Suffolk County

What will fix the T? A transportation advocate shares some suggestions with Boston 25

BOSTON, Mass. — There was trouble on the tracks again after new Orange and Red line trains were taken out of service Monday morning. The MBTA is blaming a battery failure that needs to be investigated before they can re-rail the new cars.

“It seems like it’s just getting worse and worse,” said Emelia Comerford who takes the T but does so cautiously.

Amid a federal investigation, riders are now worried the system itself might be failing.

“I don’t have confidence. I usually leave an extra half hour than what I think,” said Comerford.

In addition, an escalator at the Chinatown stop suddenly lurched backwards on Sunday night, a Green Line collision below the Government Center on June 1st and a runaway train in Braintree on May 30th.

Boston’s Mayor Michelle Wu is not happy.

Governor Baker’s office says they share the legislature’s goal to make the T safe. Spokesperson Anisha Chakrabarti, the Deputy Communications Director, added:

“The Administration has invested nearly $8 billion into new tracks, cars and signals to make up for decades of deferred maintenance by state government.”

“Not having stable funding, constantly cutting the operating budget has consequences and we are living those right now,” said Jarred Johnson, the Executive Director for TransitMatters, a transit advocacy group.

Johnson says to fix the T, priorities need to be reworked.

“There was focus on getting big capitol projects out the door and not focusing on some of the core issues like having enough dispatchers to make sure the trains can run safely,” said Johnson.

Johnson also say the T needs a dedicated source of funding for capitol projects, needs to pay competitive wages and needs a new board that provides critical oversight.

He says a board that asks tough questions and holds people accountable will go a long way in getting the T back on track.

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