BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that he has appointed a new seven-member board of directors for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that are taking over leadership of the system from a temporary body created to help stabilize the transit agency.
The board replaces the former Fiscal and Management Control Board that was set up by the Baker administration following the winter of 2015 when the MBTA struggled to provide service during a series of heavy snowstorms.
The MBTA is now facing a very different challenge as it works to lure riders back onto public transportation after people fled the system during the height of the pandemic. Many have yet to return.
Baker said the new board members will bring years of experience to the public transit system.
“The expertise and diversity of perspectives that make up this board will allow the MBTA to continue to focus on providing safe and reliable service to riders as it invests record levels of funding across the system,” the Republican said in a written statement.
By statute, the board of directors must consist of seven members, including the state transportation secretary and one member appointed by the MBTA Advisory Board who has municipal government experience in the MBTA’s service area.
The governor appoints the remaining five members, including a rider and resident of a working-class neighborhood, and a person recommended by the president of the AFL-CIO.
The new seven member board includes: chair of the Finance and Audit Committee for the MassDOT Board Betsy Taylor; vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Robert Butler; former chief of safety for the Chicago Transit Authority Thomas “Scott” Darling; former president of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Travis McCready and Mary Beth Mello of Mello Transportation Consulting.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch and Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler will also serve on the board.
Taylor will serve as chair of the board.