“The right guy at the right time.”

That’s how Quincy Mayor Tom Koch assessed Phil Eng’s performance as general manager of the MBTA. Eng was invited to the MBTA’s advisory board meeting, which is made up of representatives from the communities the transit agency serves, for the first anniversary of his tenure.

Koch, the board’s chair, referenced Eng’s previous job running the Long Island Rail Road, making Eng the first experienced transportation executive to lead the MBTA in nearly a decade.

“It’s great to have a true railroad guy at the helm with all the challenges we have,” Koch said. “I appreciate your updates, your constant communication and your leadership.”

Eng described his time on the job as a “whirlwind.”

“It has been a tremendous amount of change in one year,” he told the board. “And at the same time, there is so much more that I know we can continue to improve and deliver differently.”

Eng said he is making progress repairing the transit system’s aging infrastructure, which has been at the root of the its safety and reliability problems.

“It’s important to really demonstrate that we can deliver and that, when we’re entrusted with public dollars, that we find ways to use them wisely and make meaningful impacts,” he said.

Eng said the 30 diversions or temporary suspensions of service so far this year, which allow unimpeded access for work crews, is a record number — part of a sweeping plan to address track and signal problems on the T by the end of 2024.

“And we’ve been able to hit the mark on all of them,” he said.

Some board members raised questions on specific issues, like increasing parking for commuters returning to the train, boosting bus service and upping enforcement on bus lanes — all of which Eng responded affirmatively to. But most members echoed Koch’s sentiment: that Eng was the right person to head the agency and bring it to a state of good repair after years of neglect.

Transit advocates including Reggie Ramos of T4Ma, the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts, congratulated Eng on his anniversary.

“We applaud his palpable resolve to make the T better,” Ramos told GBH News in an email. “Under his leadership, we have seen an increased level of transparency. For example, when he announced well in advance a full, year-long schedule of outages and track improvements. This allowed riders to plan their trips and schedule weeks, if not months in advance. This renewed sense of transparency has not been felt for a long time by the riding public.”

Eng says he is doing a deep dive into the T’s capital projects, which range from replacing signal systems to upgrading station accessibility — in other words, outside of the normal upkeep under the operating budget.

“We need to deliver these projects when we say we will. And that means when we put them out to bid and we have contract awards, we also can support the projects that that we are putting out,” he said.

In the past, Eng says, that hasn’t always been the case.

Acknowledging a legacy of underinvestment, Eng said, “We’re always going to uncover things that needed improvement in the past. But the commitment I have is that when we uncover them, we will make changes and we will look to deliver on our commitments going forward.”