All Things Travel: A Labor Day Look At Massachusetts’ Transportation Chiefs
BOSTON (CBS) – Labor Day is a good time to reflect on a couple of interim transportation chiefs that are doing a good job in Boston while their boards of directors do a national search for their replacements.
I am referring to Jonathan Davis, the acting General Manager of the MBTA and David Mackey, interim CEO of Massport.
The authorities could do transit riders and airline passengers a favor and make their jobs permanent. It would save a lot of time and money but it’s probably not going to happen.
The most intriguing question is who will be named to head the Massachusetts Port Authority that runs Logan and Worcester Airport and the cruise and cargo facilities on Boston’s waterfront. This search has been going on for 16 months.
In the meantime, Logan Airport continues to show record numbers and move closer to having jetBlue Airways start flying from the Worcester Airport. Mackey is visible in the community and all Massport events. He headed up the team that has successfully launched Japan Airlines service from Boston to Tokyo.
Davis guided the MBTA through its series of community meetings and was under fire for the fare increase that went into effect July 1. Expecting a drop in rail and bus traffic of about five percent, the actual loss was about one percent. One of the major reasons that things went relatively smoothly was an extensive series of community meetings where MBTA officials let opposing groups have their say and make suggestions.
The man who has a major part in any decision about these two positions is Richard Davey who is Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth. He is also the chairman of the Massport Board.
A reorganization of the MBTA and Department of Transportation board of directors was announced last week. Board members will be expanded from five to eight, appointed by Governor Patrick.
Secretary Davey told this reporter that the new MBTA and MassDOT boards should be in place by the end of the month. The next Massport board meeting is scheduled for September 20th when a new CEO could be announced.
At the September Massport meeting, figures should be available regarding the success of the free Silver Line service from Logan Airport to South Station and whether this service will continue at no charge after this month.
Massport has been paying the MBTA $100,000 a month to subsidize the free trips. One question to be answered is whether the Silver Line test has had any impact on Blue Line subway passenger count decreasing from Logan and water transportation ridership from the airport to Quincy.
Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.