Op-ed: Shame on the Senate for undoing Pacheco Law exemption

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The MBTA has hundreds of thousands of daily riders and 6,000 employees. You would think that the interests of the people consuming 1.3 million daily rides might matter more than those of 6,000 public employees.

Not so in the Massachusetts Senate, which used a voice vote to undo a key element of the 2015 reform package that has allowed the Fiscal and Management Control Board to cut the MBTA’s deficit and improve service. The budget amendment senators adopted would dramatically limit the T’s exemption from a state law that effectively bars privatization.

Competitive contracting is a powerful tool to save money and improve service. Sometimes those goals can be achieved without the exemption from the so-called Pacheco Law. The RIDE, for example, piloted a partnership with ridesharing companies that cut the average cost per trip from $46 to less than $9. High customer satisfaction also resulted in rising demand for the service. Read more in The Boston Globe…