MBTA will add ‘head of stations’ job after mishaps
The MBTA’s new GM is creating a new “head of stations” job to oversee operations at the agency’s many train stops after a series of mishaps and equipment failures at the facilities.
Phil Eng, just a few months into his job as chief of the beleaguered authority, said the need for the role was apparent to him based off of experience at other rail companies.
“In past agencies I saw where a ‘head of stations’ is a single point of accountability, right? Somebody who is managing a team, obviously we have many stations across the system, but that team will be there to support this person in terms of the environment of our stations, the safety of our stations, and to bring together all the different functional groups that support addressing those in a more timely manner,” he said in remarks Sunday during WCVB’s “On the Record.”
Eng’s declaration he would find someone to take the reins at the T’s several stations comes after one woman was nearly struck by a falling ceiling tile while leaving an MBTA property and another injured when a utility box used to detect airborne hazards fell from its suspension moorings onto her.
The woman struck by the utility box said last month she would file a lawsuit against the T.
Eng, the former President of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Long Island Rail Road, said he takes the condition of stations in the system he’s managing personally, and he wants customers to have a point of contact at the agency to air their concerns with.
“I look at stations — and I’ve said this in my past roles — it’s almost like my living room, right? If I’m inviting someone into my living room, I want them to feel comfortable, I want them to feel safe, and it has to be a welcoming environment. Particularly if we want riders to come back,” he said.
According to Eng the ‘head of stations’ would report to him and be responsible for the upkeep of all MBTA stations. It’s no small task, he acknowledged, but one that needs to be done right and soon.
“There is no reason we can’t take care of some of these more immediate needs in terms of corrective repairs, cleanliness and giving that, again, inviting experience,” he said.