The MBTA in the 2013-4 legislative session

My top priority in the first leg of the 2013-14 session will be strengthening the MBTA. The maintenance backlog and service challenges of the MBTA have drawn wide attention. But we need to do much more than stabilize the existing system. We need to increase the capacity of the busiest routes on the system. Much […]

The Governor’s Veto of the Transportation Plan

The legislature is tying up the last loose ends of the budget process. The year’s debate about taxes and spending is coming to a close. The final flurry came when the Governor vetoed the legislature’s transportation plan, expressing concern that tolls on the turnpike outside of 128 might come down. Under existing law, there is […]

Transportation Plan sent to the Governor

Last week, the House and Senate agreed on a transportation package and sent it to the Governor.  House 3535 is the report of the conference committee reconciling the two versions of the transportation plan. The legislative version of the plan rolled out in April — it was rolled out jointly by the House and Senate Ways […]

Senate Transportation Plan includes Transparency Enhancements

While the main agenda in yesterday’s transportation discussion was to fund transportation operations and maintenance, we passed a number of amendments to strengthen transparency. A particular issue that had troubled many observers for decades was the secrecy of the MBTA’s pension fund.  The MBTA’s pension plan has been perceived as excessively generous, allowing relatively early retirements. […]