To Save or Not to Save the MBTA?

Some lawmakers and residents think the management of Boston transit should shift to the state’s department of transportation, but would that solve the troubled system’s problems?

August 5, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Commuter Rail

THONGCHAI.S / Shutterstock

According to a article by Zipporah Osei, Massachusetts state leaders are considering disbanding Boston’s beleaguered transit agency and shift the system to the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

A reader survey found that many residents agree. “Although we have been told that MBTA management has a plan, it appears that every day they are responding to another major incident. I believe that fresh management is needed and the best thing to do at this point is to combine the MBTA with MassDOT,” said Brittany from Roslindale.

“Some readers, however, are skeptical of the state agency’s ability to take on the needs of the MBTA.” As one reader notes, “The MBTA isn’t a statewide concern. People in the Berkshires don’t care if it works. If it’s merged into MassDOT, it’ll quickly become an unwanted stepchild and the quality will decline further.”

Multiple readers suggest that the problem at the heart of the MBTA’s dysfunction is funding. “Increased funding for maintenance. Politicians always want to fund new projects so they can have photos at ribbon cuttings. Maintenance is more important but has fewer photo ops,” said reader Amy P.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in


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