlan
Succeeded by John Cogliano
Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles
In office
Preceded by Richard M. Lyons
Succeeded by Kimberly Hinden
Massachusetts Director of Consumer Affairs
In office
Preceded by Jane M. Swift
Succeeded by Jennifer Davis Carey
Personal details
Born Daniel Anthony Grabauskas
(1963-06-27) June 27, 1963 (age 53)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater College of the Holy Cross, BA Cornell University, MBA
Religion Catholic[1]

Daniel Anthony Grabauskas (born June 27, 1963) is an American transportation executive and government figure, who is the former executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and former general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

Early life and education[edit]

Grabauskas was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.[2] He is the eldest of four children (sisters Lisa, Karen, and brother David). His father, Drasutis Antanas "Tony" Grabauskas, was a native of Lithuania who emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1949 and died in 2010.[3] His mother, Patricia (Sheehan) Grabauskas-Caruso, is a native of Milbury, Massachusetts.[4][5][6] Grabauskas grew up in the Central Massachusetts towns of Sutton and Auburn.[7] He attended St. John's High School, received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross and his MBA from Cornell University's Johnson School of Management.[8][9]

Early career[edit]

Grabauskas began his government career in 1987 on the staff of Massachusetts State Senator Mary L. Padula (R-Lunenburg) and soon became her chief of staff. After Padula's appointment as Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Communities and Development (EOCD) in 1991, he briefly worked as chief of staff for State Senator Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield) before joining Padula as a Deputy Secretary of EOCD from 1991 to 1995. He then served as the chief of staff to the Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services.[10] From 1995 to 1996 Grabauskas lived and worked in Lithuania as the resident program officer for the nonprofit International Republican Institute.[1] In 1997 he became chief of staff in the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development. From 1998 to 1999, Grabauskas served as the state's Director of Consumer Affairs under Gov. Paul Cellucci.[11][12][13]

Registrar of Motor Vehicles[edit]

From 1999 to 2002, Grabauskas served as Massachusetts' Registrar of Motor Vehicles. At the time of his appointment, the agency was described by the Boston Globe as "plagued with long lines and charges of mismanagement" and was considered a political liability after series of articles in the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune detailed the interminable waits at the Registry.[2][14] During his tenure as Registrar, Grabauskas was able to reduce the average wait time at the agency from an hour and fifteen minutes to less than ten minutes.[13] He also instituted the use of the Q-Matic queuing system, which allows customers to view their estimated wait times on customized tickets or online. In addition, the number of online transaction available to the public was greatly expanded, with online transactions rising from about 30,000 in 1999 to over 500,000 in 2002.[15]

Campaign for State Treasurer[edit]

In January 2002, Grabauskas resigned as Registrar to run for Treasurer of Massachusetts.[16] He defeated Bruce A. Herzfelder in the Republican primary 53% to 47%. He lost in the general election to Democrat Tim Cahill 51% to 41%.

Secretary of Transportation[edit]

Grabauskas (second from left) at the reopening of Savin Hill station as Secretary of Transportation in 2005

After that loss, Governor-elect Mitt Romney named Grabauskas to his cabinet as Secretary of Transportation and Construction.[17] He also served as a member of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board.[7] During his tenure as Transportation Secretary, the department employed a "fix it first" strategy" which prioritized repairs to existing infrastructure over the construction of new ones.[18] He oversaw the introduction of the first statewide 20-year transportation plan. The plan directed that at least 75 percent of all new capital spending be focused toward maintaining and improving the state's existing transportation network with these funds dedicated to bridge repair, highway reconstruction, de-bottlenecking, intersection and interchange modernization and ensuring a transit system that is in a state of good repair. The plan also included limited transit expansions, prioritizing projects that earn federal dollars, win community support and encourage local contribution.[19]

MBTA General Manager[edit]

In 2005, Grabauskas resigned his position as Transportation Secretary to become General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). During his four-plus years as General Manager, the MBTA switched its payment method from tokens to the CharlieCard,[20] construction on the Greenbush Line was completed,[21] and WiFi service was installed on commuter rail trains and boats.[22][23]

In 2009, the MBTA bought out the remainder of Grabauskas' contract, citing the Authority's continuing financial problems, customer service complaints, and Grabauskas' handling of two subway accidents.[20][24][25] Grabauskas' ouster, which was engineered by Governor Deval Patrick and Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, was criticized by the state Republican Party, who believed that the Republican-appointed Grabauskas was being used as a scapegoat.[26] It was also criticized by Democrats Thomas Menino and Steven Baddour, with the latter describing it as "trying to settle a political score at taxpayers' expense".[24][25]

After his departure, Grabauskas served as a senior fellow for public policy at MassINC and as chairman and senior strategic adviser of the Bronner Center for Transportation Management.[27][28]

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation[edit]

In March 2012 Grabauskas was named Executive Director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) after he and the HART board of directors agreed on a three-year contract that includes an annual base salary of $245,000, a $36,000 a year housing allowance, a transportation allowance of $6,000 a year, and a potential $35,000 annual performance bonus.[28][29] HART oversees the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, the largest public works project in the history of the state of Hawaii.[30] The project, scheduled to open in 2019, is a $5.2 billion, 20-mile long automated rail system that plans to operate a fleet of 80 rail cars and an infrastructure of 21 stations, a 43-acre maintenance and storage facility, three park-and-ride lots, and one park-and-ride structure.[31]

Grabauskas resigned from HART in August 2016. HART Board of Directors member Michael D. Formby was named as interim director.[32]


  1. ^ a b Associated Press (September 16, 2002). "Treasurer showdown tomorrow". The Providence Journal. 
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Nice Guy". CommonWealth. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Drasutis Antanas "Tony" Grabauskas, 69". Telegram & Gazette. July 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ Sunter, Shaun (April 7, 2002). "GOP Convention Notebook". Telegram & Gazette. 
  5. ^ "Fund-Raising Letter Might Have Violated Law". The Boston Globe. October 8, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Lillian C. Sheehan; retired reporter". Telegram & Gazette. February 6, 1990. 
  7. ^ a b "Grabauskas appointed to Pike board". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. August 19, 2004. 
  8. ^ "Registry Nominee 'One of Our Best' Grabauskas Wins Praise, Support". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. September 4, 1999. 
  9. ^ Viotti, Vicki (April 13, 2012). "Daniel Grabauskas". Honolulu Star – Advertiser. 
  10. ^ "Fit for Office". Boston Phoenix. October 24, 2002. 
  11. ^ "Swift successor named". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. February 5, 1998. 
  12. ^ "Daniel Grabauskas". Cape Cod Times. October 15, 2002. 
  13. ^ a b "Endorsement; Dan Grabauskas in GOP". Boston Herald. September 5, 2002. 
  14. ^ Phillips, Frank (September 3, 1999). "Consumer director picked for Registry". Boston Globe. 
  15. ^ "Reforming the Registry Technology, common sense are key to results". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. August 14, 2001. 
  16. ^ Arvidson, Erik (January 12, 2002). "With two gay candidates, GOP stands on issues questioned". The Berkshire Eagle. 
  17. ^ Weiss, Joanna (December 27, 2002). "Romney Wins Respect for Apolitical Recruiting". Boston Globe. 
  18. ^ "Fix first, build later". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. January 17, 2003. 
  19. ^ Daniel, Mac (March 11, 2005). "Governor Issues $31B Transit Plan". Boston Globe. 
  20. ^ a b Brady-Myerov, Monica (August 7, 2009). "MBTA Chief's Departure Ends Months Of Escalating Tension". WBUR. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  21. ^ Ford, Mary (February 8, 2007). "Greenbush train is almost ready to roll". The Cohasset Mariner. Retrieved 25 July 2012. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Levenson, Michael (January 7, 2009). "T use up despite drop in gas cost Advocates hope increase reflects shift in habits". Boston Globe. 
  23. ^ Hanna, Maddie (June 25, 2008). "MBTA launches wireless Internet on commuter boats". Boston Globe. 
  24. ^ a b Johnson, Glen (August 7, 2009). "MBTA general manager accepts buyout". Cape Cod Times. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Manager's ouster won't solve T's problems". The Eagle-Tribune. August 10, 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  26. ^ Chabot, Hillary (July 31, 2009). "GOP defends MBTA chief, attacks James Aloisi". Boston Herald. 
  27. ^ Bierman, Noah (October 26, 2009). "Former T chief to blog at think tank". Boston Globe. 
  28. ^ a b Abramson, Mark (February 24, 2012). "Daniel Grabauskas named executive director of Honolulu rail agency". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  29. ^ "Daniel Grabauskas named HART Executive Director". Breaking Travel News. March 22, 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Dayton, Kevin (September 14, 2012). "Rail construction might be sidelined until spring". Honolulu Star – Advertiser. 
  31. ^ "website, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation". Honolulu Transit. October 24, 2002. 
  32. ^ Senese, Kyra (August 19, 2016). "Grabauskas resigns as HART CEO, Formby takes over in interim". RT&S. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]