Begelfer: Economic competitiveness requires a world-class transit system

July 6, 2015 - 1 minute read
MASSterList.com: July 5, 2015 by David Begelfer

The winter of 2015 highlighted serious transportation vulnerabilities in the Commonwealth, particularly for the MBTA.  While school and business cancellations, a drop in retail sales, and increased public safety risks are to be expected from severe winter storms, the complete shutdown of the MBTA and weeks of reduced services for the subways and commuter rails in the days after, is neither the norm nor acceptable.

This week, the legislature took important first steps toward fixing the T. But there is much more to be done to avoid a repeat of last winter.

As few of us will soon forget, the toll our unreliable public transit system took on the Commonwealth’s economy was staggering. Businesses lost substantial revenues due to delays and the inability of employees to get to work. Hourly workers forfeited wages; retailers forfeited sales; restaurants forfeited patrons; and the Commonwealth forfeited the related income, sales and meals tax.

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