Healey replaces 3 MBTA board members — including chair

The Orange Line at Sullivan Square Station. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)
The Orange Line at Sullivan Square Station. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)

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These shortened holiday weeks tend to get real busy in a hurry, and I’m feeling a bit like a northern elephant seal. But on the bright side, the weekend is within reach and we’re ending on a sunny note.

Here’s what to know as we push through this Friday:

The T has a new general manager, but Gov. Maura Healey isn’t stopping there. This morning, Healey announced more changes to the beleaguered agency’s leadership, replacing three members of the T’s Board of Directors with new appointees of her own — just 18 months after the new Charlie Baker-appointed board began work.

  • Who’s out: MBTA Board Chair Betsy Taylor, as well as members Scott Darling and Mary Beth Mello.
  • Who’s in: Tom Glynn — who served as the T’s general manager under former Gov. Michael Dukakis and later led Massport — will be the board’s new chair. Former Lynn Mayor Tom McGee and Worcester banker Eric Goodwine are also joining.
  • What they’re saying: Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said the administration is “confident that [the new board] will bring urgency and action necessary to make changes and help us move forward.”
  • The backdrop: The Taylor-led board faced some criticism for its hands-off approach, particularly as service cutbacks and safety incidents piled up over the last year.
  • What’s next: The board could see more changes in the near future, as lawmakers consider expanding it to include a seat to represent Boston. Healey is supportive of the change.
  • The challenges ahead: With ridership lagging behind pre-COVID levels, Taylor warned this week that the T is running out of reserve funds to plug budget gaps — and it needs help from the State House.

The wheels on the Worcester area’s fare-free bus pilot will keep running for at least another year. Leaders of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority voted yesterday to keep its buses free until June 2024. (The pilot was originally slated to expire this June.)

  • The cost: WBUR’s Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez reports the WRTA is using $3.6 million in federal COVID relief funds to make up the lost fare revenue. And they have enough funds to cover fares for a few more years before they have to find another revenue source.
  • The benefit: A report this week from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau found the WRTA is the only regional Massachusetts transit agency exceeding its pre-COVID ridership.

At least two seats will be changing this year on the Boston City Council. After six terms, District 3 Councilor Frank Baker announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election this fall, creating a wide-open race for his Dorchester-based seat.

Which part of the MBTA is getting shut down this weekend? It’s the Red Line! All downtown Boston service between Kendall/MIT and JFK/UMass will be replaced by shuttle buses on Saturday and Sunday so crews can work to lift slow zones near South Station.

On the court: Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon was named the NBA’s sixth man of the year last night — the league’s award for its best bench player.

  • Off the court: Brogdon was on Radio Boston this week to talk about his grandfather — a civil rights leader who studied at Boston University with Martin Luther King, Jr. — and how he uses his platform as an NBA player to push for criminal justice reform.
  • Heads up: Game 3 of the Celtics’ playoff series against the Hawks is tonight in Atlanta.

P.S.— Do you know which Massachusetts native led a delegation on a march in Poland with rapper Meek Mill this week to honor victims and survivors of the Holocaust? Take our Boston News Quiz and test your knowledge of the stories we covered this week.


Headshot of Nik DeCosta-Klipa

Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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