The Foundation focuses this report on the capital financing of transportation. More specifically, MTF takes a critical first look at the two most important questions facing the transportation capital spending plan: 1) how does the state decide which projects to fund? and 2) how well does the state manage the spending of those scarce dollars? With limited resources and a seemingly unending list of capital needs, these two questions determine where and how well the state can fix the transportation infrastructure.
Today’s fare hike vote by the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) illustrates why creation of the Board was so critical to the T’s turnaround and why the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation supports the steps the FMCB has taken to date. Bold action is necessary to fix the T. This temporary SWAT team is essential for the T to make the difficult choices needed to control its operating budget and direct these savings to capital investments.
Four months after the T’s collapse this past February, the state has reached a pivotal moment in which the Legislature must make crucial decisions on the future of the state’s key public transit system. If lawmakers adopt a bill with only incremental changes, rather than providing the Governor with the full complement of tools to fix the T, they will doom the MBTA’s future and undermine the state’s economy.
The MBTA’s fiscal and structural problems are so severe and pervasive that marginal reforms will no longer suffice. The MBTA has reached the end of its line and needs a comprehensive rescue plan before there is any discussion of new revenue.
(Governor) Baker said he found the MTF report "compelling." "It raised some really serious issues about not just the history of the T but also the future of the T, and I think anybody really interested in the future of that organization should read that report and recognize that it was done by an organization that has a lot of credibility," Baker said(Matt Murphy/SHNS).