Press Release - for immediate release Contact Eileen McAnneny, Co-Chair 617-720-1000
Boston, MA, March 27, 2017 – Several members of the FixOurT Coalition held a press conference today in support of MBTA efforts to explore privatization as a means to improve service and reduce costs. The press conference was held at the Transportation Building in advance of a Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) meeting.
The FixOurT Coalition is a group of 53 business and municipals partners who recognize the T’s vital place in the economy and are committed to supporting the organizational, financial and operational improvements necessary to ensure an MBTA that is safe, effective and reliable.
Eileen McAnneny, Co-Chair of the FixOurT Coalition, spoke to the reasons for its advocacy stating that the FMCB had made great strides in identifying and addressing operational and managerial failures. She noted the Coalition’s strong support of the three year suspension of the state’s onerous privatization statute, in order to provide the Board with the tools they needed to get the job done.
McAnneny said “The FixOurT Coalition is here today to voice our strong support for exploring the benefits of outsourcing bus maintenance. We do so because we know that in order for the T to turnaround and become the modern, customer-centric public transit system that we all want it to be, it has to balance its operating budget and invest those savings into its infrastructure.”
With expenses growing at five percent a year and revenues at two percent, the FMCB must consider all options for reducing operating costs in order to achieve that fundamental goal. Bus maintenance represents one of the largest cost components for the T and therefore looking into cost effective ways to maintain buses is a necessary next step.
As critical as balancing the operating budget is, that is not the only reason to seek outside bids. There is also an opportunity to improve the rider’s experience. The partnership between Uber/Lyft for delivering The Ride services, where the cost has been reduced, wait times have been all but eliminated, and rider satisfaction is far exceeding industry standards, is a perfect example of what is possible.
Sam Tyler, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau attributed his support to improve bus maintenance was because of its critical importance to Boston businesses, their employees, and their customers.
Mark Gallagher, Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and David Begelfer, President of NAIOP MA, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association stated that transportation infrastructure and MBTA service in particular ranked as one of the most critical needs for their respective member companies and called for the FMCB to continue to support more efficient ways to control costs and improve services.
Other speakers included Mark Bartlett representing the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC), Paul Craney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, and Greg Sullivan, Research Director of the Pioneer Institute and Chris Kealey, Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable was also in attendance.
For more information, please contact Eileen McAnneny at [email protected] or 617-720-1000.
Below are the members of the Fix Our T Coalition