BRT chair Charlesretta Meade

"There's a very limited window of opportunity to deal with any scandalous situation, especially in Philadelphia," said Zack Stalberg, president and chief executive officer of the Committee of Seventy, the city government watchdog group.

"After that window closes, people feel like they can continue to get away with doing things the way they've always done them."

If Council does not address the BRT before recessing June 18 and does not reconvene until its next scheduled meeting in mid-September, that window could close, Stalberg said.

Verna dismissed that concern and said she remained committed to restructuring the agency, but at a pace that suits Council.

"We do not yet know how long the process will take, but it is much more important in my view that we do it correctly rather than quickly," she said.

Asked what work had been done on the BRT in the last month, Verna said Council had been focused on the budget and other business.

"I've talked to the mayor about it. I don't know if you've noticed, but we've been extremely, extremely busy with other things. We've had one public hearing after another," Verna said.

Other Council members said they would not let the prospect of BRT reform slip away over the summer.

"I think there's a real strong commitment to address this in the fall," Councilwoman Maria Quinoñes Sánchez said. "A few of us have been very, very adamant that this be resolved, that we don't waste this opportunity."

But Council members say the job could take many months. After the task force does its work, there will be public hearings. Then, if the city tries to disband the agency, a public vote will be required, which likely would not make the ballot until May.

"This is a serious thing to be messing with. In my view, we shouldn't rush it, because if we do we're going to make mistakes," Councilman Bill Green said.