The MBTA’s response to a federal directive ordering the embattled company to repair its extreme staffing shortages — reducing again service — is petulant and vindictive and exhibits the necessity for an entire change in management.
The time has come for Gov. Charlie Baker to right away take away the T’s Basic Supervisor Steve Poftak and any of the ineffective, toothless board of administrators which can be below his management.
With these new service cutbacks, the T is now utilizing riders as pawns in a harmful sport of cross the buck. The individuals who depend on the T to get to work and faculty are getting screwed over, as common.
Riders and common T customers have put up with rather a lot through the years — extreme payouts and pensions, gear failures, repeated accidents, full lack of transparency and accountability, elevated crime — so the bar is already low.
However the T’s response to the Federal Transit Administration’s order requiring the company to rent extra dispatchers is a brand new low.
How far more are we keen to place up with at this hack company?
New trains and extra staff or security audits should not going to resolve all of the T’s security issues.
It’s time for brand spanking new management. Shutting down service just isn’t management.
Passengers on the Crimson, Orange and Blue traces will now solely get weekend service on weekdays, which suggests standing on the platform as much as quarter-hour longer ready for a practice. Which suggests being late to work or a gathering or faculty. It additionally means extra crowded situations on trains and platforms within the COVID period the place persons are attempting to take care of secure distances from one another.
The T has clearly taken the straightforward method out on this dispute with the feds, blaming the FTA for its issues.
“With a restricted variety of dispatchers, these new timetables enable the MBTA to schedule dispatchers in compliance with Federal Transit Administration directives, and proceed delivering service in a secure and dependable method,” the T mentioned in an announcement.
Secure and dependable? Ha. Good one.
Do we actually must go over once more the litany of accidents and different incidents on the T? They embody, simply within the final 12 months and a half, an accident on the B department of the Inexperienced Line, injuring 27 individuals, a commuter rail crash with a automotive that killed the motive force, an escalator malfunction at Again Bay that damage 9 and a lethal accident on the Crimson Line when a rider’s arm acquired caught within the door, dragging him to his loss of life.
After promising to revamp the T when he first grew to become governor, Baker has taken a hands-off method to the newest sequence of accidents and incidents as a result of he will get a State Police chauffeur and doesn’t have to fret about attending to work on time.
No governor desires to personal the T. If Baker tried to interchange management, he would personal the T’s issues, and he doesn’t need that.
Fixing the MBTA needs to be the No. 1 subject of the brand new governor when she or he takes workplace. The trains and buses of the T are the lifeline of the Boston area, getting of us to work or faculty or physician’s appointments and giving them a secure different to driving.
We want new leaders who’re keen to shake issues up and make security and reliability an actual precedence.