Gov. Baker Creating MBTA Advisory Panel as T Slowly Improves

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says the state needs to come up with a different way of thinking about governance, finance, structure, operations, strategies, tactics and all other aspects of the MBTA.

And to come up with that new way of thinking, the governor has put together a commission of seven transportation expert who now have about 30 days to come up with some ideas.

The commission is chaired by former Boston redevelopment Authority Dir. Paul Barrett and includes former director of the FAA and the Massachusetts highway department, Jane Garvey.

"While we have some enormous challenges, we have some great opportunities," said Garvey.

Commuter advocates on Beacon Hill are long frustrated with the deferred maintenance and underfunding that has lead to failures with the MBTA.

But Josh Ostroff of "Transportation for Massachusetts" says he is encouraged about the level of expertise and the short turnaround expected of this commission – even though he's not a fan of Baker's commitment to not rely on new revenue.

"If I were the governor, I wouldn't of made that pledge," he said. "But I think that the governor's smart. He's got outstanding advice around him."

Senate President Stan Rosenberg thinks the commission is the correct next step. He has authorized a hearing next Thursday at the State House on the MBTA where top officials from the Baker administration and the MBTA are expected to testify.

As of Friday evening, the MBTA announced that 400 cars were in service, the most since Feb. 9.

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