Step aside Mr. Davis, and kindly make way for Beverly Scott, because come December, she will take over as the new general manager of the MBTA.
The MassDOT Board of Directors unanimously selected Scott for the job yesterday after hours of probing her and finalist Dwight Ferrell, also of MARTA, on why they would make a good T boss.
Ultimately, it was Scott's "expertise in transit management" that sealed the deal.
Scott, who is the first woman and second African-American to hold the general manager post, seemed optimistic about signing on to lead the debt-laden transit agency.
As the MBTA general manager, she will get a three-year contract and an annual salary of $220,000. She starts on Dec. 15. Transportation officials said they got 106 applicants, and only 22 were forwarded to the screening committee.
After getting the job, a smiling Scott said Boston was "a wonderful, wonderful region."
"There is still a lot that remains to be done, and I think that I'll be able to do some good here," she said.
Scott's prior experience in public transportation leadership spans more than 30 years, and includes Chief Executive Officer & General Manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District in Sacramento, and General Manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority in Providence. She has also worked in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Houston and Dallas.
"I'm a bit of a transit junkie. I've done bridges and tunnels at Triboro, so I kind of know my way around. I'm looking forward to it," she said.
In coming months, T riders can expect to see Scott "getting her feet wet" in the transit system.
"The first couple of weeks I can say I'd be doing a lot of walking around, a lot of riding," she said when asked during her interview how she would kick off the job. "I have a lot of ideas, but they're just ideas. I'd want to listen, learn, talk and touch as many people as I possibly could."
When Scott was asked about her vision for the T, she said stabilizing the agency was her first goal.
After that, she'd like to position the agency for "tremendous growth," saying, "I've always said I'm basically pretty much of a startup, fix-up, turnaround, transition person."
Scott said she planned to bring her 30 years of experience to the post and suggested it would be the last stop on her career in transportation.
"This is the one where I'm going to end up," Scott said. "This is really a tremendous opportunity," she said. "The T is absolutely just an unbelievable regional asset, one for the state as well as one for this nation."