Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fixes

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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby BandA » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:36 pm

octr202 wrote:Dredging up a past topic, the first actions of the new Fiscal Control Board are out:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/0 ... story.html

Commuter rail operator’s fine money diverted to hire staff
By Nicole Dungca Globe Staff July 21, 2015.....
I found Nicole's article curiously lacking any detail of the meeting. For example, there are no quotes from any of the board members. Did the reporter even attend? Can't tell from her story. But there was a nugget of information at the end:
The board, which also includes members of the state transportation board, will need to file a report to the Legislature within 60 days showing progress made in fixing the T’s structural deficit.

The globe wants everybody to wait sixty days to find out if anything is happening.
Much better written article: 6 highlights from MBTA finance control panel’s first meetingI like this point:
4. The MBTA hopes to accelerate capital spending after the Baker task force report said the agency under-spends in its capital budget. DePaola said the agency is on track to spend $1 billion in fiscal year 2016, up from $600 million in fiscal year 2014.
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby Disney Guy » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:48 pm

Almost all operators and conductors and station staff have the necessary skills and equipment to accept fares.

Almost no operators or conductors or station staff have the necessary skills, resources, and equipment to reliably extract fares.

If the transit system is to improve fare collection then it needs to hire and train (no pun intended) and equip a sufficient number of persons to perform that task to a better degree (which persons may or may not be the same persons who operate and supervise the trains and supervise the stations).
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby BandA » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:03 pm

extract vs accept fares? Fare compliance?

I'd like to see schools responsible for Fare pass enforcement; You get a sudden influx of 50+ students trying to board a bus or trolley... have school pay a monitor (who is approved by MBTA) who confirms the passes during that short window.

I don't see the purpose of temporarily suspending pacheco law. Either its a good idea or not, and it is a good idea to eliminate that law. The poster child for the pacheco law was the s-l-o-w Newton Corner - Framingham bus, which paralleled the Framingham commuter rail and essentially filled in for all the missing off-peak time slots. It took about an hour to travel that distance, and exactly the same time it took a slow Conrail freight to cover that same distance one day 1982 (can't explain why the freight was so slow). That bustitution of former streetcar lines (from about 1930??) was destroyed by the MBTA's privatization program, which led to the Pacheco law.

Baker got temporary Pacheco law exemption, but didn't get relief from binding arbitration. I suppose he could threaten to aggressively privatize stuff or hire contract workers in order to regain some leverage over the unions.
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby PublicTransitUSA » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:09 pm

BandA wrote:extract vs accept fares? Fare compliance?

I'd like to see schools responsible for Fare pass enforcement; You get a sudden influx of 50+ students trying to board a bus or trolley... have school pay a monitor (who is approved by MBTA) who confirms the passes during that short window.

I don't see the purpose of temporarily suspending pacheco law. Either its a good idea or not, and it is a good idea to eliminate that law. The poster child for the pacheco law was the s-l-o-w Newton Corner - Framingham bus, which paralleled the Framingham commuter rail and essentially filled in for all the missing off-peak time slots. It took about an hour to travel that distance, and exactly the same time it took a slow Conrail freight to cover that same distance one day 1982 (can't explain why the freight was so slow). That bustitution of former streetcar lines (from about 1930??) was destroyed by the MBTA's privatization program, which led to the Pacheco law.

Baker got temporary Pacheco law exemption, but didn't get relief from binding arbitration. I suppose he could threaten to aggressively privatize stuff or hire contract workers in order to regain some leverage over the unions.


The Pacheco law (aka Taxpayer Protection Act) protects the taxpayer from politicians that like to hire their buddies. With the Pacheco law in place, all they (private companies) have to do is save $0.01 and match the quality of work of T labor, and they'll have the job. There are currently many jobs on the T that are done by private companies because they've proven that they can save the T money. Now, with the Pacheco law suspended, no $ savings need to be shown. Also, the quality of skilled work/labor will no longer need to be set to a high standard. That's not to say that Gov Baker won't request it, but by law, it is no longer required.
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Re: MBTA needs more than $7.3B for state of good repair

Postby BandA » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:14 pm

Very short article, lacking detail. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/08/31/mbta-panel-needed-fix-buses-trains-stations/YJtDqTaZfu4qwzuci00wQK/story.html
Frank DePaola, interim general manager of the T, told reporters the $7.3 billion figure is “fairly large” for a system that has about $25 billion in assets.
The $7.3 billion estimate is not the final word. Some commuter rail facilities are still not in the database, T officials said.
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:13 pm

Perhaps the board could tackle the following "problem":

"State officials admit they have no idea how many fares go uncollected by the cash-strapped commuter rail on crowded train cars so crammed with riders that conductors can't collect tickets."

or maybe this?:

Bay State rail commuters, fearful of another winter transit collapse, have been left standing during rush-hour because Keolis, the MBTA's contractor, has failed to provide the required number of seats under its agreement with the T, a Herald review found

The above is a quote from a source quoting the Boston Herald.

http://www.masstransitmag.com/
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby BandA » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:20 pm

I don't understand why they are retiring coaches if they are short. Are the Rotems still brokem?
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:39 am

BandA wrote:I don't understand why they are retiring coaches if they are short. Are the Rotems still brokem?


They're retiring coaches instead of keeping a max-cushioned surplus for the same reason they didn't hold onto the Screamers for a max-cushioned surplus: the day-to-day aches and pains of old, worn-out cars chews up too much shop time better devoted to keeping the mainstay fleet's uptime tip-top. You reach a point where attrition makes the pursuit of fleet padding a fight to the draw. They surpassed that point with the Screamers. With coaches it's not as much of an uptime concern, but BET's got its hands more than full. . .

1) juggling an acute storage crunch and extra ops constraints while GLX land prep happens all around them;
2) expending extra resources monitoring and debugging the Rotems and HSP's until they pass certain in-service and warranty milestones;
3) cycling lots of K-cars in and out for rebuild, and running lots of test trains to clear incoming equipment for prep-for-service;
4) spending all year clearing a backlog of deferred maint on the Bombardiers (they were way late getting the A/C prepped for summer, a major reason for the car shortage this summer...and the 1600 cabs have a contract about to start for cab signal and PTC installation).

It doesn't matter if the MBB's are in 'merely OK' enough shape to keep running out there when there's not enough oxygen on the ground at BET to store and maintain them indefinitely as fleet fattener. They're stretched too thin with other tasks, and a glut of old coaches becomes too big a shop distraction the more units you try to hold onto in revenue service for holding-onto's sake.


I'm sure Brokem uptime is less-than-awesome even though there's only 3 units 'technically' out-of-service at the moment. But this will get better as the K cars keep blitzing through rebuild, and the mismatches in trailer vs. cab availability start to even out with more returnees. Also, don't underestimate how much being able to catch up on shop to-do's with the Bombers helps in the long run with day-to-day % availability. Especially when the 1600's get their signal upgrades and are no longer bottled up exclusively north.
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby rethcir » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:36 pm

Interesting tweetstorm by Charlie Baker (https://twitter.com/MassGovernor)

Since the #MBTA’s Fiscal & Management Control Board was created, we’ve learned a lot and done a lot. But much more remains to be done.

Our #MBTA panel did not say is that the T was underfunded. It wasn’t. It isn’t. It won’t be. It was poorly led & horribly managed.

The good news is that the #MBTA manages to safely move over a million riders to where they need to go, w/ spectacular room for improvement.

#MBTA operating expenses had gone up 5% per year for the past 15 years; for the 1st time in 20 years, it flatlined this past year.

For the next five years, the #MBTA will double the $$ it spends on signals, switches, tracks, power systems, cabling, trains & buses.

For the first 1/2 of '16, operator absenteeism is down ~25% & overtime expense is down >30%. Weekday dropped bus trips are down a 1/3. #MBTA

The commuter rail contract has been renegotiated, incorporating key elements that were missing & focusing on customer experience. #MBTA

There is far more public information for riders than there used to be, & much more reliable & useable metrics for #MBTA workers & managers.

The #MBTA is being managed. New leadership is in place. A new GM, Chief Admin, COO, CFO & CPO. There is a CTO for the first time ever.

The #MBTA is being governed by the hardest working volunteers in state gov't that has met 52 times in the glare of the public & media. #FMCB

Going forward, there will continue to be an aggressive focus on operating expenses and operating performance. #MBTA

By reinventing the design and construction processes, the #MBTA can deliver more projects on time and on budget.

The #MBTA “money room” and warehouse will be put out to bid, and all market indications are that this will save money & improve performance.


Maybe more to come as the day goes on. I feel like a lot of the overtime reductions are a combination of the light winter and the cancellation of late night T, but positive on the surface level. What is the "Money Room?"
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Re: Governor's panel report:Fiscal Control Board & major fix

Postby millerm277 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:39 pm

I believe it's been noted elsewhere that overtime is down ~15% vs 2014, which is probably a better comparison given winter 2015.

The money room is literally what it sounds like, counting/processing of cash payments in the system. It's also been widely reported on this month for massive security and accounting lapses: http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2 ... mbta-audit <- quick source, but there's more in-depth reporting elsewhere.
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