THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

MBTA changes are needed, MassDOT secretary says in Danvers speech

Posted by Justin Rice  January 11, 2012 08:46 AM
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

E-mail this article

Invalid email address
Invalid email address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

State Secretary of Transportation Richard A. Davey this morning told the North Shore Chamber of Commerce that MassDOT fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA public transit system were needed to close a $185 million budget deficit.

Davey addressed the two scenarios MassDOT unveiled  earlier in the month for fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA system.

Under one scenario, fares overall would increase by 43 percent, while under the other, they would increase by 35 percent. Under both scenarios, MBTA ferries would be eliminated, commuter rail weekend service would be eliminated, and nighttime service would end at 10 p.m. Also, weekend service on the Mattapan Line as well as the E branch of the Green Line would be eliminated.

“I assure you this is not fear-mongering,” Davey said at the beginning of his remarks to the Executive Breakfast Forum at The Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers. “The MBTA is in a fiscal crisis.”

Davey said MassDOT is focused on four initiatives, including articulating what reform means, making reform more tangible to the average commuter, making transportation more transparent, and managing the DOT like a business.

Davey also highlighted projects on the North Shore such as construction on Route 128 in Danvers.

“It’s important to note we were one year ahead of schedule, how often do you hear that?” he said. “That’s what we are doing at the DOT, under budget and on time.”

Davey highlighted recent movement on the MBTA garage in Beverly but acknowledged the delays on a T garage in Salem are unacceptable.  

“We had certainly some setbacks on the Salem garage,” said Davey, who early in his talk noted that they recently cut a ribbon on a T project that was started in the Romney

Administration. “[Salem] Mayor [Kim Driscoll] you have my commitment that it won’t be Romney’s son 20 years from now [in office when this is complete]. We will get that done.”

Davey said the MassDOT has tried to run its operations more like a business since transportation reform was enacted at the state level. But Davey said the current budget is largely focused on funding sources rather than how to spend resources responsibly. He said while it has always been up to the Chief Financial Officer at MassDOT to manage the budget they are going to make each manager and department head responsible for their own budgets.

“We will reward those who do well, help those who don’t, and perhaps move people along who don’t do that,” he said.  

Another new plan is give DOT employees with cash rewards for innovative ideas. The plan includes buttons that denigrate the saying “It’s always been done that way.”

“This is exactly what a business would do,” Davey said before adding. “I’m obsessed with it, we’re rolling it out and hopefully it will do well.”



Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

    waiting for twitterWaiting for Twitter to feed in the latest...