Unseasonably warm November days have given way to increasing chill. Long-winded prescriptions for how to fix the MBTA will now give way to the immediacy of winter’s demands — and there are reasons to worry. Longer term, there’s also cause for optimism.
One side of the ledger — recent delays, breakdowns and fires during a period of temperate weather — give us ample cause for worry. And heading into the frigid months, strained labor relations are never good. The opportunities for mischief are many.
But so are the reasons to be hopeful. The Legislature’s willingness to bring what is essentially emergency management to the T is a sea change. The basic blocking and tackling that undergird the system like tracks, third (electrical) rail, switches and switch heaters, snow- and ice-fighting machinery have been enhanced, repaired, inspected and are now ready to face winter’s challenges. Read more in the New Bedford Standard Times, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, and the Salem News.