Friday, February 13, 2009

Unpleasant News for Friday the 13th

For months, we've known that transportation related initiatives in Massachusetts were in a tail spin. The MBTA, in particular, has been in a fiscal crunch.

Reports are out today that Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi Jr. has said that the T will need make a number of drastic measures to stay afloat. These measures may include fare increases of up to 25%, a cut back in services or employee layoffs. Aloisi told the T's Board that, if they don't make some decisions by June, the state will step in and make the decisions for them.

This message comes on ahead of next week's anticipated announcement of Governor Deval Patrick's transportation plan.

Essentially, Aloisi is asking the T to either do what is right for T riders or to see if the T is going to continue their coddling of employees. T employees have the right to a full pension after 23 years of service. No doubt the pension payouts have contributed to their $5.2 billion debt (this includes interest).

My personal T "perk" pet peeve is the fact that so many T employees have use of a vehicle. The state made most departments turn in state cars on January 1, 2009. The T was not included in this return, as they are a quasi-private entity and can do their own thing.

You can read all about this in the following articles:
I do enjoy reading the comments that are posted to some articles. Here is one that was posted to The Globe's article published today:
What makes this all the more infuriating is that the T continues to avoid making the right, ethical decisions regarding its notorious retiree gravy train. These are tough times for all, and present T-retirees should be required to sacrifice as much as present employees and, indeed, the rest of us outside the T's bastion of utlra-entitled hackery.

First things first: make current retirees pay more for their health care, eliminate their ridiculous choices in the matter, and start taking a hard look at those who've gotten away with "gaming the system" in their pensions. We shouldn't be demanding sacrifice only from active working people; those now sitting pretty with ludicrous retirement packages should make sacrifices too.

Of course there are the T unions to deal with. In crisis there is opportunity, and this seems to be an excellent opening to take the corrupt public unions down a few pegs.

Just a thought...or two.
WickedLocal Mansfield published a letter from a MBTA/MBCR commuter rail rider who has been ticketed for not paying the $4.00 parking fee even though it was paid.

Today's Globe also published an article about how the T will be leasing space at the Riverside MBTA Green Line station in Newton.

Finally, due to business in my personal and professional life (sorry!), I've been behind some news updates. The Boston Globe's local news sections recently wrote an article about Needham line commuter rail passengers. It was published earlier in the week on February 10th. The article was published on part of a new news feed for Needham, Newton and Waltham. The purpose of the local sections is to try to "identify readers and their needs." The Globe is particularly interested in regular updates and news about the Needham line. So if you are a Needham line rider and if you would like to provide commuter rail updates to The Globe, feel free to contact Regional Editor David Dahl at dahl AT globe.com.

1 comment:

Ben, N1WBV said...

Well, the "MBTA/MBCR commuter rail rider who has been ticketed for not paying the $4.00 parking fee even though it was paid" actually *didn't* pay his fee:

"Now, however, I have received a $25 ticket for parking in a spot on a day on which I could only jam two $1 coins into a slot."

Does he have a beef? Yes. Unfair? Yes. Could have been avoided if he used dollar bills like everyone else? Yes.

Middleboro/Lakeville slots don't even fit dollar coins. Tried it and failed. I do however, keep a number of pre-folded dollar bills in my wallet now. I fold them together in $2 bunches so I only need to put in two.

Yeah. I'm a geek, so what? :)