At Last, Baker Names New MBTA Oversight Board
Nine weeks after signing the legislation that authorized its creation, and after a string of derailments and injuries on the MBTA system this summer and fall, Governor Baker finally named his appointments to the new MBTA Board of Directors on Thursday afternoon.
The new board will consist of seven members in all, five of whom were appointed by the Governor. They are:
- Betsy Taylor of Needham will chair the new board. Taylor already serves as the Treasurer for the MassDOT Board of Directors, where she chairs the Finance & Audit Committee and co-chairs the Allston I-90 Financing Team.
- Robert Butler, the President of the Northeast Regional Council of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), and the Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.
- Thomas “Scott” Darling, an independent consultant and former Chief of Safety, Security, & Control Center Operations for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
- Travis McCready, the Executive Director, US Life Sciences Market for JLL, a commercial real estate agency. McCready formerly served as the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
- Mary Beth Mello is the principal at Mello Transportation Consulting, which has consulted with the MassDOT Rail and Transit Division on issues related to Regional Transit Authorities. Mello previously worked at the Federal Transit Administration from 1993 to 2010.
Additionally, the Secretary of Transportation, Jamey Tesler, will serve as an ex-officio board member.
The legislation authorized the MBTA Advisory Board, an independent organization that represents 176 cities and towns in the T’s service area, to select the seventh board member. In mid-August, they selected Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch to that seat.
The new MBTA governance board will be required to meet “at least one time per month” under its enabling legislation.
Unlike the previous board, the new governance board would also have subcommittees, each consisting of three members, including one focused on “safety, health, and the environment,” one for “planning and workforce development,” and a finance committee.
As of Thursday evening, the new board’s first meeting date had not yet been announced.