Baker taking T privatization too far

Commonwealth Magazine | By State Sen. John F. Keenan | Sept. 10, 2017

WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF IT. Something breaks in the house that needs to be replaced by a trained professional, but instead of making the proper investment we glue, tape, and tie pieces back together just to repeat the quick fix in the weeks to come. Then, when you need it the most, it completely breaks down and panic ensues. For me, it’s the leaky pipe under my sink; for some, it’s the refrigerator. For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it’s the MBTA.

Decades of deferred maintenance at the MBTA culminated in the disastrous breakdown of the agency during the winter of 2014-2015. Our inability to provide public transit in severe winter weather was a complete embarrassment for a state that continuously boasts its status as a leader on innovation and technology hub lists. Panic and public outcry prompted the Legislature to quickly approve Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposals for transportation reform, which involved stabilizing and streamlining the management and administrative functions of the MBTA, so that such crises would not occur in the future.

The reform laid out the governor’s expectations of the MBTA: make smarter financial decisions, eliminate inefficiencies, and revise policies and procedures to allow the MBTA to run at an optimal level. The Legislature approved these reforms, but the privatizing of the MBTA’s core services was not a part of this understanding, nor did we intend to negatively affect the lives of hundreds of hard-working men and women who serve the Commonwealth every single day.

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    • jcmbta on September 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I agree that this new GM is not qualified .. just like using duct tape to keep the system running , only thing the duct tape is like the cost of gold !

    In the past the union over a few decades that I am aware , the union officers always said it , is not the unions job to tell management how to maintain the system or what vehicles to purchase / parts to buy and how to do proper inspections … union workers, that had management issues with failed plans on repairs , the union officials did nothing ..contract /contract/contract that is all they cared about …
    also a union criticizing a democratic Governor ?
    the people using the system think, the union is / has ALL the power and controls how the MBTA is operated .. the media has reported this so many times the powerful carmens union is in control …

    then safety issues again , contract /contract /contract… not my job !

    now we will feel the pain …the taxpayers will be paying big on the privatization failure ….

    • david on September 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

    This Governor has done his best to take good paying jobs (Union) from workers. How about the new General Manager getting $350,000 yr plus incentives. He talks about saving and improving the system. Plus this man knows nothing about transportation now does that suprise any one. Typical political move. Blame the workers not management. Union Board should focus on this issue of the General manager and his salary and no knowledge of the job with the public .

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