By Tiffany Williams –
Phillip Eng, who has nearly 40 years of experience in transportation, including as President of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Rail Road and Interim President of New York City Transit, has been appointed as the next General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).
Eng, who lives in Smithtown, New York with his wife Carole and will be relocating to Massachusetts to begin his new role on April 10, was in Massachusetts on Monday, and joined Governor Maura T. Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll and Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca outside of Riverside Station in Newton for a press briefing and then took the Green Line to Park Street Station where he greeted riders before walk over to the MBTA Operations Center on High Street in Boston to meet with workers and review operations at the facility.
“Phil Eng is the proven leader the MBTA needs to improve safety and reliability across the system and restore the public’s trust,” said Governor Healey. “He understands that a functioning transportation system is essential to a functioning economy, and he has a track record of taking the reins of struggling public transit systems and dramatically improving service. He also takes a collaborative approach to his work and maintains open lines of communication with customers, workers, businesses, local officials and communities.”
Eng worked his way through the ranks of the New York State Department of Transportation beginning in the ‘80s, ultimately serving as Executive Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer from 2013-2017. He then served as Chief Operating Officer of the MTA, where he oversaw successful efforts to improve performance and efficiency across all agencies, including the NYC Transit Authority, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. He led the procurement and awarding of a $540 million contract to modernize the MTA’s mobile ticketing system and improved the MTA’s contracting methods to better ensure that projects would be completed on time, with reduce costs and with improved quality and durability.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Eng to the position of MBTA General Manager. Phil has a record of achievement in delivering world class transportation services in New York State, managing billions of dollars in capital projects, and launching initiatives to improve the customer experience,” said Secretary Fiandaca. “Most importantly, Phil has excelled at finding solutions to challenging problems. It’s clear he is focused on customer satisfaction, operational excellence, and championing a safe, reliable transportation system. He has wide ranging experience as an executive manager for mass transit, highways, ports, waterways and aviation facilities. We look forward to having Phil guide and support improvements and innovations at the MBTA.”
“It’s time for a new way of doing business at the MBTA. As an engineer, a transportation professional for 40 years, and a commuter myself, I’m laser focused on finding innovative solutions to complex problems and approaching them with a sense of urgency that always puts the customer first,” said Phillip Eng. “I’m also committed to supporting the hardworking employees who keep the MBTA running and ramping up hiring to ensure that we have the workforce in place to deliver the reliable service that riders deserve.”
Eng also served as Interim President of NYC Transit, where he led a workforce of 50,000 employees and was integral to initiating and implementing the $836 million Subway Action Plan to fix aging infrastructure and improve performance across the system.
From 2018-2022, Eng served as President of the MTA Long Island Rail Road, where he managed a system of 7,600 employees and a $1.6 billion operating budget. He transformed the system from having the worst on time performance in decades to having the most consistent on time performance in the railroad’s history.
Eng implemented technology at the MTA Long Island Rail Road that improved the accuracy of train arrival time estimates on platforms and led to the release of the new and improved LIRR TrainTime app, which provided the public with up-to-date service information.
⁰Governor Healey’s office confirmed, “Interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville will remain with the MBTA and assist with the transition to new management.” Governor Healey herself talked about Gonneville saying “I’m deeply grateful to Jeff Gonneville for his 22 years of dedicated service to the MBTA and for rising to the challenge as Interim General Manager during this critical period. He has ushered in a new era of transparency and communication at the MBTA that I know that Phil Eng will continue to build on. We are pleased that Jeff will continue his service to Massachusetts.”