I’d like to thank everyone for their great feedback on my last post (Fixing the MBTA – Diving Into Some Numbers, Talking Transportation As An Investment, Transit Around The World and Finding Cash Flow) and the great discussion it spawned.
Today, I want to focus on ratcheting up the pressure on our Legislators on Beacon Hill to fix the T, to fix it soon, and to fix it correctly. The Globe reported this morning on the Legislative duck & dodge continuing with a lot of non-committal comments from many legislators contacted for the story.
Some outside analysts have said the T’s winter woes are related, in part, to long-term underfunding by Beacon Hill. But DeLeo has strongly defended the Legislature’s actions, pointing in a recent TV interview to efforts providing “extensive additional . . . money to the T.” And both DeLeo and Baker have been forthright about their discomfort raising taxes for funding transportation or other priorities going forward — and that has essentially set the terms of discussion for what the Legislature might do.
To me, this sounds like the same song & dance routine that’s been used for decades to sideline the MBTA and allow Beacon Hill to keep kicking the can down the road. This is the time where we need boldness, political bravery and decisive action, not months or years of hand wringing. We know what’s wrong with the T. Governor Patrick had the T studied by the former CEO of John Hancock to lay out its problems. There should be few questions about what’s wrong with the T – what we need is a plan to fix it.
To that end, we need to keep up pressure on our State Legislators to fix this problem they created (Or exacerbated, depending on how you want to look at it). The culpability of the Legislature in this is very clear.
If you look at how many members of the Legislature represent towns served by the MBTA subway system alone (Not Commuter Rail or Ferry), these cities & towns represent 23% of the House and 28% of the Senate (and the numbers are way higher once we add in the Commuter Rail). And where have these members been in the news? I’ve contacted my Rep and my Senator on numerous occasions and have heard back nothing. We need to make our voices heard! These members should demand action from House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Rosenberg. (DeLeo, BTW represents Revere – directly served by the MBTA Blue Line – and Winthrop, where undoubtedly many members of the community depend on the T to get to work in Boston).
As Somerville Mayor has said: “If we won’t make the necessary investments to keep our economic center viable, then why should the private sector invest its money?”
I urge you to contact your Legislators and let them know we need to fix the T TODAY.
You can find your Legislators on the MA Legislature website or from Open States.
This list represents those Legislators who cover the towns & cities served by the MBTA subway (Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Milton, Newton, Quincy, Revere & Somerville). If your Leg isn’t on this list, look them up!
|Legislator||Chamber||District||Party||Phone Number||Email Address|
|Aaron Michlewitz||House||DISTRICT: 3rd Suffolk||D||617-722-2240||Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov|
|Angelo M. Scaccia||House||DISTRICT: 14th Suffolk||D||617-722-2060||Angelo.Scaccia@mahouse.gov|
|Bruce J. Ayers||House||DISTRICT: 1st Norfolk||D||617-722-2230||Bruce.Ayers@mahouse.gov|
|Byron Rushing||House||DISTRICT: 9th Suffolk||D||617-722-2783||Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov|
|Christine P. Barber||House||DISTRICT: 34th Middlesex||D||617-722-2425||Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov|
|Daniel Cullinane||House||DISTRICT: 12th Suffolk||D||617-722-2006||Daniel.Cullinane@mahouse.gov|
|Daniel Hunt||House||DISTRICT: 13th Suffolk||D||617-722-2060||Daniel.Hunt@mahouse.gov|
|Daniel J. Ryan||House||DISTRICT: 2nd Suffolk||D||617-722-2396||Dan.Ryan@mahouse.gov|
|David M. Rogers||House||DISTRICT: 24th Middlesex||D||617-722-2400||Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov|
|Denise Provost||House||DISTRICT: 27th Middlesex||D||617-722-2263||Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov|
|Edward F. Coppinger||House||DISTRICT: 10th Suffolk||D||617-722-2304||Edward.Coppinger@mahouse.gov|
|Elizabeth A. Malia||House||DISTRICT: 11th Suffolk||D||617-722-2060||Liz.Malia@mahouse.gov|
|Evandro Carvalho||House||DISTRICT: 5th Suffolk||D||617-722-2396||Evandro.Carvalho@mahouse.gov|
|Frank I. Smizik||House||DISTRICT: 15th Norfolk||D||617-722-2676||Frank.Smizik@mahouse.gov|
|Gloria L. Fox||House||DISTRICT: 7th Suffolk||D||617-722-2810||Gloria.Fox@mahouse.gov|
|Jay Livingstone||House||DISTRICT: 8th Suffolk||D||617-722-2011||Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov|
|Jeffrey Sánchez||House||DISTRICT: 15th Suffolk||D||617-722-2130||Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|John J. Lawn, Jr.||House||DISTRICT: 10th Middlesex||D||617-722-2304||John.Lawn@mahouse.gov|
|Jonathan Hecht||House||DISTRICT: 29th Middlesex||D||617-722-2140||Jonathan.Hecht@mahouse.gov|
|Kay Khan||House||DISTRICT: 11th Middlesex||D||617-722-2011||Kay.Khan@mahouse.gov|
|Kevin G. Honan||House||DISTRICT: 17th Suffolk||D||617-722-2470||Kevin.Honan@mahouse.gov|
|Marjorie C. Decker||House||DISTRICT: 25th Middlesex||D||617-722-2430||Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov|
|Mark J. Cusack||House||DISTRICT: 5th Norfolk||D||617-722-2637||Mark.Cusack@mahouse.gov|
|Michael J. Moran||House||DISTRICT: 18th Suffolk||D||617-722-2014||Michael.Moran@mahouse.gov|
|Nick Collins||House||DISTRICT: 4th Suffolk||D||617-722-2080||Nick.Collins@mahouse.gov|
|Paul Brodeur||House||DISTRICT: 32nd Middlesex||D||617-722-2030||Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov|
|Paul J. Donato||House||DISTRICT: 35th Middlesex||D||617-722-2040||Paul.Donato@mahouse.gov|
|Robert A. DeLeo||House||DISTRICT: 19th Suffolk||D||617-722-2500||Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov|
|Ronald Mariano||House||DISTRICT: 3rd Norfolk||D||617-722-2300||Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov|
|RoseLee Vincent||House||DISTRICT: 16th Suffolk||D||617-722-2430||RoseLee.Vincent@mahouse.gov|
|Russell E. Holmes||House||DISTRICT: 6th Suffolk||D||617-722-2220||Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov|
|Ruth B. Balser||House||DISTRICT: 12th Middlesex||D||617-722-2396||Ruth.Balser@mahouse.gov|
|Steven Ultrino||House||DISTRICT: 33rd Middlesex||D||617-722-2425||Steven.Ultrino@mahouse.gov|
|Tackey Chan||House||DISTRICT: 2nd Norfolk||D||617-722-2080||Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov|
|Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.||House||DISTRICT: 26th Middlesex||D||617-722-2380||Timothy.Toomey@mahouse.gov|
|Walter F. Timilty||House||DISTRICT: 7th Norfolk||D||617-722-2230||Walter.Timilty@mahouse.gov|
|Anthony W. Petruccelli||Senate||DISTRICT: First Suffolk and Middlesex||D||617-722-1634||Anthony.Petruccelli@masenate.gov|
|Brian A. Joyce||Senate||DISTRICT: Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth||D||617-722-1643||Brian.Joyce@masenate.gov|
|Cynthia S. Creem||Senate||DISTRICT: First Middlesex and Norfolk||D||617-722-1639||Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov|
|Jason M. Lewis||Senate||DISTRICT: Fifth Middlesex||D||617-722-1206||Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov|
|John F. Keenan||Senate||DISTRICT: Norfolk and Plymouth||D||617-722-1494||John.Keenan@masenate.gov|
|Linda Dorcena Forry||Senate||DISTRICT: First Suffolk||D||617-722-1150||Linda.DorcenaForry@masenate.gov|
|Michael F. Rush||Senate||DISTRICT: Norfolk and Suffolk||D||617-722-1348||Mike.Rush@masenate.gov|
|Patricia D. Jehlen||Senate||DISTRICT: Second Middlesex||D||617-722-1578||Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov|
|Sal N. DiDomenico||Senate||DISTRICT: Middlesex and Suffolk||D||617-722-1650||Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov|
|Sonia Chang-Diaz||Senate||DISTRICT: Second Suffolk||D||617-722-1673||Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov|
|William N. Brownsberger||Senate||DISTRICT: Second Suffolk and Middlesex||D||617-722-1280||William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov|
I also encourage EVERYONE to attend their local Commonwealth Conversations meeting that is being held by the Senate leadership. The meetings for Western & Central Mass have already happened, but the rest of the state will have their meetings over the next few weeks:
|North Shore||23-Feb||7:00 PM||Salvatore’s Restaurant||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public at Salvatore’s Restaurant at 354 Merrimack St, Lawrence, MA 01843|
|South Shore||25-Feb||6:30 PM||Braintree Town Hall, Cahill Auditorium; 1 John F. Kennedy Memorial Drive, Braintree MA 02184||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public.|
|Metro West||2-Mar||7:00 PM||Newton North High School||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public at Newton North High School (457 Walnut St, Newton MA 02460)|
|Metro Boston||4-Mar||6:30 PM||Roxbury Community College, Media Arts Center||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center (1234 Columbus Avenue Roxbury, MA 02120)|
|South Coast||11-Mar||6:30 PM||Bridgewater State University – TBD||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public|
|Southeast||18-Mar||6:00 PM||Admiral’s Hall Auditorium in the Harrington Building at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532).||Please join the tour and have your voice heard at the town hall meeting that is open to the public.|
Back in my web dev days I would have used some system to mask the exact email addresses so all these people don’t get spammed. Not sure if that is still recommended? Although the spam might be deserved in some cases…
They probably get crawled a lot as it is. If personal e mail addresses were provided, it might be an issue.
It would be interesting to know what sort of filters they set up on their end.
I pulled all of these from the MA Legislature website where they’re listed out in plain text and hyperlink format.
So far, Boston, and Boston area voters are divided, per a massINC/WBUR poll released today:
Link to cover article
…having nothing to do with competent or accountable transportation planning:
Expansion is to public transportation what sales is to a private company and evangelism to a religious organization. A company that stops investing in expanding sales is DEAD. An executive team that proposes to cut sales spending is choosing to kill the enterprise.
Of course, killing the enterprise — “starving the beast” — has been the desire of far too many of our leaders. We are now seeing the results.
I’m confused about the meaning of the third quoted paragraph. Since there is “significant demand for more commuter rail…in western Massachusetts [and] other parts of the state”, then that says to me that expansion plans are an appropriate response to that “significant demand”.
I do speculate about some motivations for the odd resistance to expansion:
– It increases the influence of now-outlying regions. That will change the political dynamics of those areas.
– It increases the wealth of those regions. That will change the dynamics of who controls the agenda
– It increases the minority population of those regions. That will change the dynamics of how legislators campaign.
During the all-too-brief time that I lived on Cape Cod (in Hyannisport), the most common objection I heard to re-establishing commuter rail to the Cape was “we don’t want all those *** here.” In Medford and Arlington, the resistance to expanding the Green and Red Line (respectively) was similarly “it will bring more of the undesirable element to our town”.
Whatever the problem is here, the opposition to expansion is inconsistent with the apparent will of the voters.
…if it’s sustainable.
What I’m seeing (and this is not limited to mass transit) is an addiction to vanity projects paid, presumably, by the Tooth Fairy.
To his credit, Senator Rosenberg addressed this, and I applaud his intellectual honesty and political courage for doing so:
The reference in the paragraph you cited refers to growing resistance to Boston-centric projects from elsewhere in the Commonwealth, not the probability that transit projects will expand there.
It’s also equally inconsistent with the apparent (and demonstrably stronger) will of the voters to oppose new taxes and fees.
Something’s gotta give…
And, if you think about it, what is this meager rail expansion if not an effort to get out to constituents that aren’t in the metro ring?
The people who pack the trains for sports spectacles do so because they dread driving and finding parking in Boston.
As a lifelong non driver it took me a while to appreciate what an insane time waste the search for parking is in congested cities like my own neighborhood.
All I gotta park is my ass. The problem of seeking a berth for a fat metal thing is not mine. But I’ve scouted it because it’s helpful for the wretches who do and I like being helpful.
From the Globe:
Charley on the MTA says
that’s getting blamed for extending the T beyond its means? The New Bedford/Fall River line? The extension from Worcester to Springfield?
It’s the *response* to Boston-centricity that’s stretching the system. Because these things are popular!
Except that they moved there anyway. So much for that plan.
I remember that it was said to be the reason the Red Line just stopped in a wetland on the Cambridge/Belmont border.
But it left Arlington with fairly intensive bus service as a fix to basic coverage as if those scary coloreds don’t also used buses.
There are few more preposterous and repulsive spectacles than White Masshole Bigots agonizing about spectral, phantom coloreds.
As a white masshole, I’m often considered ‘safe’ company when those knuckle draggers wind up a good racial detestation drool fest.
I don’t try to argue, I just cross them off the list of acceptable people to know.
Or the outcome of lawsuits in the case of Old Colony/Greenbush.
There are often Fed Matches or initiatives involved where it is Mass getting a share of stimulus money during the recession.
http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/t_projects/ is the current project list. Most of it is fixing existing stuff other than the Green Line Extension.
There is a small extension to West Fitchburg but that line used to go to Gardner. So is it expansion when it involves route restoration?
Wouldn’t true expansion be something like making a complete new line out of whole cloth to places not served like a Middleton Line?
It still looks like dog whistle whining about that law suit. I’m surprised it isn’t accompanied by activist judiciary grumbles.
When I looked over a lot of the system since I came back, it looked like the Patrick administration was mainly trying to claw back stuff that was taken away in the long run since Weld.
The poll data looks pretty good in the sense that the public sampled have a fairly fair assessment and are trying to give the system the benefit of the doubt.
DeLeo’s home town of Winthrop is so into driving that they don’t even have MBTA buses. Winthrop buses are outsourced to a private bus company
It has always baffled me that a Rep. from Winthrop would not be more sympathetic to the T.
Who owns Paul Revere Transportation anyway?
Smells like nepotistic featherbedding, a common characteristic of the ward heeler species (Grabbus buckus)
but do they own it?
I get the sense that these things are like deal packagers where the fleet probably belongs to some leasing company who also handles payroll and they ‘own’ whatever deal is set up for the duration of a contract.
That’s a common trend in service sector schemes to divert public money into private channels.
that has two people, Jane Daly and James F. O’Leary serving in all five of the required positions (President, Treasurer, Secretary and two Directors) to be properly incorporated. Their offices are at One Liberty Square, Boston.
Daly and O’Leary have long histories at the MBTA. The most telling language about the nature of the company comes in their history statement on their website:
Today, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, ACI and its several thousand employees serve customers from New England to the Caribbean and from the east coast to the southwest and Colorado. ACI provides its customers with a diversified, bilingual team of professional employees who are dedicated to safely and efficiently managing many modes of transportation systems.
Their claim to having several thousand employees across the country leads me to believe that they are the direct owners of Paul Revere Transportation, as it seems unlikely that a company with that large a payroll would not be the owners of a transportation company in their own backyard. Capitalization of a company with only two bus routes in the region would be minimal and I expect a tightly held firm like ACI would not want to act as a manager for another company and risk the failure of the other.
I just couldn’t tell how compartmentalized the set up was.