Ross & Colleagues File Major MBTA Reform Package

Bill Creates Finance Control Board and Other Tools

February 18, 2015

Boston- In response to weeks of repeated performance failures by the MBTA and partner Keolis Commuter Services, Senator Richard Ross and the Senate Republican Caucus filed legislation today that will provide several tools for the beleaguered public transportation system aimed to financially stabilize the MBTA and restore public confidence in the system.

The bipartisan measure authored by the caucus would create a fiscal recovery trust fund, require the Secretary of Administration and Finance to identify funds to assist the MBTA, and would create a new seven member MBTA finance control board that could ultimately be dissolved in favor of a receiver that would take over the board’s responsibilities as a last resort if sufficient progress hadn’t been made.

“The people of Massachusetts have dealt with the impact of delays, cancellations, and limited service for weeks now and it is unacceptable,” said Senator Ross. “This legislation would take much needed action to resolve a clear mismanagement of funds and direction within the MBTA and provide our constituents with a public transportation system they can depend on.”

The responsibilities of the MBTA finance control board/receiver include:

  • Securing financial and performance stability of the MBTA;
  • Implementing fiscal controls;
  • Implementing uniform budget and planning guidelines and procedures for all departments;
  • Levying fines on vendors who fail to maintain on-time rates, vehicle cleanliness, fare collections, station maintenance, and staff training;
  • Executing capital budgets and borrowing authorizations to finance or refinance any debt;
  • Maintaining authority to appoint, remove, supervise, and control all MBTA employees and personnel matters;
  • Developing a long range plan for MBTA financial and structural sustainability; and
  • Requiring the filing of a quarterly report to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means detailing how any expended loan funds were used in the past quarter.

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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