In The News: Transportation

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Baker says T has ‘significant climb’ ahead

Jun 17 2016

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / CommonWealth Magazine

The taxpayers foundation on Thursday released a transportation-focused report that pegged “inferior” data quality in asset management systems, the inability to properly manage projects, and a lack of accountability on how money is spent as challenges to adequately addressing the capital needs of the transportation system. The report recommended that officials focus on talent, leadership and improvements to data and systems to prevent “future erosion of the infrastructure.”
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Green Line extension’s workforce could be a problem, report says

Jun 17 2016

By Boston.com, Adam Vaccaro

That plan was called out as a concern in a report released Thursday by the business-backed budget monitoring group, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The report, which also said the T’s repair costs could be higher than has been reported and suggested increasing MBTA manager salaries to help attract talent, said the Green Line extension “could be the right project at precisely the wrong time for the MBTA,” because of the staffing requirements.
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What's needed to fix the T? Better pay for managers, report finds

Jun 16 2016

By Greg Ryan, Boston Business Journal

“There are too few individuals upon whom success is dependent and until the T acquires more talent that can change the T’s work culture, successes will be fleeting,” the report said.
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Gov. Charlie Baker stresses repair, modernization at troubled MBTA

Jun 16 2016

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

"I don't expect to cut a lot of big ribbons over the course of the next few years, and I'm OK with that," Baker said, speaking in Boston at a summit on transportation organized by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "I believe in reliability, modernization and expansion, in that order." A new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reveals problems in the state's public transit and highway systems that are "multifaceted and deeply entrenched," said MTF President Eileen McAnneny.
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MBTA’s $7.3 billion estimate to upgrade the system is likely even higher

Jun 16 2016

By Nicole Dungca, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the foundation, said the research shows that there are many impediments stopping the T from upgrading its equipment, including not having enough capable staff or an accurate estimate of how much it needs to spend. “Even if we had more money today, we wouldn’t be able to spend it all because they don’t have the processes in place or the human capital to make sure we can deliver the projects on budget and on time,” she said.
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T warehouses called management failure

Jun 13 2016

By Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine

A handful of officials and groups spoke in favor of privatization efforts. Eileen McAnneny, who heads the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, distributed a letter supporting privatization efforts from the group Fix Our T, which is made up largely of business groups. The letter was also signed by 15 mayors, including the mayors of Salem, Haverhill, Waltham, and Lawrence.
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‘Fight the hike’: Interest groups argue over possible T fare hike

Mar 1 2016

By Adam Vaccaro, Boston.com

The group did not specifically speak about fare hikes in their remarks, instead vaguely referencing upcoming difficult decisions facing the board. Asked for an opinion on whether the T should raise fares, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eilleen McAnneny said the board should do whatever it sees fit. “The board has the objectivity and the data to make those decisions, and we stand by those decisions,’’ she said. “It appears everyone believes there should be a fare increase —’’ a statement proven false during the meeting “— and I think the real question is the amount, and we leave that up to the control board.’’
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T oversight board hears cons, pros on fare hike

Feb 29 2016

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / Commonwealth Magazine

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny, the co-chair of the Fix Our T coalition, thanked the control board in a press conference and offered no suggestions about how the board should handle the fare hikes. The board previously advanced the two fare-hike proposals into the public comment stage. Saying the board would face “considerable pushback,” McAnneny urged the board to “do what it takes to balance the operating budget” and said, “We had to take the decision-making outside of the political process.”
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Consultant preparing MBTA debt report

Feb 7 2016

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Sharon Advocate

Last June, as lawmakers were authorizing a control board to take charge of the agency, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recommended that lawmakers guarantee state funding to cover debt service costs from Central Artery mitigation projects, debt transferred before 2000 and the costs to move T personnel from the capital to the operating budget.
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MBTA fare increases contrary to no new fee policy?

Jan 25 2016

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / WBJournal

"A fare is just a more specific type of fee. It's the price you pay to ride something," said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny. She distinguished MBTA fares from other government charges, noting the agency has its own budget and sets its own fares, similar to how the University of Massachusetts sets tuition.
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