MBTA Chief Faces Uncertain Future

The top political leaders on Beacon Hill have apparently come to loggerheads over the future of MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas.

Citing two major trolley accidents in the past 14 months and the deep budget crisis at the T, Gov. Deval Patrick is questioning the competence of Grabauskas.

But the heads of both the House and Senate have broken with the governor and are supporting the T chief. Several lawmakers suggested Patrick's statements might be politically motivated as a way of getting rid of Grabauskas, who was appointed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

Patrick's comments come after three MBTA board members issued a scathing letter of "no confidence" in Grabauskas because of what they thought was an inadequate response to the two Green Line crashes and a report by the National Transportation Safety Board about widespread problems in the T system.

Transportation Secretary James Aloisi told legislators Wednesday he will not decide now whether he wants to remove Grabauskas from the post because he wants a chance to discuss concerns in the letter first.

"I've gotten a letter and the board is going to meet with him to discuss it and I'm going to hold my counsel until we have that opportunity," Aloisi said.

He also said neither he nor his staff had any role in drafting the letter.

Grabauskas dismissed the issues raised in the letter and accused the governor of preying on the public's fears about safety. His future will be the subject of a full MBTA board meeting Aug. 6.

This program aired on July 30, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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