In the lead-up to Governor Baker’s legislative proposal to fix the MBTA, we were encouraged by the Special Panel’s declaration that both revenues and reforms should be part of any plan to improve transit. Unfortunately, the governor’s new bill proposes to reduce revenues and paves the way to steep fare hikes and service cuts. Plus, the $575 million in revenue cuts affect not only the MBTA, but also the entire statewide transportation system, including roads, bridges, regional buses, bikeways and sidewalks.continue
The Governor unveiled legislation on April 22 aimed at stabilizing the MBTA after this winter’s historic snowfall exposed the fragility of the Boston region’s public transit system. We are grateful to the Administration for their prompt attention to the issues that were revealed after this winter, and to their commitment to rapidly addressing transportation challenges that have percolated for decades.continue
From Tony Dutzik of The Frontier Group:
Gov. Baker’s special panel on the MBTA put forward many recommendations to address the agency’s fiscal problems, including raising fares.
MBTA riders, however, are already paying more for transit service than they did a decade and a half ago. Since 2000, MBTA bus and subway riders have seen fares double. The MBTA has raised fares, in the aggregate, faster than many other leading transit systems. And T riders have come to provide an increasing share of the MBTA’s operating funding.
We are proud to be at 50 organizational members with a statewide focus on transportation solutions to serve the entire Commonwealth. We are glad to welcome the Middlesex 3 Coalition, the New England Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and The Congress for New Urbanism, New England Chapter.continue
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, on the heels of highly critical report of MBTA operations, knows the Commonwealth has a lot of fix-it work ahead. But she still wants to think big. And she surprised a group of real estate executives yesterday by saying the Commonwealth has the capacity to spend big on transportation — more than was spent on the Big Dig spent on an annual basis.
Read the full article here.
We are grateful to the Baker Administration and the Governor’s Special Panel to Review the MBTA for their intense and rapid effort to diagnose the problems at the MBTA and develop a blueprint for putting the agency on track for success. We thank the Administration for making MBTA reform a top priority.continue
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.