Eleven days after the MBTA installed a new general manager, Governor Maura T. Healey on Friday announced three new appointments to the beleaguered agency’s seven-member board of directors, including a new chair who served as the authority’s general manager decades ago.
Thomas P. Glynn, the new chair, along with Thomas M. McGee, the former Senate chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation and Lynn mayor, and Eric L. Goodwine, a commercial banker, join the board amid intense criticism by riders and transportation advocates about the prior board’s hands-off approach.
“I’m pleased to make these appointments to the MBTA Board,” Healey said in a statement. “I am confident that each of them will focus on ensuring the highest level of safety and service that the people of Massachusetts deserve.”
The agency’s new general manager Phillip Eng’s first day was April 10. He takes over the MBTA at a time of frustration for riders, who have endured drastic service cuts and a long series of grave safety incidents over the last 18 months, including a falling ceiling panel that nearly struck a commuter last month. Eng’s first day also happened to coincide with the one year anniversary of the death of Robinson Lalin, a 39-year-old who was dragged by a Red Line train at Broadway Station. Lalin’s death, as well as a number of other safety incidents, spurred a federal safety inspection of the agency last year.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll said the new members “will bring urgency and action necessary to make changes and help us move forward.”
The new appointees will serve with Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca, Chanda Smart, Robert Butler and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.
“The MBTA Board serves as a vital point of oversight for our metro region public transit system, and I’m pleased to welcome these leaders as we work to rebuild safety, trust, and reliability across the MBTA,” Fiandaca said. “I look forward to working with the Board members going forward to achieve our shared goals and thank previous Board members for their service.”
Healey thanked outgoing board members, Betsy Taylor, Scott Darling, and Mary Beth Mello, for their service and commitment.
The previous board was faulted for not playing a strong enough oversight role during ongoing safety issues, track problems, speed issues, and malfunctions. Riders recently raged about deplorable conditions, chronically late trains, and endless malfunctions in voicemails played at a recent monthly meeting.
They often did not ask questions about serious safety incidents at public meetings, including an escalator malfunction at the Back Bay station in September 2021 that jolted dozens of riders into a bloody pile up, or Lalin’s death on the Red Line.
The new members will bring experience in business, labor and public sector service to the transit system.
Glynn was the MBTA’s general manger under Governor Michael Dukakis, and then CEO of Massport under Governor Deval Patrick, said he was ready for “bold action.”
“I am excited to return to the MBTA in a different capacity but with the same goal — to deliver the world-class service that millions of MBTA riders need and deserve,” said Glynn, who is now an adjunct lecturer in public management at the Harvard Kennedy School. “It’s time that the MBTA Board takes on the sense of urgency that this crisis demands. We can’t settle for the status quo — we need bold action to meet this moment and address the challenges facing the T right now.”
Glynn also served as deputy secretary of labor in President Bill Clinton’s Administration and as chief operating officer of Partners Healthcare (now called “Mass General Brigham | Integrated Health Care System”).
McGee, a lawyer, was mayor of Lynn from 2018 to 2022. He served four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives before his 2002 election to the Senate. McGee was a member of the Senate Joint Committee on Transportation beginning in 2002. He was chair of the committee from 2011 to 2018.
Filling the board’s public/private finance seat, Goodwine, a commercial banker of a nearly a decade, currently works as vice president commercial loan officer for the Worcester Lending Center at Rockland Trust. He previously worked with Business Capital Group at Citizens Bank, and JP Morgan Chase Bank, the statement said.