And on such a day …
— MBTA (@MBTA) September 22, 2017
The MBTA is becoming a reputational black hole, pulling people in who don’t politically distance themselves. Mayor Marty Walsh has little direct control over the T, but surely he has a job as its chief advocate on behalf of his citizens. Well, yesterday the Mayor had a chance to either a.) blithely shill for the city to Amazon, or b.) represent the real, everyday concerns of Bostonians just trying to get to work.
I regret to say that he did not make the right choice:
“And you know, most days, the MBTA’s reliable here. It’s just that when something happens, it gets spotlighted by the press so bad, that it’s like, it makes it sound like it’s crumbling. It definitely needs infrastructure upgrades and I said that yesterday at the Chamber,” Walsh added, referring to his speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
I don’t think I need to point out that “most days” is not compatible with the word “reliable.” And even the “most days” part is arguable — OK, actually it’s just not true. Anyone who actually rides the T can tell you that. Follow @mbta_alerts and you’ll know. I also shouldn’t need to point out that the T is, in fact, literally crumbling, to the tune of some $7.3 billion(+++) in back maintenance.
Unfortunately the mayor is a “car guy” (like the Governor), so he’s not likely to be in touch with how that literal crumbling affects his constituents’ lives.
This is an out-of-touch statement of Coakley-esque proportions. We don’t expect miracles; we do expect elected officials to be in touch with what’s happening on a daily basis in the city, and treat their concerns with urgency, not gloss.