MBTA's Capital Spending Plan Subject to Agency-Wide Review

The MBTA’s plan to repair and improve the ailing system means major service disruptions are likely coming. Officials say they want to minimize the pain and suffering of riders.
January 16, 2019, 7am PST | Camille Fink
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Adam Vaccaro writes that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new general manager, Steve Poftak, has asked for a review to make sure the agency is on track with its five-year spending plan, which includes much-needed repairs and upgrades as well as two rail expansions.

Poftak says the capital plan will involve crucial maintenance and modernization of the system and improve reliability and performance, reports Vaccaro:

But reaching that promised land may first require frustrating trips on shuttle buses for riders, who have already seen commuter rail lines closed on certain weekends for the installation of collision-avoidance technology, stations closed for years at a time for renovations, and subway branches partially shuttered on nights or weekends for track work.

One major challenge is keeping tracks clear for periods long enough to get work done. The review will help pinpoint upcoming disruptions and ways to improve alternative services for riders.

Critics say that the 15-year plan to make all repairs is too long. But agency officials argue that shortening the process would lead to severe service disruptions and the focus should be on strategically planning the work.

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Published on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in The Boston Globe
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