octr202 wrote:3. Free parking at MBTA lots (can't control what towns/RTAs do), but at some MBTA lots you have to wonder if they even collect enough parking fees to pay for someone to enforce it.
In 2015, Governor Baker's own "Special Panel" recommended using $187 million of additional state funding to help the MBTA balance their budget. The latest budget proposal from the MBTA still asks for $187 million of additional state funding - but now that money won't go to operations (and debt service) but rather to capital improvements.
Without that money in the operations budget, the MBTA has to cut costs in order to balance the budget. Eliminating weekend Commuter Rail service and expanded "Ride" services are two of the biggest line items being cut to balance the budget - and supposedly "allow" the $187 million to go towards capital improvements and not operations.
The solution is obvious: take some of that $187 million and put it back into the operating budget. Only $17 million of the $187 million is needed in order to save both weekend Commuter Rail service AND the expanded Ride services!
THIS SOLUTION DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDING FROM THE STATE. It simply reallocates state budget money already being earmarked for the MBTA.
Finch wrote:Just heard on the radio that the governor will not be pursuing the cancellation of weekend service. Nice trial balloon, though.
...But they drew fierce blowback from lawmakers and riders alike, prompting Baker last week to say any service cuts on the commuter rail should be a “last resort.” He appeared to go one step further yesterday. “Our administration is exploring alternatives to last week’s MBTA budget proposals to make weekend commuter rail service more efficient, and will not pursue proposals to eliminate weekend service altogether,” the governor said in a statement, adding he still wants the T to pursue other “much needed reforms,” such as outsourcing bus maintenance work. Baker’s statement followed indications by T officials that they would present other options to cut costs on the commuter rail next week. Brian Shortsleeve, the agency’s interim general manager, pointed specifically to varying levels of riders between lines, as well as on Saturday versus Sunday....
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