After a harsh winter that crippled the MBTA, critics are now calling for major changes. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) is pushing the state to quit funding expansion projects, conduct an independent audit of the organization and more, reports The Boston Globe.
“We know the T is broken, but we don’t know just how broken,” MTF President Eileen McAnneny said in a press release. “We also know that past reform efforts have not brought stability. Despite understandable public frustration, we should resist seemingly simple fixes until we have a far clearer and more accurate assessment of what needs to be fixed, which the T itself is unable to provide at this time.”
McAnneny is referring to the growing disparity between T expenses and revenues, which the group says is partially due to costly expansions. The MTF also claims that the T is too dependent on the state to pay for swelling capital costs.
“The financial burden on the Commonwealth is too high and the importance of the T to the state’s economy is too great to allow this decades-long problem to worsen,” added McAnneny in an MTF statement.
While the group is calling for the state to immediately halt expansion projects for the rest of 2015, it did specify that the Green Line Extension would be exempt since it has already been funded. The MTF is also urging policymakers to proceed with caution before pulling the trigger on any recently made proposals, as they don’t address any plans for fixing the MBTA’s infrastructure problem.
The scathing review was released in a MTF report this week titled, “The T: The End of Its Line.” Former governors Mitt Romney and Deval Patrick indicate that serious underinvestment in the MBTA is partially to blame for its troubles, reports The Boston Globe.