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Frank DePaola Official 2014The MassDOT Board of Directors voted unanimously to make Frank DePaola, currently serving as Highway Administrator and MassDOT’s Chief Operating Officer, Interim General Manager of the MBTA. MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack also announced today that Thomas Tinlin, MassDOT’s Chief of Highway Operations and Maintenance, will serve as Acting Highway Administrator. Both appointments are effective Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

“I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to appoint Frank DePaola Interim General Manager as we undergo a period of transition with the MBTA,” said Secretary Pollack. “With the depth and breadth of Frank’s experience as an engineer, a manager, and a problem-solver, I have full confidence that he has the skill sets and capabilities to serve as Interim General Manager. I also want to thank Dr. Scott for her years of service and for her strong commitment to public transportation. We wish her the very best of luck in her next endeavor.”

Starting in the field of engineering nearly 38 years ago, DePaola’s career track includes experience in several disciplines within the field. One of those disciplines started in May 2009, when DePaola was named MBTA Assistant General Manager for Design and Construction. In that role, he directed and managed construction projects for the T, had oversight of the capital spending, and worked to ensure projects were completed in a timely and cost-effective manner.

DePaola served in that capacity until April 2011, when he was named MassDOT’s Highway Administrator, responsible for the operations, maintenance, and capital investments on the State Highway System. In November 2014, DePaola was named Acting Secretary of MassDOT until Jan. 13, 2015, when Governor Baker named Stephanie Pollack MassDOT Secretary and CEO.

“I want to thank the Board of Directors for their trust in my abilities, and I am excited to take on this critical role at the MBTA,” DePaola said. “I also look forward to assisting with the Special Panel’s search to get to the root cause of the issues our transit system faces. Once the issues are diagnosed, I look forward to helping implement a strategy to restore our system to full strength, and restoring our customers’ faith in our ability to provide safe, reliable, efficient transit service.”

“I cannot think of a better, more qualified person to take the reins immediately, and provide the necessary leadership to move our transit system in the right direction,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. “I can leave this job I’ve loved, knowing that MBTA customers as well as employees are in very capable hands and I look forward to working with Frank during the transition process.”

Under the agency’s enabling statute, the MassDOT Board of Directors is allowed to appoint a General Manager through unanimous written consent by the members of the Board. That consent was obtained late last night. The position of Highway Administrator is appointed by – and is a direct report to – the Secretary and CEO.

Secretary Pollack also announced Tinlin’s appointment as Acting Highway Administrator during DePaola’s service as General Manager. Tinlin served as Boston’s Commissioner of Transportation for over a decade before joining MassDOT in December 2013. Serving as Chief of Highway Operations and Maintenance, Tinlin’s responsibilities include managing the Highway Division’s day-to-day operations, scheduling a complex sequence of construction and maintenance activities to minimize impacts to the driving public. Most recently, Tinlin was the leader in coordinating the Highway Division’s response to record-breaking snowfall, and providing resources to assist MEMA, the MBTA, and cities and towns with storm recovery efforts.

Tinlin was also MassDOT’s lead on the South Boston Waterfront Study, which brought together the city of Boston, Massport, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, A Better City, as well as neighborhood residents, businesses, and industry leaders to develop a plan to meet the existing and future transportation needs of the waterfront area. Following the 18-month study period, Tinlin now serves as the group’s chair seeking to implement the plan.

“I want to thank Secretary Pollack for her confidence in me and my priority of focusing on the daily operations of the Highway Division, always with the goal of having the safest, most efficient highway network possible,” Tinlin said. “Additionally, I am eager to continue our progress in advancing our organization ever closer toward one, unified Department of Transportation.”

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