To improve traffic, air quality, and our region's competitive advantage, the solution we find for the T must be a comprehensive fix rather than a temporary bandage.
Moreover, to get the necessary votes in the Legislature for such a broad solution, the transportation needs of other parts of the state must be addressed.
With this in mind, my approach to the T begins with greater communication and cooperation between Regional Transit Authorities and perhaps allowing the RTAs to levy local taxes to fund their systems. If the RTAs become more self-sufficient, that will free up resources to invest in the MBTA.
I would also consider a public-private partnership like the one in Chicago that has raised $7 billion. A carefully designed plan for private investment could rescue the T and ensure the Massachusetts economy will continue to grow.
Having become familiar with the importance of the T through the perspective of the residents in the 24th Middlesex, I know the one thing we cannot do is cut service. Too many rely on the subways and buses to get to work.
Further, I am deeply concerned by the raise in The Ride fare. Disabled persons – especially those on a fixed income – have scarce room in their budget for increased fares. Whether this means fewer trips to get groceries or even just to enjoy a movie, this problem also might become a public health issue as a sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression and disease.