Phillip Eng Appointed as New General Manager of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Phillip Eng, a transportation professional with nearly 40 years of experience, has been appointed as the new General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).[0] Eng, who previously served as the President of the Long Island Rail Road and Interim President of New York City Transit, has a track record of taking the reins of struggling public transit systems and dramatically improving service. Eng will replace Jeff Gonneville, who has served as interim general manager since January.[1] Until Eng begins his new role on April 10, Gonneville will continue to be with the MBTA and help with the transition.[2] Eng’s appointment ends a months-long search process that began before Governor Maura T. Healey took office.[3]

Starting in the 1980s, Eng climbed up the ladder of the New York State Department of Transportation, ultimately holding the positions of Executive Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer from 2013 to 2017. Eng held the position of chief operating officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and president at New York City Transit before assuming control of the Long Island Rail Road. Starting in 1983, he occupied various roles at the New York State Department of Transportation.[4]

Governor Healey said in a statement that Eng is the proven leader the MBTA needs to improve safety and reliability across the system and restore the public’s trust.[5] She added that a functioning transportation system is essential to a functioning economy, and Eng has a track record of taking the reins of struggling public transit systems and dramatically improving service.[5] Eng has a collaborative approach to his work and maintains open lines of communication with customers, workers, businesses, local officials, and communities.

Eng, who is a Long Island native, currently resides in Smithtown with his wife, Carole.[6] He plans to relocate to Massachusetts for his new job.[5] According to a spokesperson from Healey, Eng will be earning a salary of $470,000 along with being qualified for an “annual retention payment” of $30,000 and a “success bonus”. The success bonus would be up to 10% of his salary in July 2024, up to 15% of his salary in July 2025, and up to 20% of his salary in July 2026. Eng is also eligible to receive a “retention payment” of $30,000 in July 2024 and so-called success bonuses worth as much as 10 percent of his base salary in 2024 and 15 percent in 2025, according to a Healey aide. In the years to come, the bonus would amount to up to 20 percent of his base salary.[1]

In addition, Eng will have the responsibility of guiding the MBTA as it addresses the consequences of the Federal Transit Administration’s investigation from the previous year, which highlighted numerous safety hazards, including a significant backlog of postponed maintenance.[3] It’s time for a new way of doing business at the MBTA, said Eng in a statement announcing his appointment.[7] As an engineer, a transportation professional for 40 years, and a commuter himself, he is laser-focused on finding innovative solutions to complex problems and approaching them with a sense of urgency that always puts the customer first.[8]

Newsday reports that under Eng’s leadership for almost four years, the LIRR attained its highest-ever on-time performance in 2020, and subsequently surpassed that record in 2021.[9] COVID-19 led to a significant decrease in ridership in both of those years.[10]

0. “Eng, former LIRR president, to become new MTBA general manager” TRAINS Magazine, 27 Mar. 2023,

1. “Phillip Eng, former LIRR president, will be the next MBTA general manager, Healey announces” The Boston Globe, 27 Mar. 2023,

2. “Gov. Healey In Newton To Announce Phillip Eng As MBTA General Manager” Patch, 27 Mar. 2023,

3. “Gov. Healey Appoints Phillip Eng As New MBTA General Manager” iHeart, 27 Mar. 2023,

4. “Healey about to name new MBTA GM” CommonWealth magazine, 27 Mar. 2023,

5. “Phillip Eng, former president of Long Island Rail Road, named leader of MBTA” WBUR News, 27 Mar. 2023,

6. “Healey’s GM pick pledges ‘new way of doing business’ at MBTA – Boston Business Journal” The Business Journals, 27 Mar. 2023,

7. “Phillip Eng, former head of Long Island Rail Road, tapped as next MBTA GM”, 27 Mar. 2023,

8. “Phillip Eng pledges ‘new way of doing business’ at MBTA” Lowell Sun, 27 Mar. 2023,

9. “Former Long Island Transit Boss Phillip Eng Will Be T’s Next General Manager” Streetsblog MASS, 27 Mar. 2023,

10. “‘Proven leader’: Mass. Gov. Healey appoints new MBTA general manager” Boston 25 News, 27 Mar. 2023,