Sorry, Charlie: MBTA general manager quits

So it turns out Beverly Scott did drop the mic at her press conference yesterday.

Scott did not specify reasons in her resignation letter, but did praise T workers and said she was proud to have been part of the Patrick administration's transportation team.

She leaves the job in April.

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Comments

She definitely gets the last

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She definitely gets the last laugh now.

Let's see anyone say anything specific on what might be done differently with her gone.

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The Governor should start

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The Governor should start taking the Bus to the blue lines Wonderland station from Humphrey Street Swampscott.
Has he even step foot on an mbta bus before in his life, or is the bus to scummy for him to ride in.

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and then take a walk up Paradise Road

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He should then take a walk up Paradise Road at night to see how dangerous it is to be a pedestrian when homeowners and businesses are not required to shovel their sidewalks.

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Not sure MBTA disaster

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Not sure MBTA disaster should be all about having the last laugh.

Sounds a little immature.

And I'm finding some of these comments a bit bizarre.

Beverly Scott took on position knowing All problems with system.
Resigning in middle of crisis is not a sign of a Dedicated problem solver.

Being is not Doing. Being can only take you so far.

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Well, if you're going to be

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Well, if you're going to be the scapegoat, you might as well remember that it's a contraction of "escape goat," and then do your part and escape.

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Charlie Owns It Now

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The debt. The old cars that don't work. The deferred maintenance. The well earned reputation for unreliable service. Angry commuters. And did we mention the Big Dig debt on MBTA's balance sheet? Plus, an Olympics coming in 2024 that promises to suck all state resources dry. Oh boy.

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*snerk*

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"proud to have been part of the Patrick administration's transportation team" (though Adam, there's a typo: you have "transportion").

What a beautiful way to send Charlie Baker a raspberry on the way out the door.

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Okay, yeah

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That struck me the same way, but I couldn't figure out if it was just me.

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Well, he refused to talk to

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Well, he refused to talk to her during all these storms, but was happy to blast her in the press. A few weeks after he takes office, she quits.

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Tough break for the Governor

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Firing her was probably the beginning (and, frankly, the entirety) of his plan to restore public confidence in our transit system.

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Fixed that for you

Firing her was probably the beginning (and, frankly, the entirety) of his plan to restore public confidence distract the public from his key role in destroying our transit system.

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Absolutely, blame a decision

Absolutely, blame a decision made 20 years ago rather than the person who was in charge the last 8. Do you place any blame on Gov Patrick? Do you place any blame on the mis-management of the system? Deval had 8 years of unchecked power with a democrat legislature and somehow couldn't fix the problems created by Baker? That makes Patrick look even more ineffective than we thought he was.

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Party affiliation doesn't mean squat...

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Political interests can ignore party affiliation, especially in a very blue state. Public transit happens to be a very low priority. You are sorely mistaken if you think the previous Governor can dictate how every dollar is spent.

At least there are Red/Orange line cars on the horizon...

Let me add a presidential level reference, and potentially inflammatory one. Despite popular opinion and control of the house and senate, JFK was unlikely to ever get the civil rights act passed due to the powers that be in the senate. It took a "Master of the Senate" to bypass this barrier (this is a reference to Robert Caro's books).

One man can only do so much, there are plenty of checks and balances to slow process down...

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We all know

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Infrastructure investment in this state is a city / rural divide (in this state inside 128 vs outside until you hit the Berkshires where they know they can't do it alone).

The problem has always been outside of 128 doesn't want a thing to do with investment in Boston, while sure as hell wanting more than their share of the metro tax base.

It's a microcosm of federal tax pressures at play.

Sadly no one looks at the bigger picture on how these sorts of investments work out for every region as more economic prosperity comes to eastern mass and spreads. You;d think people stuck in the dire traffic on the Pike today, or not finding a place to park in the city would come around to that. The failure of the MBTA this week is making their lives hell as well.

Maybe now is a good time to sweeten any deal with that high speed rail with stops in Worcester and Springfield. I can;t think of anything else that would be as big a boon to the regional economy as being able to get from Springfield to Boston in an hour.

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3AM

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After you pack up from the bar doesn't count Will. Please clock the same drive at 445 on the weekday, and try not to put a bullet through your skull.

We've also been through talks on how much roads are subsidized and taken for granted, while trains for some reasonable need to be profitable, or break even at the least. Worse case scenario you can now do your drive in 75 min to Springfield at 5 pm on a weekday; meanwhile Worcester and Springfield get a vital commuter link to Boston, and all the benefits people bringing money back to those areas after work afford.

Would you turn down an opportunity to wipe out 1/3 your housing costs for the same length commute?

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Headin out west

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While I agree it would be cool to have some rapid transit out to points in western Mass, I'm not sure the folks out there care that much. I've heard from plenty of people from the Pioneer Valley and further that going North-South is of far more interest to them than heading East.

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High speed rail is 180-200mph

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High speed rail is 180-200mph-ish. It should take a bit over an hour to get to NYC, not Springfield...

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MBTA service area extends past I-495

Cities and towns charged MBTA service assessments most certainly extend to 495, not 128. Even to a town like Harvard, MA in Worcester county with no MBTA service in that town, just commuter rail stops some distance away in Littleton, West Acton, and Ayer. So, people in towns getting charged for service by the MBTA yet getting little to none is a thorn in their side, yet the MBTA extends its hand out for money as far and wide as it can. Not the way to make friends and influence people.

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Harvard, MA is close enough to those train stops

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The Fitchburg line draws large numbers of riders and has grown tremendously in recent years. While I don't have hard data on this, I'd bet good money that folks from Harvard are on that train. Home building in the Nashoba Valley has exploded, too, and the commuter rail is a selling point. Why shouldn't people living there support it economically?

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Whoosh

The main point is that service extends beyond 495, not 128 as claimed above.

The service is spotty, with little in the way of bus service, parking, subway, and water shuttle. This poor cousin service may then translate into lesser support.

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France and other european

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France and other european nations are so far advanced than this country when it comes down to the transit system, maybe they should give us some clues .A major embarresment!
WTF does it take to have an advance transit system in Boston and merto boston.The red line is as old as MIT..The best the mbta can do is replace old train stations to new train stations, mbta has defeated the purpose, first they should buy new advanced trains and then fix the aging tracks and related electrical systems and then replace old stations.yea I heard it before, but where the oldest train system in America and we would like to keep ii that way. Privatize the mbta ! There are loads of MIT and Harvard grads who have billions of dollars and would love to advertise their business name on every train and bus, and rename mbta stations after thier business name. Google are you interested in purchasing the mbta.,

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Unchecked power? Hardly.

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Remember the gas tax increase that he vetoed because he didn't think it was enough to do the job? That'd be the one the legislature overrode his veto on.

Not what I'd call "unchecked power" there.

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Absolutely give it a rest Swirly

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As the poster above points out - that was almost 20 years ago. I left a job in 1997. If I went back there and found they were still doing something I implemented back then that hadn't been working for over a decade should I say shame on them or shame on me? There have been 4 governors and 10 legislatures since. Hardly anybody lifted a finger to fix this mess other than a few feeble attempts at raising the gas tax.

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It's still useful to remember who pushed the T off the

rails in the first place. I wish I could enjoy the irony of Baker finding the hot potato he chucked 20 years ago back in his own lap. It's a classic GOP move: create a giant problem by gutting funding for public services, then moan and cavil when the other guys don't fix it.

But there's nothing I find tasty about this particular bit of comeuppance. The city and the Commonwealth desperately need a functioning T, but Baker has already painted himself into a corner with the platform he ran on. I don't hold high hopes that he will show the political will to fix it.

Your move, Charlie. You earned it.

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Baker's revenge

Selecting a Transportation Secretary from the anti-car, pro- public transit ivory towers of the Dukakis Center and Conservation Law Foundation and thrusting her into the real world!

For the next MBTA chief, let's not choose someone with a doctorate degree, unless its in physics. Its better they have more years of hands on experience running a transportation carrier than ivory tower and paper mill years.

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A hair in the donut batter?

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Yeah why don't they find someone with some relevant experience?!?! GODDDAMNED HACKS!!

- Chief Executive Officer & General Manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
- Chief Executive Officer & General Manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District
- General Manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
- senior position with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- senior position with the New Jersey Transit Corporation
- senior position with the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- senior position with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit
- awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American Public Transportation Association, the American Society of Public Administrators and the National Business League.
- doctorate in political science, with a specialization in public administration

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Job hopping work record

One has to wonder when someone changes jobs so often, not sticking around longer with an employer!

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You really are stuck in the 70s

In my husband's industry, someone staying in one place for too long (meaning >5years) has been considered to be suspect since the 1980s.

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I didn't vote for him, but ....

would Martha Coakley have handled this situation any better? Maybe Steve Grossman or Don Berwick would have, but we didn't have that opportunity.

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Perhaps a better question

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Perhaps a better question would be....why was Martha Coakley the other choice?

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Beccause of an idiotic system

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that a) mandates that only one candidate from a party can advance beyond the primary and b) leaves the decision as to which candidate can advance to a committee, regardless of how the possible candidates did in said primary.

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Perhaps I phrased it badly

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But if the party committee can't override the primary results - then why do we need a committee to formally select their nominee in the first place.

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That's the whole *point* of a

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That's the whole *point* of a political party- to back a single candidate. There's nothing forcing anyone to choose either of the establishment parties...

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Maybe because

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Democrats put up Martha as their choice. Doug Bennett would have been a better candidate.

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sad sack guy

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Would have been a better option.

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Oh shit, doug's back

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Oh shit, doug's back

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Perfect Storm

I don't think Coakley would have done any better but Baker has been decidedly childish about the whole thing. I just wish he would admit there is a problem beyond management and you can't cut your way out of a hole.

I didn't vote for Baker but didn't think he'd be too bad. So far he's proving me wrong.

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He backed himself into a hole

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I as well neither voted for Baker nor thought he'd be too bad, but my one concern was his absurd and dogmatic no-new-taxes pledge. Baker's a smart enough guy to have known then and to know now that you can't fix the T without more revenue coming from somewhere, but he went down that road anyway.

Now he has to deal with a budget gap, a vital system that desperately needs more money, and a campaign promise that prevents him from doing anything about it. Charlie knows he can raise revenue without turning Massachusetts into the USSR; he'll earn the image of pragmatic manager he desperately tries to cultivate when mans up and admits it.

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Regrets - we've had a few

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First Marty, now Charlie. I don't live in Boston but Marty lost me when he decided we needed to have the New England Patriots parade even if it was the last thing he ever did.

Charlie - well, there you go. I wish (wishful thinking) that we could have a judge declare that the MBTA must be rebuilt - no if, ands, or's buts, etc.
Like the Boston Harbor cleanup - Paul Garrity.

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The Republican Gov. candidate lost...

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The Republican candidate for Governor lost to her opponent, the Libertarian. There was no Democrat in the race for Governor after the Democratic Primary selected a Law-and-Order Republican Attorney General as candidate.

If this state leans any more Right Wing we're just going to keep flying around in circles counter-clockwise.

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Who decided to call her in as

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Who decided to call her in as a sacrificial lamb? We finally have a manager who is acknowledging the clusterfuck of noninvestment and neglect the MBTA really is, and then she resigns without specificed reasons? Suspect.

The MA political powers at be must be scared shitless of the pissed off electorate right now, and they clearly need to stifle dissent to preserve themselves.

EDIT:
Then again, I wouldn't blame her for wanting to avoid the political and personal evisceration she's being forced to endure because MA politics refuses to own its shit.

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I honestly don't think...

... Baker (or DeLeo) gives a flying f*** about what MBTA users think -- and insofar as they care even a little -- they count on voters forgetting their annoyance before the next election cycle .

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She didn't get axed...

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...she resigned.

While I agree that she inherited a complete mess, I also can't really point at something innovating that she did to make the mess any better. Can you?

Yeah, yeah, she needs the legislature...blah, blah. I don't buy that. Leaders make due with what they have. There is an expression..."don't fight stupid; make more awesome." That is the kind of person we need for this disaster of a public transit system.

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Leaders make due with what

Leaders make due with what they have. There is an expression..."don't fight stupid; make more awesome." That is the kind of person we need for this disaster of a public transit system.

Yes, meaningless platitudes are definitely going to fix decades of neglect. You should definitely send your resume in to the Governor.

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And yet...

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...you still haven't pointed to one innovative thing she did. Same goes for those before her.

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Right, because leadership is

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Right, because leadership is what will get more blood from from this stone.

"Leaders make due with what they have" = "Let's not get ahead of ourselves by challenging widely documented systematic failure"

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At her level, nobody "resigns

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At her level, nobody "resigns" in the middle of a debacle like this. They are politely asked to resign, or rather, told to resign, and their contract bought out, or some other deal quietly made for them to walk away quietly and uphold their end of a non-disclosure agreement. That's the leverage they have in this case. I noticed in the Globe article on her resignation that one of the board members made a point that she had not completed her three year contract. So there had to be some sort of buyout/severance for her to reneg on her contract like that and not face repercussions and/or burned bridges.

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"don't fight stupid; make

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"don't fight stupid; make more awesome." 

Was that Einstein or Disney who said that?

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If you just wish hard enough, it'll come true?

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Let's say I put you in charge of an agency tasked with transporting thousands of people each day, and give you the following resources:

- a Trabant (broken)
- $20 in pennies
- a maxed-out MasterCard with a $1000 limit

What's your plan to "make do"? Close your eyes and clap your hands until Tinkerbell comes along? Or are you going to say "I can't do the job you've asked me to do with these resources"?

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Cut cut cut

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a) figure out your revenue
b) deduct your capital costs - including a plan to get the system up to speed.
c) figure out what's left - tell the unions that's what they get to split - any way they see fit

This is how it's done (and this goes for virtually all government)

How much did it cost to run the system last year
Don't fix anything
Add 3% and give it out for salaries
Find 3% more revenue any way possible
Complain that everything's broken and we need even more money.

Not all the T's problems are their own fault - but saying that there are no internal problems is not the answer either. There was a report (I think Herald) today that they've been spending years building a database just to figure out what work needs to be done - much less doing it. You're telling me that's not a senior management problem?

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So, just ignore the debt then?

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FY2014 revenue: $1,879,309,824
FY2014 operating expenses: $1,429,983,519
FY2014 debt service: $435,099,748

(Source)

The only operating expense category higher than debt service is wages, and the FY14 number for that was $450 million -- not that much more.

Now, let's see what $435 million could have bought from the FY14-FY18 Capital Improvement Program list:
$84.0 million for "Track/Right-of-Way"
$185.8 million for "Communications"
and about 70% of the $229.2 million for "Power".

(And these are 5-year numbers, not just FY14.)

I think some of those could have come in handy this past few weeks. Admittedly one year's debt service doesn't come close to the $1035.2 million for "Revenue Vehicles"... but it's more than 1/5 of that number, so it would likely be enough to cover the entire category over the 5 year period.

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Here's the problem-or part of it

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Operating revenue from 2001 (beginning of forward funding) until 2015 went up by $330 million. Wages - "miraculously" went up by almost EXACTLY that same amount - for what I'm guessing is a similar headcount. Wouldn't we all like to get increases like that.

Sales tax revenues over that period increased by $220 million. Actual principal and interest went up by $140 million. Most of that remaining $80 million got eaten up by operating contracts for commuter rail - again salaries and benefits.

I'd have to dig into a lot more details and get some headcounts etc, but on the surface - this info seems to point out that blaming this on "the Big Dig" debt is a load of crap. The problem is that every time you get an extra dollar - you give it to employees rather than putting it toward capital purchases which doesn't fly in a capital intensive biz. You can get away with giving them 1 out of 2 or maybe 2 out of 3, but in this biz you need to set aside money for capital improvements. It's like the person who decides they want a gym membership, and a cleaning person, and Netflix and goldplated cell service crying when their roof needs to be repaired and they have no money.

This looks a lot like the BPS - oh we're poor, we're poor. Until you look at the numbers and realize that they are only poor relative to themselves last year. Compared to the rest of the world in a similar biz they are Bill Gates.

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question

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interesting. Which report(s) are you pulling these numbers from?

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Click on "Source"

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In CKD's post - brings up a P&L for the T back to 1991. I use 2001 as a base because that indicates where forward funding began. 2015 is budgeted numbers. All others are actual.

As I said - in the real world people don't get raises, pensions go away and they have to start paying more for health care when the company is struggling (and these days even when the company isn't struggling). In MBTA land they just give everyone what they had last year, plus a little more and then kick the can down the road on equipment and maintenance.

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What's your point that nobody

What's your point that nobody operates debt free. The MBTA doesn't have to be debt free, but spending +$400 mill on debt service is a huge problem. You don't think having the operation budget spending that much on debt service for capital projects (regardless what projects) not a problem?

And again, what you said earlier that the MBTA traded taking on the debt in exchange for the sale tax cut is false. I have noticed that you keep wording in a way that it sounds the MBTA was a player and played an active role. Like some company buying debt and its debt service in exchange they also get the stores. Stop saying that. The state pass legislation to move the debt and dedicate the revenue. The state made the bet the revenue would cover the debt with some on top and thus all will be well. It failed.

That said, the MBTA needs to funds for maintenance, but expansion is also needed too. The MBTA has not truly expanded in 20 years. It is not expansion that is the problem. It's a priority of funds. Funds towards beneficial projects should continue. As well as increasing funds to maintenance. I can agree actions like what Stevil noted can help, but there's other ways than raiding the money set for GLX (much is federal so we can't use it for operations anyway).

Come to think of it, there's has been calls to cancel South Coast Rail. A project that cost more than any of the others while directly benefiting quite a small number compared to just about any other project. Advocating that might get some traction here rather than every response you got so far, but so far you have only talked about GLX (and CFL alot). Why?

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Deal push on MBTA

Call the exchange of debt for income for the MBTA a forced deal. What I complain about are people making it sound like debt got forced on the MBTA with nothing in return, which is incorrect.

I don't point out south coast rail for two reasons:
1. GLX hasn't even started yet, so air quality improvements in Somerville since the Big Dig most clearly point out the falsehood of air quality harm projections by CLF.

2. GLX is local to me, affecting me, so I've studied it. I've not studied south coast rail, so don't comment on it, even though both burdens come from CLF. I suppose the dream of CLF is that these rail stations would solve the insufficient capacity problem of the southeast distressway.

GLX would make more sense if it included parking facilities at stations to take more cars off Boston roads and expand MBTA ridership more than a meager 0.5%. Adding parking sensibly would require more road capacity/widening near stations in Somerville and on Rt. 16 which Curtatone doesn't like, so, GLX ends up as far less bang for the buck than it could be. Bang for the buck is vital in public works, and GLX (also) fails there.

We could go into all the money the MBTA is spending on station renovations and electronic status information instead of maintaining the moving parts and electrical components. This shows the MBTA priorities:

Spend money on personnel first. Spend money where it is visible by the public second. Spend money where not seen last. Maintenance falls into that last category and is why we have the problems we do. Giving the MBTA more money doesn't fix its bad priorities.

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Defund highways

That would save more than enough money to properly run the system.

The GLX has been started, dolt.

Also, the GLX is NOT OPTIONAL. It should have been done 10 years ago PER FEDERAL CONTRACT.

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Make drivers pay by the mile

That will fix all the funding problems. Public transit is vastly cheaper per person per mile.

Instead of all your bullshit "solutions", make drivers pay for their use of the roads. Transit is far less subsidized than driving. Vastly less subsidized per trip.

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Exactly! So why hadn't Dr Scott said

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Exactly!

So why hadn't Dr Scott said "I can't do the job you've asked me to do with these resources"?

I'm a big T user/supporter, and have been following her statements and leadership for a while now, which haven't really shown any sign of crises brewing, as far as I can tell.

Until things got so unworkable they decided to hold the city captive by shutting the whole thing down?

She's in place through April, why this statement now? And again, her reason for leaving is "No comment".

It's inexcusable to cause this amount of disruption, with a 'no comment', then walk away, with another 'no comment'.

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Because she probably signed

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Because she probably signed some sort of non-disclosure agreement to "resign" and walk away quietly. I used to work in corporate legal services - first thing they do when someone that high up resigns or is fired is check the terms of their nondisclosure and noncompetes.

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Damn, I had her lasting at

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Damn, I had her lasting at least through the weekend. Friday at the earliest. She just bailed!

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I think I'll go see what the

I think I'll go see what the comments over at the Herald are like. Oh, wait, no, I think I'd rather pour lye in my eyes.

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Well, what a shame...

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I thought she was saucy and smart - apparently you can only say "I told you so" so many times before the boss is tired of hearing it. My guess is she came in with promises she could change things, but then ended up in the same old position.

Oh how we long for the days of Dan Grabasskiss...just kidding.

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And now its time to spin the

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And now its time to spin the "Wheel Of Cronies!(™)" to find out which yes man Baker will appoint to say that everything is fine and let the system fall even more to hell.

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$5 on someone with 10+ years

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$5 on someone with 10+ years of transportation experience.

Transportation meaning asphalt company, towing company, or smart tolling company

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About Gidget...

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This comment requires me to point out that Massport was then, and is now, by far the best functioning operation in this Commonwealth having anything to do with transportation.

We should be striving to make MassDOT much more like Massport, and I have written too extensively on this site about this to link to it now.

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Funny considering every

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Funny considering every appointment he has made thus far has be bipartisan and acknowledged as competent?

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movie for the occasion

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I can't link to it now, but you know the scene from "Half Baked" that I'm talking about:

"F&^% you, f*&^ you, f*&^ you, you're cool, f**^ you, I"m out!"

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Lame

After being so passionate and fiery yesterday I thought she actually cared about the T. But to just basically say "Screw it, I'm outta here" 24 hours later pretty much proves she was not fit for the job and she was in over her head. Yes, she walked into it a complete mess on her her first day and really stood no chance at succeeding. But I can't help to think that if she had publicly shown that much fire and passion in the past two years then maybe - just maybe - someone on Beacon Hill would have listened to her and attempted to help her fix things.

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Or, maybe she's smart enough

Or, maybe she's smart enough to realize that decades of disinvestment have left the T in the decrepit state that it's in, and it's only decades of reinvestment that are going to restore the system to a functioning state. She might realize that she isn't the right person to be able to navigate the politics of doing that. It's too bad. I like Beverly Scott.

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If she was that smart...

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...she wouldn't have taken the job without some kind of assurance that those problems beyond her reach would get fixed.

And even then, you'd have to be quite foolish to not be a skeptic about that.

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But..

She should would have realized all of this at least six months into the job. Why wait until your job performance gets called out two years later to then resign?

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"Why wait until your job

"Why wait until your job performance gets called out two years later to then resign?"

Probably didn't want to walk away from close to half a million dollars for 2 years of "work".

I'll be a sacrificial lamb for that money any day of the week.

Hire me, Charlie.

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Um

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Right. And I bet you'd stay on as long as you could to collect your salary. Anyone would. We all need jobs and income. I

Sorry I've been in her position.. the punching bag.. I stayed for a while but eventually the abuse of being a punching bag gets to you and you just up and leave.

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Personally

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I think the opposite, as said above she knew what was coming and screwed Baker out of the dog and pony show he was about to pull to CYA. Now all eyes are on him, how does he and his new appointee plan to fix this problem?

It's going to be hard to blame it all on Bev when she's stepping aside and saying "Fine, you try".

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This right here!

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She's a smart woman and probably planned to leave before yesterday. Maybe that is why she was so free with her opinions. I believe that she was going to control her exit.

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Bullshit

You have no idea what she thought or what she was "fit for". She probably saw the writing on the wall and realized that Baker & co had no intention of helping her get the resources she would actually need to fix the T.

someone on Beacon Hill would have .... attempted to help her fix things.

Do you also believe in the tooth fairy?

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wait...

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the tooth fairy works for keolis, right?

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No, it shows that she could

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No, it shows that she could see that handwriting on the wall - Baker wanted her out, period. And there was nothing she could do to stop him - he is the governor who holds the purse strings; he had already cut the MBTA's budget. A protracted battle would have harmed the MBTA, so she bowed out. A smart and gracious move on her part.

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You don't actually think

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that she is resigning voluntarily? This is the price she is paying for being "passionate and fiery."

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Beam her up, Scotty

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Do you think Charlie really wants to look like a mean guy at this early point in his governorship? The paper has been full of praises of the "New, Nice" Charlie of the second run as opposed to the "Angry, Grumpy-pants" Charlie of his first gubernatorial run. He very intentionally wooed women and people of color (unless he really does enjoy doing the Elaine Benes dance in Roxbury). Now he's gone and chased off everyone's favorite granny of color with the folksy sayings and the tell-it-like-it-is (I think if I'm following this odd elephant metaphor) attitude. And if he replaces her with someone who looks a lot like him...well, one step forward two steps back, image-wise.

The other part that the media has assiduously avoided, especially Steve Syre's piece in the Globe yesterday, is the role Baker played in the whole Big Dig debt fiasco. Not all him, but he was a key player at the time and that should be brought up in the context of a better than a third of the budget going to service debt.

All in all, I think Charlie really got the poopy end of the polecat on this one. Remember Chuck, if this is your first time at the rodeo, don't try and eat all the elephant all at once, if you want to fly like an eagle in the morning... lord jesus.

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I think the thought of a

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I think the thought of a Republican in the Gov's seat really tortures many precious snow flakes.

What would Deval have done differently?

Many posters here piling on Baker (who I voted for and am glad I did) but seemingly forget the past 8 years?

Yes, Big Dig debt is a factor but to omit Patrick's 8 years and the legislature for the past couple of decades of nothingness is just too absurd.

Amazing.

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Patrick v. Baker

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What would Deval have done differently?

I don't know, maybe not promise "no new taxes" and, in fact, try to raise revenue through several different proposals?

Remember the 19c/gal increase he asked for in 2009? We eventually wound up with 3c/gal (about 25% of what would have been needed just to catch up with inflation since 1991), and an indexing proposal going forward (which was repealed).

Blame the legislature, fine; I agree with you there. DiMasi (who has a new address, I hear :-) and DeLeo are two I consider particularly at fault here given the structure of the House. But that 3c/gal was something Patrick vetoed for being insufficient, with the veto overridden by the legislature.

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Did she resign of her own

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Did she resign of her own free will or was she forced out? I find it very strange that Baker didn't even bother to meet with her given the trouble the T is having with this snow. You would think, especially as a new governor, he would at least pretend to give a damn about the citizens of the Commonwealth who rely on public transportation... or was his plan was to oust her all along so why bother working with her? Something doesn't add up here.

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Clearly this had nothing to

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Clearly this had nothing to do with her performance, she's only been there 14 months and can hardly be held accountable for decades of neglect. Baker wants his own person at the head of the MBTA - one who won't stand up or speak out when he cuts its budget! By saying she was proud to be part of the Patrick administration's transportation team, Scott was making the reason quite clear.

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Baker wants his own person at

Baker wants his own person at the head of the MBTA

This is true but given the shots he fired during his press conference I bet he figured he could use the T's trouble during the storm to show that he means business and demands accountability and is showing true leadership by firing someone (that he wanted out anyway but don't pay any mind to that). I think she is smart to have taken away his sure to be Oscar worthy buzzword bingo theater political play.

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Whoops, my bad

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December 2012, so two years. But argument remains the same, the MBTA's problem go a lot further back than that and she could hardly be held responsible. Her resignation says it all "a member of the Patrick administration's transportation team. She knew from the beginning that she was not Baker's choice and would never be.

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Get out while the getting is

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Get out while the getting is good!

I did the same thing in a position at work, then sat back and watched the others who thought they could do my former job squirm on the hook.

My guess for her the personal pain & suffering isn't worth it. She has (had) a truly Sisyphean task.

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Functionally speaking, what

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Functionally speaking, what is the difference between "boycotting" the T, and *trying* to ride the T but never managing to get on a train? I guess whether you're standing around not taking the T outside the station or inside it.

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Tax increase please

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As someone who uses the MBTA everyday, I'd be happy to pay more taxes if they'd go towards upgrading the system. And I'd be happy to pay a higher fair too if that's what it takes to get additional and newer trains and buses. Lets remember that the MBTA can fail miserably on 80 degree days too.... but it does take 6 feet of snow in 2 weeks to get the system to up and give out altogether. With a republican governor in power, we'll never see a tax increase because republican's win elections built on anti-tax increase platforms. I bet if you polled Boston residents, that the majority of them would favor a tax hike if it meant an improved public transit system. What is the answer here?!

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Wow you are naive

Any new tax money, any money for that matter that goes to the MBTA will *not* be spent on capital improvements. Rather it will be squandered on hack jobs and bloated union benefits like paying out unused sick days from 2 decades ago.

What the MBTA needs is accountability for the money it already gets. And for the union to get real. Their fat & happy days are over.

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sigh

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IMAGE(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/62/62db36c289811a5b50782bafb137a23149cafd8bcc7a13958c6e382081c6c51b.jpg)

Unions! BoogyBoogyBoo!

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DID YOU KNOW:

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instead of being mad at other people because they make more money than you, you can ask for your own raise!

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Totally not the point of

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Totally not the point of union criticisim at all. My neighbor retired in his 50's, mbta bus driver and all around nice guy. Taxpayers will be paying his pension and full health for the next decade or so.
When he was still working, he would tell me how the employees would "game" the system. It is part of the culture. Having someone cover your shift while you call in sick, that person makes OT, you split the diff - everybody wins! Except of course the taxpayer.

That's just one example.

To think this has nothing to do with costs of running the T is naive, at best.

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When he was still working, he

When he was still working, he would tell me how the employees would "game" the system. It is part of the culture. Having someone cover your shift while you call in sick, that person makes OT, you split the diff - everybody wins! Except of course the taxpayer.

And how much does time-and-a-half for sick day coverage cost the MBTA, relative to their total budget?

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Impossible job, impossible boss

Impossible situation, impossible job . Who can blame her for not wanting to put up with slings from the governor on top of it?

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It's too bad, I would have

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It's too bad, I would have liked her to stay on, at least until Governor Baker had enough of his own nominees on the board to sway their confidence in her. She would have been good at fighting the good fight.

By the way, isn't this type of pressure into resigning exactly what the MassDOT board and those of its type are meant to prevent? People who are supposed to serve out their terms/contracts, regardless of the administration, because they were supposed to have been appointed in a professional capacity, not as a patronage position?

I'm talking about the board members appointed by Patrick, who are obviously not resigning for Baker appointees, and Beverly Scott, who was overseen by them. And whom she claims has fully supported her. I would think that the only pressure that would matter would be from the majority of the MassDOT board, since they would have the best access to information on the T and how she is managing.

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Let's not go down this f'ing rat hole AGAIN

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Let's not go down this f'ing rat hole again.

It's been discussed... right here on Uhub. A little over 2 years ago.

The globe story you reference is faulty journalism. She went for professional training. Big difference there.

Let's stop perpetuating this story folks. It's 100% false.

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hate to break this to you.

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Transit systems throughout the country are not receiving the investment they need. We don't fuss when male GMs are at the helm.. only women. Think about it

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Argg again

As Kaz said, there was plenty of heat on Dan Grabauskas when he was around. Okay, Let me think about this... I remember Dan Grabauskas. His refusal to do even low-hanging fruit like clocks noting the next trains after spending a good chunk installing them. Or secretly cancelled bus routes rather than raise a fuss of the lack of resources to run them. If only that Badtransit blog still exist, it was an endless parade of people bashing him (and plenty in UHub).

Richard Davey doesn't get a lot of heat here because he was a good GM. He did grab after things that he can do. He couldn't fix the funding problem, but at least he didn't go out of the way to block little things that made MBTA more convenient. He earn a lot of points by riding in the trains too, unlike Grabauskas. Of course, that is only inside UHub. UHub's reaction to Richard Davey's joining the Olympics was pretty mum at 15 comments - when do you see a UHub Olympics post be less than 80? -Boston.com's commentators was not so much. Bashing him with the same harshness as Scott is getting.

Yet, people keep making posts like this implying some level of discrimination based on her gender and/or race. Yeah, that gets irritating fast. Stop reading this as evidence of sexism (and racism). It's anger and misunderstanding that she could have done anything to make this situation better. People did the same to Davey (undeservingly) and to Grabauskas before (deservingly). STOP IT ALREADY.

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Hmm

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Scott’s five-year contract in Atlanta expires at the end of this year. Her total compensation is reported as $370,000 a year. She is scheduled to take over as MBTA general manager Dec. 17, under a three-year contract that would pay her far less — $220,000 a year.

If she was just going for professional training, why did she assume her contract wouldn't be renewed in Atlanta? Or did she prefer working for 45% less on a shorter contract?

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April?

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"She leaves the job in April."
Probably because she's stranded at her office until then.

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Smile

That's the best comment I've read in this discussion so far ! !

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The only person fit for the job

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Something I identified during the Grabauskas days was that the only person suitable for the MBTA GM job is someone who is basically going to put a spotlight on the funding deficiencies 24/7. They need a lieutenant who can basically keep the trains together with tape and wishes while they go on a no-holds-barred slugfest with the legislature to get adequate funding reform.

Every day they should be on Twitter and any media outlet willing to publish their latest complaint. They should be highlighting all of the shit they have to deal with. "Born Broke" should be seared into every person's ears from East Boston to the Berkshires. A full-on political blitz that only ends when the MBTA has enough funding to accomplish stability.

Anything short of this means you're going to basically try and hold the system together with your own two hands (literally) and when something bad finally happens (big snowstorm, a terror event, a train collapses a tunnel with people aboard...), you're going to take the blame because you weren't getting in front of the problem by blowing the whistle yourself on the legislature's incompetence.

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Hasn't Stephanie Pollack been

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Hasn't Stephanie Pollack been doing that from the sidelines? Now that she is Secretary of Transportation, I don't expect that to stop.

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2 years is enough time.

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Didn't she come aboard more than 2 years ago?

This storm was the straw that broke the camel's back. To say that the T wasn't having major problems before this snowstorm would be disingenuous.

What did she do for the last 2 years when all I read about in that time period was "problems on the red line again" and again and again and again.

I have no problem with someone ineffective stepping down. Baker has only been governor for a matter of weeks. He's not the one in charge of the T.

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Those problems are due to 40

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Those problems are due to 40-year old trains and decades of deferred maintenance on tracks, switches, and signals, and a myriad of other equipment.

No GM can overcome that, except maybe with time travel; 15 years ago, and MAYBE by making a big stink with the legislature.

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Yes, which is why I say even

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Yes, which is why I say even with a time machine, you still might not be able to solve the T's problems. :(

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Time For A Hire For The Right Reason

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Time to bring in a real pro. Orseno from Chicago, Promponas from Phoenix or Reiskin from San Francisco should be brought in for interviews.

All competent and would give the Commonwealth a fighting chance of turning this thing around.

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Don't bet on it

They would all challenge Baker and the legislature, because they are the problem.

The governor isn't interested in competent - he's looking for a friend to hold the wheel and smile while he finishes wrecking the ship.

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He chose Stephanie Pollack as

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He chose Stephanie Pollack as DOT Secretary, and she is not the type of person you describe. The MBTA GM answers to the Secretary.

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This doesn't make sense to me, Swirly.

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You're on record supporting the stance that Baker is in large part responsible for this through his actions 20 years ago. That's fine.

This notion that Baker now wants the T to fail - "finish wrecking the ship", as you say, makes no sense to me. This is a guy who was elected, by many accounts, by not losing Boston (and other smaller cities) by as big of a margin as he did the last time. He has to know that if the T is not made better in the next 3 years, he stands little chance of being re-elected, and perhaps more importantly to him, as being considered an outright failure as a governor.

Also, I don't think that its right to suggest that Baker is anywhere near as much of a problem now as the Legislature is. The General Court could easily pass (tomorrow) any number of measures to get the T the revenue it needs to get on the (rail)road to recovery and override any veto that the Governor might offer to keep his silly "no new taxes/fees" pledge.

Indeed, maybe this is the play - force the legislature to act, keep your word on taxes, but at the same time Baker gets to bring in a new manager who can start to make noticable improvements with new revenue (and thereby, make him/herself and the Governor look like good managers who fixed a problem).

Hell, that's what I'd do.

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erp..

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The General Court could easily pass (tomorrow) any number of measures to get the T the revenue it needs to get on the (rail)road to recovery and override any veto that the Governor might offer to keep his silly "no new taxes/fees" pledge.

A tremendously erroneous and naive statement. As Senator Jamie Eldridge mentions in this article the Legislature failed to pass the needed legislation in the past and they shat all over the Administration's revenue proposal.

The issue is the general ignorance out there in the state as to the importance of transit and transportation maintenance investments to our economy and the scale at which we have ignored that. People quote Howie Carr and freak out about all the waste and fat and "hacks", talk a big game about how they would run a 6,000+ employee organization managing a 100 year-old system with 1.3 million daily ridership, when they've never run anything more than their mouths.

There are solutions out there (especially regarding how to run a train in the snow), and there are things to improve in the system (more transparency on the pension fund, some better contracting procedures, etc.) but the scale of the issue "is what it is." Over a third of their annual budget goes to paying the credit card - that's just crazy. Maybe a case can be made for holding off on sexy expansion projects like southcoast rail and rail to western MA until such time as THE GODDAMNED SWITCHES ARE MODERNIZED, and a few other really needed maintenance items are finally attended to, but for the most part the "tough-love" approach to fixing things (in a 3 year time frame??) just shows off one's ignorance of the issues, in my omniscient, cannot-possibly-be-wrong opinion.

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There was nothing remotely erroneous nor naive in my post.

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And I will thank you for not reacting in such a silly manner, particularly since you had something constructive to say thereafter.

I did not say that the General Court "would" or "will" easily pass any bills tomorrow to help the T. I said only that it "could" do so, and do so with a veto proof margin. I was responding to an earlier comment that seemed to apportion blame equally to the Governor and the Legislature. I was making the point that the Legislature could pass a bill if they wanted to, and that is absolutely true. Whether the legislature will do so, is, as you point out, very much in doubt, but as a legal matter, they could do it and the Governor couldn't stop them.

Secondly, I may be a lot of things, but naïve is not one of them. This is particularly true when it comes to state transportation matters, as I have spent more than half of my career working in the public sector on transportation matters (not directly with the T). I know better than most how the system does and does not work, and I have a good feel for when things might or might not actually happen.

With respect to the reality of the situation, I think that Sen. Eldridge is more of less on the money and saying only what many of us have already realized (full disclosure, he was a law student at BC Law and I was an undergrad there at the same time, and we were acquainted during those years). I follow his comments regularly and think that he is typically a level-headed guy.

So thank you for a thoughtful comment, but kindly try not to dilute the your next one with the kind of baseless bluster you seem to dislike (especially when you don't know anything about the background of who you're responding to).

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And I apologize for my tone there.

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I just have a little bit of a hair across my ass when it comes to (the uncommon occurrence of) being accused of being naïve.

Sorry.

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appy polly logies

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UHub is ...never having to say you're sorry.
IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h0M8-hypcVY/UEyEBh6wB4I/AAAAAAAAGDU/EgoY-OJ88l0/s1600/love-is-comics-kim-casali-kim-grove-27.gif)

I guess I didn't get the inflection on the "could" part. The leg "could" have passed something that would have funded investment in the T for many years but never has because they actually can't because they actually have no balls. Nope. Can't find two testicles to rub together in the whole damn building. Except Jamie and maybe a few others, but I don't want talk about rubbing their balls, this is about T financing. Profiles in courage are few and far between on Beacon Hill. Especially in leadership.

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I wonder....

... how many other states (i fany) are effectively ruled by the Speaker of their State's House? We basically have an unelected (except by a handful of local constituents) dictator -- removable (seemingly) by death or incapacitation -- or by indictment and conviction for official misconduct.

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Brilliant

People quote Howie Carr and freak out about all the waste and fat and "hacks", talk a big game about how they would run a 6,000+ employee organization managing a 100 year-old system with 1.3 million daily ridership, when they've never run anything more than their mouths.

Preach, brother!

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You got him!

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Yes, you figured it out! The only reason Baker ran for governor was he has an intense hatred for public transportation. He wants everyone who isn't being chauffeured in limousines to suffer and this is the best way he could think of doing it. This was his plan all along....assume control of Mass, then get the Koch brothers to use their magic weather machine to drop a record breaking amount of snow on the City of Boston crushing an already fragile T. A few comments about how this isn't acceptable should do the trick, firing up Dr. Baker and causing her to resign. THEN, he appoints a buddy to "hold the wheel", while he slashes the T budget (cutting .01% of funding...most of which was accounted for by not filling bureaucratic positions) until the whole system implodes.

Great work detective.

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Exactly

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If bosguy22 writes me an unbelievably farfetched parody of a crazy conspiracy theory on the topic, hell, it clearly proves 100% that public transportation not only has no enemies, but certainly no powerful enemies (like, um, Charlie Baker).

Amazing irony how the comment immediately below expresses a policy desire to:

Declare the MBTA bankrupt and auction off its assets to pay the creditors. If someone thinks they can make money running busses, trains, and subways, let them buy them and try.

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This is all so irrelevant. In

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This is all so irrelevant. In 10 years everyone will have (or be able to summon, like an uber) self driving cars. There will be no need for the T whatsoever.

Declare the MBTA bankrupt and auction off its assets to pay the creditors. If someone thinks they can make money running busses, trains, and subways, let them buy them and try.

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