House Speaker Robert DeLeo delivered a major win for Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday afternoon, committing himself to the creation of a management control board to oversee the MBTA in the face of opposition from Senate leaders.
Keeping up pressure on senators resistant to his MBTA reforms, Gov. Charlie Baker met with three transit riders Monday morning and used their experiences to pepper his calls for action.
“What I and the governor do not expect you to be is a fiscal and management control board for the MBTA,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told the reconstituted state transportation board Wednesday.
The Senate’s plan does not call for a temporary fiscal control board, a major part of the governor’s proposal. It also doesn’t suspend a union wage law that critics say drives up prices for contracting work for the MBTA.
The move gives Baker control of the panel that oversees operations at the MBTA, the RMV and other transportation departments.
Senate leaders have unveiled a state budget proposal that appears to deal a setback to Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan for overhauling the MBTA
There’s pushback on Beacon Hill to Gov. Charlie Baker’s plans to fix the troubled MBTA. The opposition speaks to a larger skepticism about the governor’s proposed T fix that was on full display at a five-hour hearing on Beacon Hill Monday.
The governor testified Monday before the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, which is considering a bill that Baker filed after a task force report pointed to a “pervasive organizational failure” at the MBTA.
Lawmakers pressed task force members for data behind their conclusions about high absenteeism among T employees, failure to spend capital funds and the proposal to create a temporary MBTA control board.
The free fares apply to all modes of transportation including trolleys, buses and commuter rail trains.
Gov. Charlie Baker asked all board members except his transportation secretary to step aside, following a report that blasted the MBTA’s management.
A task force convened by Baker to review the MBTA’s operations called for the transportation board to be replaced by a five-member fiscal control board.