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)
Browse past and upcoming FMCB meetings. Agendas, minutes, and presentations included.
Learn about the MBTA's annual budget, investment plans, and more.
Find out how the MBTA is working to improve our transit system and service to our riders.
View real-time data and updates on how the T is doing.