We appreciate the leadership, energy and vision that Dr. Beverly Scott has brought to the job of MBTA General Manager. She has been a tireless advocate for bus and rail riders. We at Transportation for Massachusetts thank Dr. Scott and wish her all the best.
The MBTA is essential not just for its hundreds of thousands of riders. Our region’s commerce, industry, institutions, sports and culture, as well as our neighborhoods and families, depend on it to move people reliably, day in and day out. The next GM must continue Dr. Scott’s work to build a world-class transit system for a world-class city and region.
To do that, the MBTA, like all our transportation across the state, needs resources. The recent and ongoing winter weather has exposed longstanding problems. Delays and cancellations – and the disruption to people and businesses that result – are direct consequences of a longstanding failure to responsibly invest in the system. Trains, buses, electrical systems and switches are decades beyond their useful life. As Senator Tom McGee said, the state has a “transportation crisis” and our transportation system is “completely overwhelmed.”
Underfunding is not confined to the MBTA. Statewide, roads and bridges are on a decades-long waiting list for repair and replacement, and Regional Transit Authorities do not have the resources to properly serve their communities. This problem has been documented for many, many years.
Dr. Scott often spoke about what defines success in public transportation. It is for public transit to be the first choice of the people it aims to serve. The next General Manager should aim for that standard. And the next General Manager should have adequate financial support from the Administration and the State Legislature to rebuild a transit system that is worthy of Massachusetts.