Former MBTA Boss nominated to NTSB, bringing her transit expertise

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President Obama nominated Dr. Beverly Scott to fill a vacancy on the National Transportation Safety Board. Her resume includes senior positions-

  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) General Manager and MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator,
  • Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA),
  • General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SRTD) and
  • General Manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).

In 2011 President Obama named her as a member, and then as Vice Chair, of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). NIAC’s mission is to protect and preserve the physical assets that are critical to the U.S. economy and national security.

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The NTSB investigates all types of transportation accidents. This five member Board plays instrumental roles in the review of the sites, the analysis of the facts collected and the finding of probable cause. Consequently, the qualifications of these White House appointments are set by statute (49 USC §1111); they must exemplify as “basis of technical qualification, professional standing, and demonstrated knowledge in accident reconstruction, safety engineering, human factors, transportation safety, or transportation regulation.”

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In 2011 Congress added, MAP21, safety to the responsibilities to FTA. FTA has initiated a number of safety initiatives, including Safety Management System. A year ago, MBTA started the process to initiate this safety discipline there. That experience should be very useful to the Board, if confirmed.

It is fairly common practice for the White House to “vet” such nominations with the Members of the delegation from that state. Thus, it is a little surprising that both Senator Markey and Senator Warren were noncommittal when queried about the nominee. This oddity may have to do with the odd circumstances of Dr. Scott’s resignation form MBTA due to problems dealing with a record blizzard.

The addition of this seasoned veteran to the NTSB could be valuable for its transit investigations. She should be an able advocate for SMS after her MBTA work on that advanced form of safety promotion. Hopefully, her time before the Senate will not be prolonged.

 

ARTICLE: Obama Nominates Former MBTA Head Beverly Scott To NTSB

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