Public Statement: Pioneer Applauds MBTA Control Board For Seeking To Modernize Bus Maintenance

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Pioneer applauds the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board’s long-overdue action to use a competitive bidding process to modernize bus maintenance services.  Seeking competitive bids on bus maintenance will likely produce cost savings and service improvement, as it has for the T’s money room and warehousing and logistics. The Institute further recognizes that there will be vocal and politically motivated opposition to this action, but believes that the Control Board’s central concern must be representing the interests of MBTA customers.  It is extremely important for the T to take all reasonable actions to address its cost centers, especially in areas where costs are far more expensive than in comparable U.S. transit systems. (See Pioneer’s 2013 report,  The MBTA’s Out-of-Control Bus Maintenance Costs.)

This step is not just about cost savings.  Outsourcing bus maintenance will give the MBTA access to high-level management, technology upgrades, a modern supply chain, and even lower-cost parts.  At a very human level, it will lead to more productive relationships among supervisors and laborers; for example, competitive bids will likely allow supervisors to perform basic functions alongside labor, which are prohibited under the current bus maintenance contract.  The result is higher productivity and lower costs.

Since any service that is outsourced will be unionized, this is not a question of union versus non-union labor. This is the very same model that transit agencies across the state use, with the exception of the MBTA.  All of the other Regional Transit agencies use this method. Similar moves to outsource the money room, part of The Ride, the operation of the warehouse, and other discrete areas of service have been essential to closing what would have been a $338 million deficit in the current fiscal year.  Competitive contracting will lead to better service, lower costs, more accountability, and a more modern MBTA.

Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

Get Our Fix the T Updates!

Related Posts: 

Study: Ferry Service Could Provide Opportunity for MBTA Expansion without Huge Upfront Costs

Read press coverage of this report in the Boston Herald: Study…

Report Calls on FMCB to Seek Legislative Intervention on Projected 18-Year, $1.485 Billion T Pension Shortfall

New evaluation commissioned by MBTA projects T contributions…

Study: Evidence Suggests MBTA Pension Low-Balled Costs And Liabilities

Quarter-century of data shows costs at up to six times valuation…

Putting The T On A Clear Path To High Performance

/
Pioneer Institute recently submitted public testimony to the…

Study Finds MBTA Had Nation’s Highest Bus Maintenance Costs In 2015

Reducing costs to average of the most similar U.S. transit systems…

Public Statement on Nonrenewal of Keolis Commuter Rail Contract

Pioneer Institute welcomes the news that the MBTA will not renew…

Study Calls For Steps Toward Terminating Troubled MBTA Retirement Fund

The MBTA should assess the feasibility of moving its employees out of the Social Security system and transfer investment management responsibility for its pension fund to the commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Management board as initial steps toward terminating the MBTA Retirement Fund

Study Urges New MBTA Strategic Plan to Focus on Attracting More Riders

Increased ridership would boost revenue, reduce congestion and…

MBTA Analysis Offers Data Comparisons between MBTA & Other Transit Agencies Nationwide

Pioneer Institute is unveiling “MBTAanalysis.com,” a web-based data tool that provides year-by-year comparative data and performance ratings for the MBTA and other transit agencies across the country.

The Future of the MBTA

/
Last year the legislature created the MBTA Fiscal and Management…

Study: Expand Use of Transponder Technology to Parking, Other Non-Tolling Services

Report calls for creation of single account to simplify customer…

New Study Reveals MBTA’s Reckless Financial Derivatives

/
Read coverage in The Bond Buyer: "MBTA Lost $236M in 15 Years…

Out-of-Control Administrative Staffing Budget Increases at the MBTA

With talk of fare hikes and ongoing performance problems, Pioneer…

A $49 Million Sweetheart Deal: MBTA Employee Sick Time Perk Enhances Pensions

Listen to the WRKO radio clip of Mary Connaughton interviewed…

Study: Uber, Lyft, Shouldn’t Be Subject to Same Restrictions That Have Harmed Taxis

/
Watch an interview with the author on BNN News: https://youtu.be/-cs9vbkDv5E BOSTON…

Study: “Pacheco Law” Has Cost MBTA At Least $450 Million Since 1997

Report presented to legislative leaders and state budget conferees…