Ross and Colleagues Urge Gov. Baker to Take Action on Public Transportation

Republicans Stand with the Administration in Seeking Solutions

February 12, 2015

Boston– Expressing concern for the current state of the Commonwealth’s public transportation system, Senator Richard Ross joined with fellow Senate Republicans in sending a letter to Governor Charlie Baker urging him to take the necessary steps in improving Massachusetts’ public transportation system.

“Many of my constituents depend on the MBTA daily to get to work or school, and because of the unprecedented amounts of snowfall and frigid temperatures recently have seen their commutes severely impacted,” said Senator Ross. “This past month has only proven that improvements need to be made, and I look forward to working with Governor Baker and my colleagues in the legislature on making that happen.”

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), Richard Ross (R-Wrentham), Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), Donald Humason (R-Westfield), Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) and Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) highlighted several issues currently plaguing the public transportation system within their letter.

Those issues include:

  • A lack of timely communications to inform passengers of delays, cancellations, and diversions;
  • A failure of Keolis (the rail provider) to fulfill a lengthy list of promised service improvements, e.g., on time performance, equipment performance, safety, customer service, customer satisfaction, ridership growth, etc.;
  • The failure of a strong working relationship between Keolis and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); and
  • The purchase of different types of equipment (locomotives, coaches, and control cars) throughout the years from different manufacturers, preventing the formation of a fleet of standardized equipment, which now requires additional training, maintenance and inventory issues and challenges.

“With ridership currently falling over the past decade, an aging infrastructure that has been pieced together through the years, and costs continuing to skyrocket to operate the nation’s oldest public transportation system, we stand with you in exploring methods to ensure the types of adverse issues that have prohibited timely commutes are stymied,” the letter continued.

The senators are optimistic that Governor Baker and the legislature can work cooperatively to bring a cost effective, world class transportation system that commuters can depend on through reforms to address their concerns.

“We urge you to take all necessary action in improving Massachusetts’ public transportation system.  The Commonwealth depends on a system that delivers a world class service to commuters, and we are dedicated in working with you to ensure the people of this state receive such a system,” wrote the caucus.

Attached is the letter sent by the Senate Republican Caucus to Governor Charlie Baker.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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