New Oversight Body: The MBTA Board of Directors

The FY21 supplemental budget, which was passed last month, establishes a new seven-member Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will replace the Fiscal and Management Control Board, which officially dissolved at the end of June. The following explanation of the makeup of the new oversight body is paraphrased from Section 19 of the supplemental budget.  

The makeup of the new Board of Directors is as follows:  

  1. The Secretary of Transportation, who will serve in an ex-officio capacity 

2. The MBTA advisory board will appoint 1 person who has municipal government experience in the service area constituting the authority and experience in transportation operations, transportation planning, housing policy, urban planning or public or private finance  

5 members of the Board appointed by Governor Baker including:

3. 1 person with experience in safety 

4. 1 person with experience in transportation operations 

5. 1 person with experience in public or private finance 

6. 1 rider of the MBTA and a resident of an environmental justice population  

7. 1 person whom shall be selected from a list of 3 persons recommended by the president of the Massachusetts State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO made recommendations yesterday.  

The member appointed by the advisory board with municipal government experience in the service area constituting the authority shall represent 1 of the following service areas:  the 14 cities and towns (this is Boston and its immediate surrounding communities, including Belmont and Watertown);  the 51 cities and towns; or  the other served communities.

See here for more information about which municipalities make up the different service areas.  

At least one of the people appointed by Governor Baker must live or work in a different service area than the member appointed by the MBTA advisory board.  

At least 2 of the appointed members shall also be members of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 

In making selections to the board of directors, the appointing authority will strive to ensure a board whose diversity and inclusion are reflective of the population served by the authority. 

No more than 4 members can be enrolled in the same political party.  

For information about the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board, which was the oversight body of the MBTA from 2015 until the middle of this year, see Senator Brownsberger’s web post.  

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