A few updates regarding the MBTA

A lot has been going on at the MBTA, so I wanted to provide you with a brief update.

I understand that many of you use the Alewife parking garage on a daily basis. As you know, the MBTA closed the garage in mid-August to address safety concerns after concrete fell from the ceiling and damaged a parked vehicle. The garage reopened on August 20 after repairs were made and the garage was determined safe for use.

In response to this incident, I testified alongside several elected officials at the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) meeting on August 13 to express my deep concern, disappointment and frustration with the condition of the Alewife garage. I urged the MBTA FMCB to provide short- and long-term plans for repairs to the garage’s infrastructure to increase safety and improve the quality of travel for commuters. I also strongly advocated against the recent decision to increase parking fees at the garage. It’s outrageous and insulting that the MBTA expects commuters to pay extra to park their cars on a daily basis at a garage that is in such poor condition. In fact, my colleagues and I submitted a letter to the MBTA this past July, urging top officials to reconsider the unnecessary fee hikes. We made some headway – rather than increasing the fee from $7 to $10, the MBTA ultimately decided to raise it to $9 starting on September 1.

However, this is still unacceptable.

These issues are not just a problem at the Alewife garage – they’re a problem everywhere in Boston. Our transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and long-term planning. The MBTA FMCB knows this, but have done little about it. Rather than continuing with piecemeal repairs that fail to address long-term sustainability, the MBTA needs a comprehensive plan that makes strategic investments targeted at improving and expanding the safety and efficiency of every T station and every parking garage used by commuters. It is unconscionable for the MBTA to continue to cut corners to try to save money at the expense of commuters.

As a member of the MBTA Legislative Caucus and as someone who frequently rides the T, I will continue to pressure the MBTA to improve service and increase safety for our commuters. Please continue to contact my office if you have any issues during your daily commute so that I can directly communicate these issues to the MBTA and show them the travel challenges that continue to impact all of us.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office by phone at (617) 722-1432 or by email at Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov.