MBTA Panel Calls for Fiscal Control Board, Multi-Year Plans To Fix Broken System
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker released a detailed report compiled by the MBTA special panel and outlined a plan of action to reform and improve the MBTA. The panel’s recommendations include creating a five-member Fiscal and Management Control Board, as well as the creation of one, five and 20 year spending plans after the group uncovered massive structural and management failures that are on pace to bankrupt the system if left unchecked.
“Massachusetts deserves a reliable, well-managed, cost effective transportation system, and this in-depth report offers a plan of action to responsibly pursue organizational and operational reforms to reach this goal,” said Governor Baker. “Thanks to the hard work of the panel members, we have action items to improve service reliability, correct the failures that would bankrupt the MBTA if left unchecked and rescue the transportation system our economy relies upon.”
On February 20th, the Baker Administration announced a team of national leaders in transportation, economic development and municipal planning charged with performing an in-depth diagnostic review of the MBTA’s core functions. The panel met 18 times over six weeks to review past studies, with MBTA staff, MassDOT leadership, transit advocates and labor representatives in order to benchmark the MBTA against peer agencies and analyze performance through objective analysis. The panel synthesized recent MBTA studies, conducted a performance review, examined the MBTA’s core functions and compared results with other transit operations to assess the status of the system’s governance, finances, and capital planning.
From a press conference at the State House, the Baker Administration and members of the panel announced a summary of key findings and proposed recommendations for short and long term reforms centered on a fiscal management control board:
After considering a range of scenarios, the panel recommends creating a Fiscal and Management Control Board to enforce new oversight and management support, and increase accountability over a 3-5 year time frame. The goals will target governance, finance, agency structure and operations through recommended executive and legislative actions that embrace transparency and develop stability in order to earn public trust.
The MBTA special panel is co-chaired by Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President for Harvard University and former Executive Director and CEO for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Brian McMorrow of Massport, and includes Jane Garvey, a national leader in transportation policy, Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez, the Derek C. Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Harvard University, Joseph Sullivan, the Mayor of Braintree and former Chair of the Joint House-Senate Transportation Committee, and Robert Gittens, the Vice President of Public Affairs at Northeastern University.
Back on Track: An Action Plan to Transform the MBTA file size 1MB