The delays commuters suffered through during the recent cold weather spell have rudely exposed the MBTA’s decaying infrastructure and serious underlying financial problems. Many of the MBTA’s vehicles are long beyond their useful life. Because of a lack of funding, the MBTA is forced to spend money to hold these vehicles together rather than to invest in new ones, which in the long run is a great waste of resources.
A February 13 editorial in the Boston Globe points to a source of funding that could be used to help address these problems: Logan Airport’s annual parking-fee revenues. This is a great idea, considering the airport is one of the biggest beneficiaries of both the transit system and the Big Dig, but has only contributed a limited amount of resources so far. The value of transit system to the airport could easily be monetized through determining how many riders on the Blue and Silver Lines, for example, travel to and from the airport.
Maybe we can get a conversation going before the snow melts—our public transportation system is too important for the economic, environmental and social goals of the Commonwealth to endure further delay.