T4MA Statement on MBTA Track Improvement Program 2023-2024
November 9, 2023 - "Today, the MBTA announced its plan for a Track Improvement Program set to be implemented throughout 2024. Considering the safety challenges and the slow zones that have beset the system of late, a plan of this breadth has been anticipated. The communication of a comprehensive, systemwide, year-long plan to address track issues is crucial and appreciated. We hope this signals a new level of transparency with the public for the MBTA especially as the work progresses. This allows impacted communities to plan their trips and activities ahead, and for municipalities to prepare for these shutdowns, ensuring riders’ lives are not disrupted greatly.
T4MA and our members will continue to hold the MBTA to their obligation to provide accessible mitigation measures and abide by their service delivery policy. The MBTA needs to increase and improve safety to restore the confidence of their riders. Track improvement of this scale will need funding, and we are aware that the MBTA is facing a financial cliff. Information on how this will be funded, and how this can be folded into existing projects or potentially impact other MBTA projects are both valuable and crucial.
In providing mitigation service, we expect that the MBTA will keep its commitment to accessibility, span, availability and reliability of service. Affected riders, particularly those who have limited transit options, would have to contend with substituting their usual rapid transit commute to shuttle buses that would have to go through already congested roadways. The goal would be to provide service during these shutdowns that would not further discourage core riders to use public transit. Likewise, we expect the MBTA to work closely with municipalities at the soonest opportunity to ensure that appropriate preparations are made for instance, around bus lanes, bus stops and road traffic management.
We look forward to seeing a robust, accessible and transparent communication plan that would inform the public of the progress of the track work, provide detailed and plain language directions, and alert them in real time of changes to the diversion plan as and when they happen. Consistent, accessible, and reassuring wayfinding signs should also be in place to help riders navigate through the modifications of their transit experience."
Reggie Ramos, T4MA Executive Director