Sec. Fiandaca Forecasts MBTA Improvements “From The Top Down”

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Former Boston Transportation Department Commissioner and Austin Assistant City Manager

Introducing herself at the start of her first MassDOT Board of Directors meeting, Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca promised Thursday morning that the Healey administration will improve the beleaguered MBTA “from the top down.”

The secretary came onto the job Monday and told the board Thursday that her team is working to identify “changes that need to be made immediately” at the T as well as changes that can be made in the coming months.

“And from the top down, we’re going to improve the system,” she said.

After the board meeting, Fiandaca will ride the Red Line with Gov. Maura Healey, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Undersecretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt and Interim MBTA General Manager Jeff Gonneville and go get a tour of the MBTA Operations Control Center.

“We want to see firsthand how service is monitored and what goes on behind the scenes,” Fiandaca said. “We’re focused on improving the safety and reliability of the MBTA and we understand why MBTA riders have been frustrated. Our transit users deserve better service and more reliable transportation.”

The secretary said she had no news to share on the Healey administration’s search for a permanent GM for the MBTA, “but we have identified several qualified candidates.” Gonneville was listed by the governor’s office as a participant for the Red Line ride and operations center tour, but the interim GM was not listed among the officials who will take part in a press conference afterwards.

In her introductory remarks, Fiandaca explained how she views her job as secretary and the role of public transit in Massachusetts.

“It’s about connecting people to work, to school, to home, and it creates the foundation for our communities to grow and thrive. And it helps power our economy. This is such an exciting and transformative time in transportation, and we have unprecedented opportunities,” Fiandaca said. “Collectively, we all have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the integrated statewide network that is safe and accessible for everyone.” – Colin A. Young/SHNS | 2/2/23 11:27 AM