Wait a minute, what happened to Massport?

Remember when Massport was going to eat up the turnpike authority and solve all its problems? Now the state Senate is looking at a proposal to create a super-duper Massachusetts Surface Transportation Authority to gobble up the turnpike (which includes the Harbor tunnels), the MBTA, DCR parkways and the Tobin Bridge (now owned by Massport).

State Sen. Steven Baddour explains the proposal on Blue Mass. Group (with more details here), says the thing would be called MassTrans. One interesting idea: turn the current state highway fund into a "Surface Transportation Trust Fund." So those new gas taxes could help subdidize the T?

Baddour says reorganization could save up to $6 billion (over 20 years) in reduced overhead. Cool, no? And we'll just pretend for a second that the state has an outstanding record with creating authorities and commissions that run well and cost effectively (hey, there's always the MWRA).

But what happened to Massport in all this? Perhaps this is all for the good - without the Tobin, that authority can get back to doing what it's supposed to: Running the port of Boston.



    Free tagging: 


    Just so I understand.... the

    Just so I understand.... the Big Dig debt is crushing the Turnpike Authority, so we need higher tolls and a higher gas tax to pay for it. So now, Well make a bureaucratic change, eliminate the Turnpike Authority, and take the gas tax money away and give it to the MBTA?

    So much for the need for the gas tax to pay for the Turnpike Authority debts in the first place.

    Well all the authorities

    Well all the authorities mentioned in that list are having financial problems I believe, no? The MBTA is having a hard time keeping itself afloat just like the rest of them. I think it makes sense to take all of our critical infrastructure pieces that are struggling in the same department, with one set of leadership and one stream of income. As it is right now we have Massport controlling a bridge (WTF, thats not a port!) we have the Turnpike authority controlling the Pike and the tunnels, we have the MBTA controlling the mass transit that runs over all of these tunnels and bridges, the parkways controlled by DCR/MDC (what were they doing with these parkways again?) its just insane. If we can save 6 billion over the course of a few years in operating and management costs, remove all tolls from the roads, and have a central authority over these matters so things can happen in a holisitic sort of way I dont see the harm in that, lets do it.

    At least now there's a plan

    By on

    The Outraged Liberal notes how quickly the Senate came up with its proposal, compared to the two years it's taken the Patrick administration to not come up with one.

    Deval Patrick is a do gooder

    Deval Patrick is a do gooder who came in with the best intentions but has no clue what he is doing, and in my opinion is a disaster...

    From his car, to his drapes, to the $100,000 assistants he has failed on multiple levels when it comes to just plain on the surface politics. He has also proven himself to not be an effective leader when it comes to policy and projects as can be proven by not only his losing the bid to get casinos in the state, but his willingness to leave the state on the day of the vote for his own personal gain whenhe realized it was going down in failure.

    On another note he has also failed in the quid pro quo of the political game when he failed to help his friend Barack Obama win Massachusetts in the Massachusetts primary (even with the support of the Kennedy clan, Kerry, other reps, and the forces of Cambridge and liberal Boston.)

    I have much more confidence in the State Senate to figure out the solutions to these problems then the governor at this point who is all about talking about change but doesnt seem to have the cajones to do it.

    To be fair Obama had an

    By on

    To be fair Obama had an uphill climb here, with most of the political apparatus entrenched and supporting the presumptive nominee, the Clinton's.

    Mayor Mubles himself had 600 people working to GOTV for the Clinton's alone, and probably swayed a good swath of people in Boston to that vote that could have offset more rural communities.

    Are you saying that the

    Are you saying that the Governor doesnt have foot soldiers to go doo to door for him? Does he depend on the kindness of the likes of Menino to get himself reelected next time around?

    Didn't say he isn't building

    By on

    Didn't say he isn't building one, but that Mumbles and others have much more mature political apparatuses that have been around for years.

    Patrick did help, but Obama was totally outflanked by Dem politicians all over the state lining up behind Hillary. Even Boston's vote was closer then many other citys around the country.

    Are you saying that you don't think mumbles would have the better GOTV machine in this state if he decided to run in a primary against Patrick?

    Menino could never win statewide

    By on

    Even if he wanted to run, which he's shown absolutely no indication of.

    Roughly 10% of the state's population lives in Boston. Roughly 90% of the state's population think Boston has too much influence already. Kevin White learned that a long time ago.

    Patrick did help, but Obama

    Patrick did help, but Obama was totally outflanked by Dem politicians all over the state lining up behind Hillary. Even Boston's vote was closer then many other citys around the country.

    Thats too bad, but to me its just another failure (even if Obama ultimatly won big, he didnt do it with the help of Patrick and others like him, they did it in random states like Iowa where the influence of Patrick is quite small.) Obama should have done well among the very liberal, which he got at an ok pace. Otherwise he lost by massive margins in places like the North Shore where he got creamed by Hillary by massive margins. Governor Patrick didnt deliver him any votes at all.


    By gary on

    Massport is self-funding. Maybe Baddour figures that if you take the polluted Pike, MBTA, MARTAs (BTW, did anyone ever suggest combining some of those mini-MARTAs?) and EOPTW and dump one or all into the relatively clean Massport then he'll pollute the only functional authority that exists.

    p.s. $6 billion. Despite pleas for substantiation, nothing but air. Come on, fer Christ's sake, it's $6 billion. Someone must have some detail where that number came from.