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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Upping the ante

You didn't expect the Patrick Administration to take the legislative tax counter-offer lying down did you?

One day after House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray offered up what the administration considers a half-a-loaf to the $1 billion mass transit and highway package, the MBTA says higher fares and steeper costs to a mandated Green Line expansion are just around the corner.
“The proposal released yesterday does not appear to provide funding for the MBTA’s ‘state of good repair’ work, meaning the Federal Transit Administration is not likely to fund any portion of the cost of the $1.3 billion project,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail. “Because the Commonwealth is legally obligated to extend the Green Line, $1.3 billion in state funding will be necessary to move the project forward.”
And echoing the words of General Manager Beverly Scott about "consequences" for a depleted lifeline, the words "steep fare increase" emerge again:
Meanwhile, Statehouse News Service reported that Patrick administration officials were warning that the legislative plan would eventually force “steep” fare and toll hikes as well as force the state to pick up a larger share of the Green Line project.
Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, in a memo obtained by the News Service, warned that the plan could lead to shuttered Registry of Motor Vehicles branches, MBTA fare and toll increases, and represents “another short-term band-aid” for transportation.
About all that's missing is a plague of frogs.

Oh wait. About hoped for commuter rail service improvement:
One of the two companies competing to provide Greater Boston’s commuter rail service is threatening to drop out if the MBTA does not provide key information by Friday, potentially leaving the state with only one bidder for the largest contract in Massachusetts history.
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, which runs the Purple Line under contact to the MBTA, claims they have turned over 90 percent of the needed data but the rest they consider "proprietary."

So if higher fares and broken bridges aren't scary enough, the T tosses in the threat of continued lousy commuter rail service.

While incredibly heavy handed, the threats are real -- and the potential loss of a half-billion in federal aid because of a half-million shortfall in new revenues would also fall into the category of idiotic.

The T committed to the Green Line extension of part of the Big Dig mitigation agreement. And while regular riders have to wonder how long they will have to wait when the aging and rundown cars have to go to Somerville and not just Lechmere, a deal is a deal.

And a half-billion is a half-billion. In the T's view, you can pay me know or you can pay me later.

Back to you Bobby and Terry.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'll be waiting a long time for public transportation to make it out to Charlton (yes it is in Mass). Why don't we just get more money from Washington, then they can go to Beijing and get more.

April 04, 2013 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh

April 04, 2013 9:27 AM  

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