Friends, it is time to call a spade a spade. Charlie Baker is a failed leader. He will say whatever necessary to win a vote. But his inability to lead hurts you and the ones you love every day– whether you realize it or not.
We gave Charlie a chance and he failed. Charlie Baker has proven he lacks the leadership to affect needed and positive change in Massachusetts. The status quo is not the aspiration of a leader. Yet, the status quo is the best we can hope for from Charlie Baker. The status quo in Massachusetts is simply not acceptable.
It seems like every week, there’s another set of delays and scandals with Charlie Baker’s MBTA. This can’t go on—we can’t afford to pay the price for his lack of leadership.
Under Charlie Baker’s leadership, or lack thereof, our entire public transportation system is severely underfunded and mismanaged, and it is showing. Regional transit authorities are forced to hike fares while cutting service, multiple commuter rail lines are disabled or delayed almost every week, and ridership on the T is going down, not up as it grows more unreliable by the day. Charlie Baker is the only sitting Governor in America to preside over and be responsible for the complete shutdown of an entire public transportation system. His slow and ineffective response over the last 3 years has highlighted the lack of leadership Massachusetts taxpayers and public transportation riders can expect from this Governor.
Charlie Baker’s management failures are costing us financially and perhaps worse, by costing the business community millions in terms of lost productivity. The MBTA Control Board recently reported that Baker’s “botched rollout” of a private call center contract to schedule rides for passengers with disabilities is “one example of several initiatives that are yielding less cost-savings in fiscal 2018 than expected.” The T’s General Manager even revealed that “T staff had not pursued the other [cost-saving] initiatives because they were focused on the ‘crisis’ with Global,” the private call center contractor that has still not been replaced.
Despite poor service and failed cost-saving initiatives, Charlie Baker and his MBTA leadership continue to push for fare hikes and parking fee increases. “Now, you citizens [of Massachusetts], don’t you think it’s a scandal how the people have to pay and pay?”
This administration continues to push for South Station expansion, a multi-billion-dollar band-aid and waste of taxpayer money, that will only temporarily solve capacity for half of our commuter rail system, at best. Instead, smart leadership would pursue the commonsense approach of uniting the entire regional rail system and increase capacity through the North South Rail Link, making jobs throughout the region accessible to everyone, not to mention the economic benefits such a solution brings to the communities and employers all along the entire rail system in Massachusetts.
It’s time for Massachusetts taxpayers to be served by a Governor who will lead with more than his empty promise of “increased investment in transportation” when his budget makes no such increase in funding. It’s time for Massachusetts voters to demand a Governor that will take decisive action and make transformative investments in our public transportation system and create a system we can all be proud of and rely on to get to work, school, doctor appointments and the like.
As Governor Patrick often reminded us, “we get the government we deserve” and Massachusetts deserves better. The question is will Massachusetts voters step up in growing numbers to demand real leadership and earn the better government we deserve? They will only be motivated to do so if we help them see that this Governor is failing us all.
P.S. to put a light spin on this sad reality, enjoy the Kingston Trio singing about the T’s fare hikes of the past…