9 More Pieces of Bad News for the MBTA

Cities need you. Support Next City and have your gift matched.Donate

9 More Pieces of Bad News for the MBTA

Gov. Baker’s panel to investigate the MBTA found many problems.

MBTA customers wait for a train in Davis Square in Somerville, Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Last week, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority received a scathing report from a panel appointed by Governor Charlie Baker.

Baker assembled the panel in February, following numerous problems with the MBTA during the region’s record-breaking winter.

(Credit: Mass.gov)

“The catastrophic winter breakdowns were symptomatic of structural problems that require fundamental change in virtually all aspects of the MBTA,” the report notes, and also points to a lack of accountability and an unsustainable operating budget. A crowdfunding campaign meant to draw attention to the MBTA’s challenges — decades of deferred maintenance and $9 billion in debt — was launched over the winter.

At a press conference about the report, Katie Lapp, co-chair of the panel and former CEO for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority said, “There is a pervasive organizational failure at the MBTA. I want to be clear that the panel rejects the ‘reform versus revenue’ debate because we feel strongly the MBTA needs both.”


Boston public radio station WBUR reported on four big questions that the panel’s report has left unanswered. As for a source of sustainable funding, WBUR noted:

The report does suggests several ideas for bringing in new revenue, including selling or leasing MBTA surplus land, having new developments near stations pay to support service and using a portion of property tax to cover capital project costs.

But a major piece of what the report had to say about revenue was its recommendation to allow for fare increases … .

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Follow Jenn .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: transportation spendingtransit agenciesbostonbudgets

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 837 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous in Shreveport, LA at $5/Month
  • Karis in Rocky River, OH at $100/Year
  • Jolene in Chicago, IL at $75/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    The 21 Best Solutions of 2021 special edition magazine

  • Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind