Commutes were complicated by historic snow and cold this winter.Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

State transportation secretary Stephanie Pollack acknowledged the T had lackluster contingency plans to deal with the nightmarish winter that disrupted daily commutes for several weeks.

The MBTA had an insular mindset and failed to adequately study best practices with other transit agencies, said Pollack during an appearance on Keller @ Large that aired Sunday morning. The thinking was, she said, that standard T procedures had weathered past winters, meaning such protocols would be able to carry the agency through any inclement weather.

“When the same thing stopped working in February, there wasn’t much of a Plan B,” she said.

Pollack said changes to how the T operates “in pretty much everything they do” are necessary.


The way the T is structured, with a general manager appointed by the state Department of Transportation’s board, not the governor or the transportation secretary is “not a perfect governance system.”

If the public is going to hold Gov. Charlie Baker accountable for fixing the T’s woes, she said, “then we need to give him and me enough power to make a difference.”

It remains to be seen what how the board will vote on “tougher issues,” she said.

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