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Never mind all the new trains: The T needs to do better keeping its existing trains running safely, panel concludes

Even as state officials keep boasting of $8 billion in upcoming new trains and tracks and stuff, the T is continuing to suffer serious safety and other problems because of inadequate maintenance of the trains and facilities it already has, caused in large part by ineffective policy setting by constantly changing leadership, according to a report by a panel formed to investigate T safety issues.

In general, the [panel] found that the T’s approach to safety is questionable, which results in safety culture concerns. In almost every area we examined, deficiencies in policies, application of safety standards or industry best practices, and accountability were apparent.

State officials convened the safety review panel, composed of former federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Federal Transit Administration administrator and a former president of New York City Transit, this past June, after a series of incidents on the T system, in particular a Red Line derailment at JFK/UMass that disrupted service on the line for weeks. The T finally concluded the derailment was caused when an old axle on one car snapped.

The panel concluded a key part of the problem is leadership - the T has had nine general managers over the past nine years and that while the T has brought on board "many new executives" to manage an aggressive capital plan that includes completely replacing the superannuated Red and Orange Line fleets, " little if any time has been invested to help them onboard, assimilate into the agency’s mission, or to understand the agency’s safety practices."

The panel contrasted what's going on with the T's subway lines and its commuter-rail system, which is run by a private company, Keolis:

It is noteworthy to mention that the commuter rail service is performing well and does not face many of the challenges that were identified on the transit side of the house. The Panel attributes this higher level of performance to the structure provided by [federa[] regulations, which are clearly defined and have fiscal consequences if not complied with.

The panel details some of the problems that frequent turnover at the top has caused:

Critical [preventative maintenance and inspections] are not taking place as required. This creates a serious issue that requires immediate attention and this information has already been shared with MBTA leadership. Over the years, due to shortage of and/or inexperienced leadership, competing priorities and fiscal controls, operational managers have had difficulty identifying what maintenance and inspections need to be done, or have been dropped due to fiscal pressures or lack of staffing. Furthermore, there is little, or in many cases, no data to support what maintenance and inspections are required, or what has been accomplished. In other instances, procedures are well documented and available, but are not enforced by local supervision. It also does not appear that sufficient condition assessments have been conducted on many system assets that may drive a higher level of preventive maintenance actions. This will require leadership’s urgent attention to identify what inspections and maintenance must take place, at what intervals, and establish performance indicators that show progress against stated goals.

Complete report.

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This creates a serious issue that requires immediate attention and this information has already been shared with MBTA leadership.

I dont suppose this information was shared with Baker? If so, will he continue his feckless indifference to actual working people in MA and pass it off as not his responsibility?

As an aside... Baker, want to reduce traffic? Fix the T to make it run on time without disruptions. More people will take it instead of driving if the T is reliable.

Voting closed 69

according to the report

the T has had nine general managers over the past nine years

although two of the 9 to be fair was the same person [Steve Poftak] reappearing with a different title in-front such i.e. Acting GM before later becoming GM with two intervening persons

Wonder who was governor when that sequence of Musical GMs began 9 or 10 years ago?*1

Deval Patrick, 71st governor of Massachusetts, from January 2007 to January 2015.

Seems to me that a lot of the Mismanagement began when Deval was the Governor -- perhaps it could even be associated with the longest running Deval appointed GM? --- that would be the one whom Charlie fired [technically she resigned] almost right after he took office and just after the record-breaking February Snowpocalypse

*1 from Wikipedia
Recent GMs

  1. Daniel Grabauskas: 2005–2009 -- that would be Mitt's guy
  2. Richard A. Davey: 2010–2011 -- Deval Patrick
  3. Jonathan Davis (interim): 2011–2012 -- Deval Patrick
  4. Beverly A. Scott: 2012–2015 ---- longest tenure Deval Patrick appointee fired by Charlie Baker on his taking office
  5. Frank DePaola (interim): 2015–2016 -- interim appointee by Charley Baker
  6. Brian Shortsleeve (acting): 2016–2017 -- Charley Baker
  7. Steve Poftak (interim): 2017–2017 -- Charley Baker
  8. Luis Manuel Ramírez: 2017–2018 -- Charley Baker
  9. Jeff Gonneville (interim): 2018-2018 -- Charley Baker
  10. Steve Poftak: 2019–present -- Charley Baker
Voting closed 6

When Grabauskas came to the T from the Registry, I had high hopes, since he did a lot of good things there, but without the resources, he had no chance. Some griped that he drove everywhere, but his successor Rich Davey rode the T ever since high school, and he had the same results. Essentially everyone has either been unsuited for the job (Ramirez) or found out that it's one of the worst jobs around.

I'm not too old, but I'm old enough to have seen several reports noting the sad state of the T. It would have been nice if Patrick, Romney, or now Baker did something with these reports other than sounding like, well, commenters on the internet griping about how bad things are. The lot of them are paid to get results, and though I do note that the buck ultimately stops with the GM of the T, the Governor (and General Court) has to give the GM the resources.

Voting closed 9

Essentially everyone has either been unsuited for the job (Ramirez) or found out that it's one of the worst jobs around.

This sums up the GM position in a nutshell. I'll re-echo what I said years ago about Dr Scott. She was the best qualified person for the job. (next to Davey) She had actual transit experience running a system, and it wasn't a nepotism or political hire. Yeah you could argue that she was, but on paper, Dr Scott was a well qualified person for the job with real world experience. Something that hadn't been seen in a while.

But even she knew the T was broken beyond what she could do as a GM. I also think this is why she walked out, she probably had enough by that point and being baker's punching bag was the final straw.

Also, thank you for not re-echoing the anti-patrick crap. I have no love of Patrick, but it didn't start with Patrick or Romney or Weld or Dukakis..

Its just a can that has been kicked down the road for decades. This is the end result. I'm not surprised at this findings at all. We've known T has been broken for years, its nice to know safety is also broken at the T.

Voting closed 25

The Great and Pathetic Court holds the purse strings, not the governor.

When you have jackasses like Stanley Badtasteinmates whining fact-free stupidity about some fictitious scenario where westmass even close to subsidizing Boston (if only!) and many other suburbanites who can't possibly set foot in Boston outside the capitol grounds or they would dissolve immediately, you get the bullshit we see now.

The same jerkwads fucked over the UMass system so badly that Bulger had to take it off line from the state budget to save it.

Voting closed 8

The report says that frequent turnover in senior leadership is the problem. Your own list shows the majority of the last 9 MBTA GMs were appointed by Baker and not a single one of them lasted most than a single year, showing that turnover in senior leadership has been far more pronounced under Baker than under his predecessors, and it could very well be the only consistent feature of his transit policy...

...but still you need to find a way to say it's Deval's fault?

When does Baker become responsible for at least some of the problems that have happened since he got to office? 2020? 2030 maybe?

Voting closed 13

That would run in line with most of their recommendations. Recommendation #1. A top tier transportation leader with decades of transit and safety experience. Recommendation #2 A plan that keeps the current GM in place Recommendation #3 A setup where both individuals can hit the ground running tomorrow

Voting closed 13

She alongside LaHood and Bianco have gotten a 6-month overview of our crumbling system. Gonneville is a safe bet but works well in his current position. Carolyn Flowers brings a ton of experience regarding safety AND transit equity. And what poetic justice if Pollack is replaced with a black woman.

Voting closed 5

Critical [preventative maintenance and inspections] are not taking place as required.

Yet he's "the most admired governor in the USA" or some such nonsense. WTF?

Voting closed 52

It's all Beverly Scott's fault. Charlie never does anything wrong.

Voting closed 23

Unless new leadership specifically changed the inspection requirements and procedures, why would the staff not just continue to do what they have been doing? The T has been operating for many years. I would expect there to be long-established standard schedules and procedures for inspections and maintenance.

Voting closed 8

B/C Baker's policies led to vast staffing cuts, esp. to experienced maintenance staff. But I expect the goal when he took was to starve the beast and ultimately win public support to fully privatise the T.

Voting closed 39

Can you put some numbers on that from a reliable source. Don't know about staffing - but I do know that the budget has skyrocketed over the past 20 years - so the money is definitely there. The question is - did they use it to hire more heads or just let a bunch of people go and pay everybody a boatload more money.

Voting closed 5

How much of the increased budget went to pensions and health insurance? Serious question as I have no idea, but most employers cut back on those items in the last couple of decades.

Voting closed 5

Great to ask for a citation, but I can shed some light about this.

I worked for an outsourced T contractor 2 years ago. (I'm coming public about this now because I was tied to a NDA that just ended :-) ).

I can tell you that while everyone was taught safety (and it was "per the T" as much of the documentation came from them), it wasn't followed. And a lot of it had to do with management, and this is an outsourced company, not the MBTA. While we had MBTA employees on site who oversaw our operation and made us follow stuff, its really up to our management to make sure it happens. And it wasn't.

I tell people about this place (I have stories) but I sum it up to one simple thing:

You can't take someone who was making 35/hr at one job and had that same job for 15 or 20 years, then say "you're done" and replace them with contractor making 11/hr with 2 weeks of training and expect everything to go as instructed and as well.

It never did. I have many examples of what happened.. if I told you the agency and what we did, you'd be terribly upset at the sloppy mistakes.

While we argue about 'bloated salaries' remember one thing, knowledge often is something you can't put a price tag on. Especially if you are good at your job. Sometimes cheaper, ISNT better.

I saw this for my own eyes....

I can also tell you that I know some people that work at other outsourced operations for the T and have similar stories.

Voting closed 45

commission this study and a few dozen other panels to study the feasibility of forming a panel to commission the study of another commission. All to come to conclusions anyone who rides the T could scribble down on a (very large) napkin in about 20 minutes. This is always how it goes. Lots of hemming and hawing and studies and focus groups and by the time they reach conclusions everyone already knew about more of the system is in disrepair, crumbling, and on fire. 'Murican' freedom at its finest. This has all been a ploy to privatize the T by an onslaught of Republican governors over the years (one will notice only Dukakis and Patrick EVER put any serious investment into the T in the past 40 years), at the expense of the working class and our rapidly declining environment. Somehow we keep voting for these mouth breathers. So cool.

Voting closed 6

Marco wrote:
needed to
By Marco on Tue, 12/10/2019 - 10:59am.

'Murican' freedom at its finest. This has all been a ploy to privatize the T by an onslaught of Republican governors over the years (one will notice only Dukakis and Patrick EVER put any serious investment into the T in the past 40 years), at the expense of the working class and our rapidly declining environment. Somehow we keep voting for these mouth breathers. So cool.

There is one glaring problem with the quote - this is Massachusetts

According to our Constitution:

  1. A Governor proposes a budget
  2. The Legislature Enacts a budget
    1. which depending on the Legislature's Members may have absolutely noting to do with what the Governor proposed
    2. Indeed the Budget is frequently the result of a battle between a Democrat State Senate and a Democrat State House often extending well into the next fiscal year
  3. The Governor either
    1. signs it as enacted and it becomes the law of the land
    2. or can selectively [Line Item Vetoes] Veto parts of the Budget -- the un-Vetoed parts take effect as if signed
      1. The Legislature can chose to attempt to Override the Governor's Veto
        1. if successful those parts and the rest of the Budget would become Law as it was passed by the Legislature
        2. if the Veto is upheld - -then the vetoed items are deleted from the rest of the budget which becomes the law of the land

    In order for Marco's analysis to be accurate -- there needs to be both a Republican Governor and a Republican Legislature -- or at least enough Republicans and some Democrats to enact the Governors Budget -- that has not happened for quite a while -- i.e. before there was a "T" as a State Authority* 1,2,3,4

    At the very least -- the Republican Governor would have to be able to Sustain a Veto of the T-related spending which the Legislature had enacted -- so the at least one of the Chambers of the Legislature would need to be fairly Republican -- also something which has not happened in quite a while as the Democrats typically have had a "Super Majority" in both houses for quite a while

    Hence -- Marco should be condemning the Democrats who his friends have consistently and persistently elected and who have been writing and enacting the budget for probably most of his lifetime doing the "Dirty Work on the T Budget" of which he is accusing Charley Baker.

    Note - Marco should also be aware of the fact that the DOT is headed by a "real-dyed-in-the wool Greeny" in the person of Stephanie Pollack*5 -- I doubt that she would stay on if the Governor's policy was not within her "ballpark"

    The rest of what he posted is just Class Warfare Rhetoric with no underlying logic - I suggest he take up residence in China [except Hong Kong where the people value Liberty]

    Refs [Wikipedia]:
    *1 Last Republican controlled Massachusetts House of Reps
    under the gavel of Charles Gibbons as Speaker 1953–1954
    Previous to him
    Christian Herter 1939–1942 Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
    Rudolph King 1943–1944 Resigned to run become Registrar of Motor Vehicles
    Frederick Willis 1945–1948

    *2 Last Republican controlled Senate
    with Senate President
    84th Richard I. Furbush 1951-1956
    85th Newland H. Holmes 1957-1958

    *3 Last Republican Governor with at least one Chamber having a Republican Majority
    Christian Herter 59th Governor of Massachusetts
    In office January 8, 1953 – January 3, 1957 -- chose to not run for reelection in 1956
    he had a Republican House and a Senate
    Leverett A. Saltonstall who served three two-year terms as the 55th Governor of Massachusetts [January 5, 1939 – January 4, 1945] with a Republican House and a Republican Senate
    77th Joseph R. Cotton 1939-1940
    78th Angier L. Goodwin 1941
    79th Jarvis Hunt 1942-1944
    80th Arthur W. Coolidge 1945-1946

    4* MBTA is established

    Between January 1963 and March 1964, the Mass Transportation Commission tested different fare and service levels on the B&M and New Haven systems. Determining that commuter rail operations were important but could not be financially self-sustaining, the MTC recommended an expansion of the MTA to commuter rail territory.

    On August 3, 1964, the MBTA succeeded the MTA, with an enlarged service area intended to subsidize continued commuter rail operations. The original 14-municipality MTA district was expanded to 78 cities and towns.

    from her Linked-in
    before she was CEO & Secretary of DOT

    1. May 2005 – Jan 2015 Associate Director for Research
      Northeastern University Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy
      Served as Associate Director of the Kitty & Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University overseeing the Center’s research agenda as well as conducting research projects in the areas of transportation, transit and transit-oriented development policy and sustainable and equitable development. Served as a Professor of the Practice in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, teaching courses in public policy strategies, transportation policy and land use policy.
    2. 2004 – Mar 2010 Partner BlueWave Strategies, LLC
      a strategic environmental consulting firm focused on advancing smart growth, transit-oriented development, brownfields redevelopment and other “green” real estate projects. Advises for-profit, not-for-profit and institutional developers on sustainability, green building and renewable energy strategies for real estate projects with an emphasis on larger-scale smart growth and transit-oriented developments.
    3. 1986 – Jun 2004 Conservation Law Foundation
      Senior Vice President and Acting President
      During nearly two decades of increasingly senior positions at New England’s premier environmental advocacy organization, worked to catalyze change in Boston, in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Leadership positions included founder and director of Greater Boston Institute, Vice President for Southern New England, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Communications and Acting President.
    4. 1985 – Jun 1986 >Law Clerk Judge Patricia Wald
      Clerked for chief judge of the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Voting closed 2

I wouldn't really look to party affiliation to tell you much about political leanings pre-1960s. You might want to look into that whole "Southern Strategy" thing before you start bragging about Republicans of yesteryear - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Voting closed 7

The people who fill director and VP roles at the MBTA come from private business. Anyone they try to attract from MTA or WMATA winds up quitting in disgust. One guy only lasted a couple months because his director would not allow him to make any improvements. At the MBTA there is a general lack of understanding of how the overall system works and no will or interest to improve. Because compensation is not linked to agency performance.

Voting closed 22

Uh, what?

Isn't there a train delay story here every other day?

Voting closed 23

Needham line seems pretty reliable over the last six+ months, no?

I think the T proper (orange, red, blue) lines are where the bulk of the issues are these days.

Voting closed 4

Considering the amount of track used by the commuter rail, they are doing well in preventing safety problems. Sure, there will be the occasional strike of a person (not to diminish the horror of that, and it does happen far too often, but Keolis has little control over avoiding that) but derailments are less of an issue. That locomotives and passenger cars have issues is why the commuter rail gets delayed (along with the occasional interference by the other rail companies who own some of the track,) not safety issues.

Voting closed 21

If you live in a vacuum where trespassers cross the tracks out of nowhere like some video game maybe. But in fact keeping people off the tracks is a detail of infrastructure. Better fencing, and automated video surveillance is needed. That costs money and Keolis doesn't even want to pay employees.

Voting closed 9

In looking at safety, there is only so much a railroad can do. Even with fencing, there are limits. Take a level crossing. There's nothing to prevent someone from starting across the crossing, then turning up the tracks. And we are not even factoring those who intend to get hit by trains. Anyone can walk by the barrier, and there's nothing the engineer or anyone connected to a video system can do.

Now, if crossing barriers are broken, that's a safety issue. It looks like Keolis does a good job with the ones they maintain, per the report.

Voting closed 6

Infrastructure can be changed, but not by privatization. And even if you can't keep them out, you can invest in systems to detect them faster.

Voting closed 6

Please, give me examples of grade crossings there people cannot stroll on to the track.

Voting closed 2

That isn't what i said. I am sorry you were unable to infer that I meant build infrastructure that would remove the crossing from the street (above or below). Very expensive I know. There is definitely technology that would allow Keolis to know immediately that someone was on the tracks.

Voting closed 7

If you live in a vacuum where trespassers cross the tracks out of nowhere like some video game maybe. But in fact keeping people off the tracks is a detail of infrastructure. Better fencing, and automated video surveillance is needed. That costs money and Keolis doesn't even want to pay employees.

There was an inference that railroad are responsible for trespassers on their property. That is in fact an impossible feat. To give another example, what about people who stroll onto the rigt of way from stations. I've seen several videos of people almost getting hit by the Acela at Canton Junction. Any way to secure that?

At the end of the day, Keolis uses FRA best practices (with one exception noted in the report.) The MBTA writes the answers to the questions on a blackboard when bus operators are taking their safety exams. The end result is in the pudding.

Voting closed 0

Containment is not actually impossible. Expensive perhaps. The fencing that does exist is not new or extensive at least for the commuter rail. It seems that you have low expectations of Keolis.

Voting closed 4

What is your problem?

Seriously, why is it that you get some sort of sadistic pleasure in trolling me and a few other people here (but seemingly mainly me?) Look at what you've written today. I noted that Keolis safety record is on par with most railroads in America, while the MBTA seems to be safety adverse. But again, that's not just my opinion. It's the opinion of the experts that studied the T and issued the report in question, which included experts in the field. But no, you key in on the concept that yes, people trespass on the tracks and get hit by trains from time to time and decide "hey, I'm going to fuck with Waquiot today," because that's what brings you the sick joy you love.

Meanwhile, you provide nothing that shows that what Keolis does is any different than what Amtrak, the big seven class 1 railroads, or any commuter rail provider in North America does. You pie in the sky that Keolis and the T can somehow build big, beautiful walls to keep people out. And who's going to pay for these walls? Or who is going to pay the millions to elevate or bury every foot of track the MBTA uses for commuter rail service?

You are adding nothing to the conversation. You are trolling, as usual. That's what you are, a fucking troll.

Voting closed 1

It is mild criticism. I acknowledged repeatedly that it would be expensive. And I don't need to provide any links or data because you wouldn't bother to read them. You insist that Keolis is pretty good, but how would you know? 3 paragraphs and cursing but no facts. let go of all that projecting, at least use adult words.

Voting closed 4

You spent the whole day spinning BS without providing anything. You added nothing to the conversation.

Adam wrote years ago that conversations here should be like conversations in real life. I like to think that I try to be civil, but interacting with you is like interacting with a 3 year old, only a 3 year old doesn't know better. I would argue that you are sealioning, which is your M.O.

From now on, when you reply to something I write with some BS, I will reply "that's the smartest thing I've ever read from you." That will not be a compliment.

Voting closed 2

I don't need to provide anything on this topic because I believe that your arguments are wrong as presented. You haven't provided any supporting data (as usual). I don't see anything uncivil in my comments. My argument is very general. The lack of investment in sufficient fencing is observable. At grade crossing can't be fenced, and so should be removed. It is silly to think that any private corporation would pay for that, but it doesn't mean it is impossible. The technology that would allow Keolis to detect people on the tracks is not that expensive. services could respond, and far away trains could be stopped. you need to look up sealioning again. You have repeatedly asked for evidence, and I pointed out the hypocrisy. I am perfectly willing to let the disagreement be decided by the facts in evidence. I am not forcing you to respond. Lying gets under my skin, despite the fact that your dishonest comment are in black in white. I am just disagreeing with you, I have restated the same argument over and over.

Voting closed 8

The safety report is masking bigger, more depressing news. The new fare collection system, already way behind schedule, has been pushed back to 2024. (So, 2026 in earth time.) That means we have another 4-6 years with the crappy old fare collection system which isn't working correctly and was never fully deployed. (Still waiting for the conductors to have portable charliecard readers...)

They announced the pricetag for the new system will be close to $1 billion. They collect $700 million a year in fares. So to recap: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will pay at least 1-2 years worth of the ENTIRE fare revenue just to be able to collect fares. Wut?

This is why the T should be free. End this stupidity. MBTA riders are effectively giving their fares to a company in San Diego who is so thankful they are arriving 4 years late.

And yes, this is the fault of the Mr. Fixit Governor who will be out of office by the time any of this is deployed. Heck of a job.

Voting closed 40

It seems crazy but fare collection is expensive. It would be much cheaper to run the system without it. And if the burden goes to cars and drivers, pollution would be greatly reduced.

Voting closed 12

But the more I see how much of the fares only go towards fare collection it makes it clear it's huge waste. Even making the busses free would simplify fare collection, greatly speed up boarding, help lower income citizens, and be environmentally sound.

Start with busses. If that goes well, free the subways. Charge fares for rush hour commuter rail service but off-peak should be no-cost to riders.

Voting closed 13

run the MBTA at large pay for maintenance?

Voting closed 0

The same way they do now, out of the operating budget. Fares are not the only, or even close to the largest, source of revenue for the MBTA. The money could come from elsewhere.

Voting closed 3

I've noticed, at least on the bus side of the system, more and more busses are running with broken and otherwise disabled fareboxes - so we aren't actually collecting fares ANYWAY. at the rate we're going the hardware is going to continue to fail - I don't see it lasting to 2024, definitely.

Voting closed 10

Say what you will about NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton but COMPSTAT worked well in cleaning up the crime plagued city, holding each individual NYPD precinct Captain responsible for everything that happened under his/her command. Bratton met daily with his Captains and fired or transferred those unable to show results. The new T GM seems sincere. Has he designated a team of upper level managers (equivalent to police Captains) to take "ownership" and responsibility for each major aspect of the T? Are basic management principles adhered to? When there is a disaster on the Red Line like we saw last summer, is the person in charge of the rolling stock and the person who placed signal bungalows too close to the tracks afraid for their jobs? It should be a given that the T make the existing stuff reliable before taking on any more burdens, the real question is that being done presently?

Voting closed 7

Managers can't just shit out "results" on command - any more than you can put on a 20 course banquet for 40 people on what you can buy with your SS check.

Resources matter.

Voting closed 14

They fudged the numbers and we also got stop and frisk .

Voting closed 9

All that the link is connected to is the 7-page Executive Summary [including front cover and boiler plate stuff] -- actually about 2 pages of relevant material

Voting closed 3

Note that those links contain links to the full report.

Voting closed 3

Maybe accountants shouldn't be in charge of a Transit organization?

over its existence, the FMCB has done little to make safety a priority or to hold
leadership accountable for safety performance.

It should be noted that the MBTA’s lack of hiring and succession planning has compounded the problem.

It appears that on the transit side of the T operation, in many instances, financial
considerations take precedence over operational performance and safety, even when it is extremely detrimental to the organization as described above. This mindset demonstrates an “upside down” set of priorities for running a transit agency.

Voting closed 20

Here's the link from the T's own page https://www.mbta.com/safetyreport [all 67 pages with much detail and quite a bit of thought by the panel

Hopefully -- the T Leadership and Transport Secretary Polack will read and absorb this

I'd like to see a much streamlined top-level management structure which is representative of the actual operations of the T:

  1. Make the Financial Oversight Board a Permanent element with one task -- Financial Oversight -- full Board meetings once per quarter
  2. Convert the T's other Board to a true Board of Directors for the T Management -- with scheduled meetings once per quarter and 5 members -- 3 appointed by the Governor and 2 by the Mayor of Boston
  3. Create a T Community Users Advisory Board with members chosen from and by the Commuter Rail [Cities & Towns], Core Subway [Cities and Towns], Bus & Boats [Cities & Towns] and Boston / Cambridge, T-Employees -- about 15 total members [3 each category] -- meeting once per month
  4. Create positions at the C-level reporting directly to the GM devoted to:
  5. Safe Operations / Maintenance -- focused purely on making the T run and run safely
  6. Capital Projects -- anything not included in the Operating Budget
  7. General Operations / Administration -- overall operations and relations with the employees
  8. CFO -- finances and interface to the Financial Board -- also interface to the business community about things like sharing the cost of new projects [e.g. Assembly and New Balance, New Kendall, etc.]
  9. Security / Public Safety -- T Police a interface to State Police, Coast Guard, Local Police, Fire, EMS, ADA Compliance [including the Ride]

each with a defined set of tasks and defined budget -- effectively operating departments

Put the whole under the Office of the Sec. of Transportation along with all of the other Transportation related government operations such as Massport with an overall coordinating board whose members include representatives from T, Massport, Highways, City of Boston / Cambridge, etc.

We don't have the luxury anymore [if we ever did] to:

  1. Have built the Silver Line in the Seaport without digging under D street and providing a direct access to/from the Ted.
  2. Similarly, we can't afford to have rebuilt the T at Logan, without providing a direct connection to the Integrating Terminals that does not involve riding buses.

Finally -- as a show of dawning intelligence:

  1. Dump the South Coast project in favor of a High Freq Service to Foxboro with a major bus depot for all things south-ish.
  2. Also institute high freq service to Framingham [a future boom-city] and Worcester
Voting closed 3

Once again why don't they leverage the woburn anderson lot and infrastructure? this and teh misuse at westwood is just dumb

Voting closed 4