October 24, 2008
The Town Meeting on Public Transportation this Wednesday, sponsored by On the Move (OTM): The Greater Boston Transportation Justice Coalition, addressed issues of the MBTA’s staggering debt. The coalition consists of Boston-based community organizations , including TRU, that have been working together since 2000 for environmentally friendly, reliable public transit that is committed to first class service for all neighborhoods.
Right now OTM is working on legislation that would relieve the T of the $1.8 billion debt that resulted from the Big Dig. This debt originated when Massachusetts was required to improve public transportation to counter the increase in air pollution and traffic congestion the Big Dig caused. The T, a separate entity that is still part of the state government, was given the debt burden by the legislature without adequate funding to pay the debt.
This year the $444 million annual debt payment will be passed on to riders, as it has been since 2000 through a series of fare increases. Another may be announced as early as summer 2009 if the state doesn’t take back the Big Dig debt. Read more...