Commonwealth Magazine is reporting that Congressman Stephen Lynch, a Southie native, wants the MBTA the step up their game and hire some more employees in the hopes of getting it back on track.
Recently, it was announced, the MBTA was downscaling service in response to a staffing shortage that federal transportation authorities have stated is a safety risk for riders and workers. With MBTA ridership on the rise, combined with the fact the T is facing more operating deficits, it could result in even more service cuts if more funding and staffing aren’t provided.
Enter Lynch. He’s been meeting with the MBTA and its unions in an effort to find a way to bring retired dispatchers back to work to help get things back on track for the time being. He also believes the MBTA needs to start hiring. According to Lynch, there are over 600 job vacancies and there isn’t a list of applicants to fill them.
As far as funding and getting the MBTA on solid ground, Lynch tells Commonwealth Magazine that he’s concerned about operating on one-time cash infusions to deal with a much larger deficit can lead to a disaster.
“You would hope we would get to a point of equilibrium where that deficit is manageable from administration to administration. We will have a new governor in a little bit. We might have a new secretary of transportation and perhaps a new general manager at the T. I’m not quite sure of that. They may be thinking, look, we just have to get through our portion of this. I’m not ascribing that, I’m just saying it’s a possibility. I do agree that there’s a larger deficit and they’re using one-time infusions of cash to deal with their continuing operation. That’s just got disaster written all over it.”
Through funding and more employees, it can help with providing high, quality and efficient service on the MBTA. If you have good service, you’ll have more people riding public transit. Lynch also said good transit expands the job base and could help deal with the state’s housing crisis.
You can read the full article here.