COMMENTARY: More is needed to fix the MBTA

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Read this op-ed in The Patriot Ledger, the Brockton Enterprise, the Fall River Herald News, the Taunton Gazette, the Salem News, the Gloucester Times, and The MetroWest Daily News.

The budget lawmakers sent to Gov. Charlie Baker includes important new powers to reform the beleaguered MBTA, but ensuring an effective transit system will require additional common-sense policy changes in a pending transportation bill.

The budget created the Fiscal and Management Control Board that Baker proposed and gave the MBTA a three-year exemption from the commonwealth’s anti-privatization law. These steps may improve service for 1.3 million transit riders, but they are insufficient for the momentous task ahead.

That job requires that legislators protect current and retired transit employees’ pensions, eliminate union abuse of the T’s unique arbitration system, and provide new revenues for system upgrades.  Read more