The five-year draft Capital Investment Plan is a significant program for repairing and improving the transportation infrastructure of the Commonwealth. On March 16, the MBTA's Fiscal and Control Management Board and the MassDOT Board received a presentation describing the proposed plan, which will be released as a draft on April 11. Our coalition submits this letter as the CIP is considered over the coming weeks, with observations about the proposed plan, several questions, and a look ahead as we consider the long range transportation needs of the entire state.continue
Transportation for Massachusetts, a statewide coalition of 58 member organizations working for a modern transportation network, applauds the Commuter Benefit provision in recent federal legislation that will ensure permanent parity for public transportation and bike commuters.continue
We are deeply disappointed by the Baker Administration’s decision to increase fares by nearly 10%. Raising prices won’t rebuild the MBTA. It will push over six million riders off transit next year, moving our region backwards. Governor Baker’s Control Board has made the choice to significantly increase fares, despite poor service and despite having adequate savings and state funding to close its budget gap.continue
Anything above 5% is a social inequity
By Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett, writing in CommonWealth
As the bitter cold has returned to the streets of Boston, I have been driven into the warmth of the T more than once on my bike commute home from the hospital. The scene there is familiar – workers weary at the end of the day, parents with children swaddled in snow pants, young adults making their way. The English language is wrapped into many other languages, many of which I now recognize from my 11 years working at Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety net hospital.continue
[From The Huffington Post]
By Ayele Shakur
On Tuesday, February 2, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will hold a Public Hearing to unveil its proposal to hike Student T Pass fares from $26 to $32 per month. It's no secret that the T is suffering from significant financial and structural problems, including a $242 million budget deficit and aging trains that often fail to run in cold and snowy conditions. But many parents are already struggling to send their children to school, and finding the extra money for a fare hike seems like an unfair burden.
[Cross posted from the Frontier Group]
How will we know when the MBTA is fiscally back on track?
In its annual report to the Legislature (PDF), released in December, Governor Charlie Baker’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) proposed a standard: “The FMCB calls for annual growth rate in MBTA operating expenses to align with the annual rate of revenue growth,” the board stated.
Over the last decade and a half, one major source of T revenue has actually grown at a faster rate than operating expenses: transit fares.continue