Richard Davey, the former head of the MBTA, is stepping down as the state's transportation secretary at the end of the month, Gov. Deval Patrick announced Friday.
"(Davey) has been a key member of my team and one of the finest transportation leaders the Commonwealth has ever had," Patrick said in announcing Davey's resignation. "He has been instrumental in our work to provide every region of this state with a safer, more efficient transportation system, a growing economy and a better quality of life."
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State highway administrator Frank DePaola will serve as acting secretary of transportation for the remainder of Patrick's term, which ends in January.
A Boston resident, Davey was the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company, the state's former commuter rail contractor, before being named general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in 2010.
In September 2011, Patrick appointed Davey to succeed Jeffrey Mullan in the cabinet-level post which also includes the title of chief executive of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
In a statement, Davey said he was proud to have worked with the governor to focus the agency on safety, fiscal responsibility and customer service and public service and take steps that have "renewed the public's confidence in transportation."
Davey led the administration's push for a 2013 transportation financing law that is designed to ease a maintenance backlog on the state's roads and bridges and help pave the way for major new projects, including South Coast commuter rail and the extension of the MBTA's Green Line.
The law also ended a long-standing practice of borrowing money to pay the salaries of some MassDOT workers.
Despite strong opposition from many bus and subway riders, Davey in 2012 backed an average 23 percent increase in fares that helped eliminate a $140 million deficit at the T.
More recently, he has been outspoken in his opposition to Question 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot, which seeks to repeal a provision in the 2013 law that ties increases in the state's gasoline tax to inflation.
He told The Boston Globe that he plans to travel with his wife before looking for a new job in the private sector.