A new report shows how investment in expanding capacity on public transit is critical to our region's economic future, and to the lives and livelihood of the businesses, employees and communities that depend on a thriving economy. The Road To Growth reviews public transit demand, capacity, maintenance, and the reasons we must continue to plan and build the public transit system we need to compete in the 21st century.continue
In Banker & Tradesman, Rick Dimino of A Better City writes...
The MBTA is a cornerstone of our economy. We now know what happens when the MBTA is unable to carry the almost 1.3 million riders who use and rely on the system every day – the employees who power the Massachusetts economy can- not get to their jobs. These jobs provide income and discretionary spending power, which puts money in the pockets of our businesses, retailers and restaurants, which in turn generate sales and meals taxes. These jobs also deliver income taxes into the Treasury and, combined, this revenue helps fund services to taxpayers across the commonwealth.
Writing in Commonwealth, Transportation for Massachusetts Director Kristina Egan and Tony Dutzik of the Frontier Group explain why a comprehensive approach to revitalizing the MBTA is crucial to the Massachusetts economy, and to the people and businesses that depend on public transportation. Read the article here.
In WBUR's Cognoscenti, Douglas M. McGarrah writes...
Haven’t we studied, reorganized, refined the reorganization and special commissioned our transportation system enough over the past years? Have we not the grounds to just declare our total dissatisfaction with the current unacceptable levels of service disruptions? The time to act is now.
From the Boston Globe, David D'Alessandro writes...
A GREAT many people have weighed in on the MBTA’s breathtakingly woeful performance. Solutions abound, including privatizing the agency, hiking fares, shifting debt to other departments, selling assets, and reconfiguring pensions. But who ultimately will be responsible for fixing the T? It will fall to the “Big Three” — the governor, the speaker of the House, and the Senate president. The implementers of any solution will likely be appointed experts, but the burden of coming up with a plan is on the Big Three.
The MBTA late night program is an important transportation option for the Boston region and deserves careful consideration. At a time that the MBTA is being comprehensively reviewed, we recommend extending the pilot test for 6-12 months to obtain additional information and explore opportunities for sponsorship.continue
In the Boston Globe Metro section, David Scharfenberg writes...
When Governor Charlie Baker made his regular appearance on WGBH-FM radio a few weeks ago, the conversation inevitably turned to the topic du jour: what to do about the crisis engulfing the MBTA, ravaged by days of historic storms and years of crippling budget woes?
“The thing I find so disappointing about this is everybody just says we should raise taxes,” he said, adding later, “They don’t talk about the fact that the operating budget for the T over the last seven or eight years has gone up by 50 percent.”
Baker’s math was close enough; the T’s budget has grown 44 percent in the last eight years. And the implication was clear: The agency has a spending problem.
But a Boston Globe review suggests a more complicated picture. By many measures, the MBTA’s outlays are in line with those of other large public transit systems around the country. Its spending has grown at a typical pace over the last decade. Its pension costs don’t eat up a particularly large portion of its budget. And the agency’s average hourly wage is, well, average.
The Governor’s proposed budget provides modest increases for transportation funding over last year’s appropriations, but proposes $15 million less for the MBTA than the 2013 Finance Act anticipated for FY16 and $30 million less in snow removal funding than the average annual amount expended over the past 5 years. A substantial commitment of state resources is necessary to protect our transportation system and the jobs that depend on reliable and safe mobility.continue
Thanks to everyone who has signed our petition for safe and reliable transportation. The commonwealth depends on affordable and dependable mobility.
Please join us at the State House on Wednesday, March 4 at 10AM (arrive at 9:45) for a rally and to deliver our petition to the Governor and legislators. Mayor Joe Curtatone and other speakers will address the need for transportation solutions across the state.continue
TRANSPORTATION FOR MASSACHUSETTS MEETS WITH 40 MEMBERS OF HOUSE AND SENATE TO DISCUSS FINDINGS OF LATEST “KEEPING ON TRACK” REPORT AND THE FINANCIAL STATUS OF MBTA
LEADING TRANSPORTATION ADVOCACY GROUP GIVES UPDATES DURING MBTA CAUCUS MEETINGcontinue