Friday, July 11, 2008

No MBTA Fare Hikes in 2009

The MBTA's monthly board of directors meeting took place yesterday. According to reports in both The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald, state Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen confirmed that there are no plans to raise fares for the MBTA's subway, bus, commuter boat, and commuter rail service in 2009. The T does need to find ways to cover approximately $175 million in additional wages/back pay increases and rising energy costs.

The Globe noted the following:
Debt relief from the Legislature is the only viable solution to the mounting budgetary problems, said Paul Regan, executive director of the MBTA Advisory Board, which represents the cities and towns served by the T.
There was an additional article in yesterday's Globe about how Secretary Cohen would like to accelerate the deployment of new Orange Line and Red Line subway cars.

In other news, The Herald also published an article about Dan "I may run the T but don't expect me to use the system" Grabauskas' commuting habits.
Secretary of Transportation Bernard Cohen urged T General Manager Dan Grabauskas to take the T to work yesterday after a Herald article detailed the T chief using his agency-owned SUV for the commute.
Urged. What about mandate that Grabauskas commute on the T?

This is another priceless comment from the T. Does this agency have absolutely no respect for the people who use and rely on their services?
Grabauskas’ spokesman Joe Pesaturo brushed off the statement. “That’s always been the message from the T,” Pesaturo said, adding, “We encourage anyone who can take the T to take the T.”

While the T might not be good enough for Danny G., at least some of the MBTA Board members say they use the system.
Several MBTA board members, who met yesterday to discuss a debt crisis at the struggling agency, said they are able to use public transportation.

Darnell Williams, who lives in Boston, said he takes the T three to four times a week. Anthony Campo said he takes the train in from Milton a couple of days a week.

Joe Trolla also said he takes the T, although he didn’t specify how often. MBTA board member Grace Shepard admits she doesn’t use the T.

“I live nowhere near it,” Shepard said. “I think that anyone who can use it, should. That’s the goal, to make it accessible.”

Only Frank Chin, who said he always takes the T, echoed Cohen’s statements that everyone should be riding.

Once again - instead of just using the MBTA as a political patronage dumping grounds, the state should mandate that the MBTA Board members actually be people who purchase passes and use the system. Because, otherwise, I don't think the Board members are qualified to run the T.

There are other state agencies with Board of Directors actually do mandate that the board members engage in a specific activity. Because, if a board member isn't actively using or engaging with the agency they are overseeing, then how can they understand the daily issues faces the organization?

Governor Patrick, who doesn't have the best approval rating, could actually gain some positive press if he made a few mandates. Like Danny G. - either use the train OR lose your job. That's an easy choice. Your Escape Hybrid SUV will be waiting in a parking space at the State Transportation Building if you need it. If there is an emergency. But maybe the issue isn't just that Danny-boy needs to drive to work. Maybe he "works" from home a lot. Well then, problem solved. If he works from home and there is an issue, he'll just have to use his own vehicle.

According to the Boston Phoenix, Grabauskas' commuting habits is an "old news" story, first reported on in 2006 by The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine and Commonwealth. STILL - commuting issues are a lot more urgent today than two years ago. It wasn't acceptable then and it is not acceptable now.

Wow. My blood is boiling. The whole concept that the head of the agency in charge of running the major mass transit system in Massachusetts doesn't even use the system is just plain insulting.

The Mass Pike is facing budget woes. Here is a report from WBZ-TV.

If air travel is running smoothly, Train Rider should be somewhere over the Atlantic, flying towards Boston.


Let's Get Rid of Dan Grabauskas as GM said...

Let's start a Facebook group "Get Dan Grabauskas out as MBTA GM." He does not deserve to have this job.

I would be willing to run the T for a fraction of his salary.

What a pompous pig.

Since he doesn't take the T, I bet he doesn't even go online. He probably prints out emails and makes his secretary respond to them.

Dan - you aren't a leader. You aren't even a good manager. But I bet you think you are because you probably don't even know how to do a "Google search" to see how angry people are.

Keith said...

Be careful what you hope for.

Grabauskas should take the T more often than he does now. Park the state SUV at 10 Park Plaza so it's available when you need to go to the next Green Line accident.

I also agree that it is a slap in the face that most of the MBTA Board members do not ride the T.

Back to Dan the Man...he fixed the Registry and moved it out of the dark ages into the light of the new world several years ago. Before Dan took over, the RMV was the hackerama of choice and was known as the agency that couldn't be fixed. But fix it he did.

Now he's at the only other state agency that simply cannot be fixed. It's not entirely his fault, he inherited a total mess left to him by predecessors who were nothing more than bus drivers who figured out how to play the political game. Bus drivers. Nothing against those people who actually drive the T's buses, they do a very good job. But who many MBA's are there behind the wheel that can actually run a multi-million dollar operation?

On the subject of fare increases, it's good we won't see any in 2009 (yea right) but when 2010 gets here, remember that old Army phrase, "Bohica!"

Anonymous said...

Start a Facebook group?? Oh yeah - that'll teach'm!! The geeks in cyberspace are always good for a chuckle or two.