Local News

New report sheds light on ‘full-blown crisis’ at the MBTA

The report comes in the wake of multiple transit catastrophes.

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority is in a full-blown crisis, says a public policy organization in a recently released report.

According to a new report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF), the transit agency needs to focus on improving infrastructure, financial plans, and internal organization.

“The MBTA is in a full-blown crisis. Failure to fix it has profound impacts on the region’s economy and the companies and people forced to rely on public transit,” analysts said in the recently released report titled “The MBTA Crisis Is Complicated — Fixing It Will Be Too.”

Analysts said students, panels, and commissions previously tasked with recommending fixes have failed to recognize how deep and complex the transit agency’s troubles have become.


“If we continue to ignore the intricacy of the issues driving this crisis, the MBTA will fail to achieve any of the bold visions for the future. Instead, it will continue to lurch from one crisis to another,” the report said.

The analysis comes as the MBTA kicks off a month-long shutdown of the Orange Line to make much-needed repairs, and about a month after an Orange Line train caught fire on a bridge, sending horrified riders scrambling to evacuate. One woman even leaped into the Mystic River, eventually swimming to safety. One week later, a runaway Red Line train caused a scare in Braintree before the morning commute. 

The MTF report suggested the T hold back on expanded service until it’s able to deliver “safe and reliable core services.”

The report also points to the T’s “insufficient workforce capacity” as to why the system can’t provide adequate full weekday bus or rapid transit service.

MTF President Eileen McAnneny told WCVB the solution won’t be to simply put more money into the MBTA, but to focus on its infrastructure. 

“It’s not just about hiring more people to address workforce shortages. It’s about all of them happening all at once. Or else you’re not going to be able to address what’s necessary,” McAnneny said.


The full report is available at masstaxpayers.org.


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