MassFiscal Calls for MBTA Receivership

Boston, MA: The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to promoting better government and right-of-center fiscal and economic policy solutions, today announced its support for the Pioneer Institute’s recommendation that the MBTA be placed into temporary receivership and its board be eliminated in order to fix the massive financial and operational problems that currently plague the organization.

“The MBTA doesn’t need more cowbell or theatrical press conferences from their outgoing general manager. Rather, the MBTA needs to focus on gaining the public’s trust and performing basic services like ensuring the trains run on time, all while looking toward the future by implementing basic performance based metrics,” said Paul Craney, the group’s executive director. “A clear path toward these remedies would be through receivership. As has been done successfully with other Massachusetts entities before, receivership should be implemented so that necessary reforms can get underway as soon as possible.”

Receivership was one of many proposed solutions offered by the Pioneer Institute, which Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance supports. As noted in the group’s report, other crucial steps include a halt to expansion while maintenance backlogs are prioritized, reducing non-essential expenses such as conference travel, and limiting expansions in the number of employees and their salaries. On that last point, media reports have indicated that the MBTA has consistently increased the size of its workforce in recent years, and that the number of employees earning over $100,000 each year has soared.

“It has now become clear that the MBTA’s practices and priorities have long been badly misguided, all while derailing the public’s trust in the agency, and nothing short of drastic measures seems likely to change them. Receivership and eliminating the MBTA’s board should be part of the conversation, not just increasing the funding for the embattled agency,” Craney concluded.

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