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 operating costs and made smart investments for the T’s future. Some highlights are:
- Cost savings through private and public partnerships
- Launching major projects to improve customer experience
- $100 million of winter resiliency improvements
- Replacement of 120 Red Line cars
- Replacement of 1/3 of the bus fleet with 375 hybrid and CNG vehicles
- Renewed Green Line Extension project
- Updated automated fare collection system
- Less overtime pay and absenteeism
- Stronger executive leadership