Continued financial support of the MBTA is a critical legislative issue.
During the 16 years I commuted between Bridgewater and Boston, I relied on MBTA services. Efficient, affordable, reliable public transportation is important. Economic development, job creation, and the general quality of life for citizens rest on the shoulders of a dependable MBTA.
Public transportation relieves traffic congestion, provides environmental benefits, helps businesses grow, and provides residents with jobs and access to jobs along commuting routes.
The statewide benefits of MBTA are clear; its decline would be detrimental to a fragile, struggling economy. The Legislature must act to protect and improve it.
Because efficient public transportation affects the entire Commonwealth, the cost for improvements should be covered by more than rider fares. The Legislature must think creatively.
Closing corporate tax loopholes, creating funding mechanisms from environmentally friendly actions (such as the enhanced bottle bill), increasing state revenues from online purchases ($25 million to $45 million per year), and other such creative ideas will be part of the answer.
But the entire system deserves a comprehensive legislative review with a goal of providing sufficient, stabilized funding for future growth and improvement.