Pioneer Institute recently submitted public testimony to the Fiscal and Management Control Board weighing in on the MBTA’s draft Strategic Plan. The Institute commends the Board for its work to date and recognizes that there is still much more work to be done to set the MBTA on a sustainable course to accomplish its mission and attain a far greater degree of financial independence. Pioneer will continue to prod the MBTA toward improvement, but we recognize that an extension of the control board structure and the exemption from the anti-competitive Pacheco Law are critical if progress in the T’s performance is to be advanced with urgency. Our top priorities for the MBTA’s long-term strategy include the following:
- The MBTA’s over-arching principle for its strategic plan should be to increase ridership. By keeping the goal of increasing ridership at the forefront of all decision-making, the many component parts of the MBTA’s strategy will be more effectively communicated throughout the organization and to the public;
- While the MBTA has made great strides to improve its finances and core service, Pioneer believes more reforms are needed, including additional competitive contracts and pension reform;
- The time to talk about additional financial help for the T has come. It is critical to devise a more equitable way of paying down Big Dig-related debt service, which continues to hamper the MBTA’s ability to gain a sound financial footing. Pioneer believes that the source of this funding should be Massport, a major beneficiary of the Big Dig.
Click the button below to read public testimony submitted by Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board: