DePaola Speaks On Challenges He'll Face As Interim GM Of MBTA

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Former MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola in 2016. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Former MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola in 2016. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Frank DePaola, the state's highway administrator, has been named the MBTA's interim general manager. He'll assume this post in April when the current general manager, Beverly Scott, steps down.

DePaola joins Morning Edition to talk about the challenges ahead for him.

To hear the full interview, click on the audio player above.


Short-term goals for the MBTA:

Frank DePaola: "The short-term goal is to restore service, restore the public confidence in the MBTA. And then, primarily, get the MBTA ready for next winter, so that when the new general manager is found and hired, he or she does not have to be concerned about the MBTA's ability to run going into next winter."

DePaola's thoughts on why he was chosen for the job:

FD: "We really don't have a lot of time between now and say, next December. Someone had to come in who was familiar with the 'T,' familiar with the 'T' staff and organization, who could hit the ground running. ...I believe I can come in and get this ship righted so that when the new general manager is found, that person comes in and the organization is headed in the right direction."

"I've been doing this for over 38 years. I've been involved with many successful projects in the Metro Boston area. ...I believe I have a resume of delivering big projects under pressure conditions, and so far, they all seem to work. So I just intend to keep doing what I do."

On Keolis staffing changes and commuter rail issues:

FD: "I think Keolis had to make a change in their upper management, because I think they had lost focus on the customer. And I think now what Keolis is doing is focusing on delivering their service. That is their primary objective."

"What Keolis needs is consistency. The largest complaint we're getting is people just don't know where their train is, so we're gonna focus, and in fact, I believe they're going to come up with some literature titled, "Where's my train?" Whatever schedule they can roll out, they have to deliver that schedule reliably and consistently so that people know where their train is and when it's going to be there so that they can count on that for their daily use."

"One of the issues that they [the commuter rail services] have is aging locomotives. As you probably know, the MBTA had already ordered 40 new locomotives. There was a delay in their delivery, which is unfortunate. But they are becoming available, and we're hoping to start bringing them on board and into the system over the next month or two."

This article was originally published on February 26, 2015.

This segment aired on February 26, 2015.


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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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