I support public transportation, which eases traffic congestion, improves air quality, reduces the cost of living, and provides an economic engine for job growth in Massachusetts.
We need a combination of dedicated revenue as well as cost-cutting to sustain the T, and we need to embrace new thinking for the future.
I proposed to reduce the latest fare increase by about half by abolishing the antiquated "cigarette minimum pricing law" (which REQUIRES a minimum price for cigarettes and ensures an artificial profit for tobacco companies) and replacing the reduced cost on a penny-for-penny basis with the cigarette tax which would have yielded $70 million without increasing costs to consumers.
The RIDE can be significantly reformed to reduce costs to users while decreasing costs to the T.
Our labor costs need to be re-evaluated in the context of the local labor market as well as comparable transit properties, and we need to empower managers to manage and hold them accountable for improving efficiencies.
I also want to explore, with an eye to the future, Personal Rapid Transit ("PRT") and whether privatizing more aspects of our transit system makes sense for Massachusetts.