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Fiscal and Management Control Board

History

The winter of 2015 brought serious challenges to light at the MBTA. It also coincided with Governor Charlie Baker’s first months in office.

As a result, Governor Baker convened a special panel to investigate why the MBTA was struggling and how it might improve. That panel recommended forming a board to closely monitor the T’s finances, management, and operations over the following 3-5 years.

The Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) was established on July 17, 2015, and has met on a near-weekly basis since to help get the T back on track. Each FMCB meeting starts with a section for public comments on any topic on that day’s agenda.

The core issues the FMCB seeks to address are:

  • Unsustainable operating budget
  • Underinvestment in infrastructure
  • Difficulty completing projects
  • Ineffective workplace practices
  • Lack of long-term vision and strategy
  • Leadership changes and staffing issues
  • Lack of customer focus
  • Inefficient contracting
  • Lack of accountability to the Governor and Legislature

Progress at the MBTA

In its first 2 years overseeing the T, the FMCB has reduced the forecast operating deficit by $300 million and made smart investments for the T’s future. Some highlights are:

Major Projects to Improve Customer Experience

  • $100 million in winter resiliency improvements
  • Replacement of Red Line #3 fleet with 120 cars on order
  • Replacement of 1/3 of the bus fleet with 375 new hybrid and CNG vehicles
  • Reset Green Line Extension project through $600 million in value engineering and new management team
  • Fast-tracked update of the automated fare collection system
  • Increased state-of-good repair annual spending by more than 50% over FY11-FY15 average

Fiscal Responsibility and Efficient Business Practices

  • Set monthly financial targets and introduced zero-based budgeting
  • Renegotiated Boston Carmen’s Union contract wage rates and work-rules
  • Introduced and enforced overtime/attendance policies
  • Restructured and refinanced debt portfolio
  • Streamlined workforce and rebuilt senior management team
  • Rebid system-wide parking and advertising contracts
  • Partnered with industry cash-handling operations, warehouse/logistics
  • Launched first-in-nation paratransit on-demand pilot with Uber and Lyft
  • Partnered with TPA for leave management programs  (FMLA/ADA)
  • Contracted with private carrier for full turnkey bus operations in Winthrop
  • Transitioned off cash vouchers to electronic purchase orders
  • Shifted MBTA onto statewide payroll and contracts platform (HR/CMS)

Board Members

Joseph Aiello
Joseph Aiello
Chair
Steve Poftak
Steve Poftak
Member
Brian Lang
Brian Lang
Member
Brian Shortsleeve
Brian Shortsleeve
Member
Monica Tibbits-Nutt
Monica Tibbits-Nutt
Member

Reports and Policies

Contact

For public inquiries about FMCB meetings:

Owen P. Kane
Senior Counsel to the Board of Directors
Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Fiscal and Management Control Board
Tel: 857-368-8767
Fax: 857-368-0615
Email: okane@mbta.com