Gov. Maura Healy appoints Philip Eng as the new MBTA general manager

Gov. Maura T. Healy announced Monday that the next director general of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will be named Philip Enge, an engineer with nearly 40 years experience in the transportation business, including as president of the Transportation Authority for the Long Island Rail District. and the interim president of New York City Transit. “Phil Eng is the proven leader the MBTA needs to improve safety and reliability across the system and restore public confidence,” Healy said in a press release. “He understands that a functioning transit system is essential to an efficient economy, and has a proven track record of taking the reins of struggling public transit systems and dramatically improving service. He also takes a collaborative approach to his work and maintains open lines of communication with customers, workers, businesses, local officials, and communities.” Starting his new position on April 10, the engineer will ride the Green Line to the Park Street station to welcome passengers and walk to the MBTA Operations Control Center, where he will meet with workers and review operations at the facility. The engineer’s salary will be $470,000 before bonuses. Former general manager Steve Poftak made about $417,000 including bonuses, working his way up the ranks of the New York State Department of Transportation beginning in the 1980s, eventually serving as executive deputy commissioner and chief engineer from 2013-2017. He then served as Chief Operating Officer of the MTA, overseeing successful efforts to improve performance and efficiency across all agencies, including the New York City Transit Authority, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Railroad, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. “It’s time for a new way of doing business at MBTA. As an engineer, transportation professional for 40 years, and travel agent, I focus on finding innovative solutions to complex problems and approaching them with a sense of urgency that always puts the customer first,” said the engineer. “I am also committed to supporting the hardworking employees who keep the MBTA running and ramping up staffing to ensure we have the workforce to deliver the reliable service that riders deserve.” The engineer led the procurement and award of a $540 million contract to upgrade MTA’s mobile ticketing system and improve MTA contracting methods to better ensure projects are completed on time, with reduced costs and improved quality and durability. From 2018 to 2022, Eng served as President of the MTA Long Island Rail Road, managing a system with 7,600 employees and an operating budget of $1.6 billion. He turned the system from the worst on-time performer in decades to the most consistent on-time performer in railroad history. The engineer will face daunting challenges with the turbulent public transportation system that has come into sharp focus over the past few months when he took over the helm. One safety issue was the July Orange Line train’s fire on a bridge in Somerville, which prompted dozens of passengers to evacuate the train and one to jump into the murky river below. The fire was one of several MBTA safety issues that prompted a federal investigation, resulting in a scathing report from the Federal Transportation Administration. Earlier this month, the MBTA implemented global speed limits on trains and carriages after officials learned proper documentation about safety tests was missing.

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Governor Maura T. Healy announced Monday that Philip Eng will be appointed as the next director general of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The engineer is an engineer with nearly 40 years of transportation experience, including as president of the Metropolitan Long Island Railroad and interim president of New York City Transit.

“Phil Eng is the proven leader the MBTA needs to improve safety and reliability across the system and restore public confidence,” Healy said in a press release. “He understands that a functioning transit system is essential to an efficient economy, and has a proven track record of taking the reins of struggling public transit systems and dramatically improving service. He also takes a collaborative approach to his work and maintains open lines of communication with customers, workers, businesses, local officials, and communities.”

Starting his new position on April 10, the engineer will ride the Green Line to the Park Street station to welcome passengers and walk to the MBTA Operations Control Center, where he will meet with workers and review operations at the facility.

The engineer’s salary will be $470,000 before bonuses. Former general manager Steve Buftak made about $417,000 including bonuses.

Ng worked his way up the ranks of the New York State Department of Transportation beginning in the 1980s, eventually serving as Executive Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer from 2013-2017.

He then served as Chief Operating Officer of the MTA, overseeing successful efforts to improve performance and efficiency across all agencies, including the New York City Transit Authority, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Railroad, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

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“It’s time for a new way of doing business at MBTA. As an engineer, transportation professional for 40 years, and travel agent, I focus on finding innovative solutions to complex problems and approaching them with a sense of urgency that always puts the customer first,” said the engineer. “I am also committed to supporting the hardworking employees who keep the MBTA running and ramping up staffing to ensure we have the workforce to deliver the reliable service that riders deserve.”

The engineer led the procurement and award of a $540 million contract to upgrade MTA’s mobile ticketing system and improve MTA contracting methods to better ensure projects are completed on time, with reduced costs and improved quality and durability.

From 2018 to 2022, Eng served as President of the MTA Long Island Rail Road, managing a system with 7,600 employees and an operating budget of $1.6 billion. He turned the system from the worst on-time performer in decades to the most consistent on-time performer in railroad history.

The engineer will face daunting challenges with the turbulent public transportation system that has come into sharp focus over the past few months when he took over the helm.

One safety issue was an Orange Line train in July that caught fire on a bridge in Somerville, prompting dozens of passengers to evacuate the train and one jumping into the Mystic River below.

The fire was one of several MBTA safety issues that prompted a federal investigation, resulting in a scathing report from the Federal Transit Administration.

Video below: A scathing report on the safety of the MBTA

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Earlier this month, the MBTA implemented global speed limits on trains and carriages after officials learned proper documentation about safety tests was missing.

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