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In a unanimous decision, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors has selected state Highway Administrator and MassDOT Chief Operating Officer Frank DePaola to serve as interim general manager of the MBTA.
DePaola will replace the outgoing Beverly Scott, who is due to resign on April 11, while the state looks for a permanent replacement.
"With the depth and breadth of Frank’s experience as an engineer, a manager, and a problem-solver, I have full confidence that he has the skill sets and capabilities to serve as Interim General Manager," said state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack in a statement.
Scott surprised many when she submitted her resignation earlier this month. It came amid a turbulent stretch for the T, which has struggled mightily amid record snowfall and below-average temperatures.
Gov. Charlie Baker has created an advisory panel to "diagnose" the MBTA's woes and report back by the end of March.
In a statement following his appointment, DePaola cited the advisory panel.
"I am excited to take on this critical role at the MBTA,” he said. “I also look forward to assisting with the Special Panel’s search to get to the root cause of the issues our transit system faces. Once the issues are diagnosed, I look forward to helping implement a strategy to restore our system to full strength, and restoring our customers’ faith in our ability to provide safe, reliable, efficient transit service.”
The news marks DePaola's second interim appointment in less than six months. He became the interim transportation secretary in November 2014, after the resignation of then-Secretary Richard Davey.
DePaola was also formerly the MBTA's assistant general manager for design and construction, overseeing capital spending and construction projects for the T, according to a press release.
MassDOT's Chief of Highway Operations and Maintenance Thomas Tinlin will take over as acting highway administrator, effective March 4. Tinlin previously served as Boston's transportation commissioner.
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