- No Tolls for Interstate 93 Drivers
- No Raises to T executive employees who earn less than $70,000 per year
Mary Connaughton, a Mass Pike Board Member, feels that this announcement effectively ends any attempt at toll equity.
Sen. Steven Baddour from Methuen (who I'm beginning to not really like, mainly because I disagree with his stance on a range of transportation issues), of course is thrilled that the prospective tolls will not be imposed on I-93 drivers.
Could we please have some transportation parity here in Massachusetts?
I can't find an article to support this online, but during this morning's newscast on WCVB-TV Channel 5, the report mentioned that the State Secretary of Transportation, Bernard Cohen, had asked for a traffic study to be conducted on I-93. Due to the political ramifications of adding tolls to 93, the study was not completed. Instead, the state used data from a few years ago.
I'm really ticked off about this. I don't understand why North Shore and South Shore drivers get a free ride into Boston, where as everyone who lives West of Boston need to continue to pay to get into the city. It is so unfair.
In other news, the 9% raise that the MBTA announced last week is off the table. According to an article posted last night to Boston.com, Secretary Cohen sent MBTA GM Dan Grabauskas a letter asking him to immediately halt the raises.
Cohen's proposal would spare some of the lower paid employees, giving them a partial raise, while asking executives to go without one. The MBTA has an $8.2 billion debt and had to reach into reserves to stay afloat this year.
“This request is a necessary and important step as we leave no stone unturned in restoring fiscal health to all transportation agencies and deliver high quality and cost effective services to citizens of the Commonwealth," Cohen said in his statement.
Grabauskas also announced that we would voluntarily decline the cost of living increase he was due under his contract this year, as would his general counsel.