U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton laid out a transportation imaginative and prescient for the state, one thing he stated has been missing for the previous decade, however famous that for the reason that MBTA is such an “epic mess,” it’s in no place right this moment to tackle his rail transformation initiatives.
Moulton stated that whereas incoming MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng can’t flip across the struggling company on his personal, he’s answerable for rebuilding its present workforce, which incorporates making key hires, firing underperforming workers, and reworking its tradition to make it a spot the place individuals need to work.
“The first thing he needs to do is make a very clear and public change to the organizational culture, because the fundamental reason they have such serious staffing problems is because, understandably, people don’t want to work at the T,” Moulton advised the Herald on Tuesday.
“I mean the organization is a mess and he needs to signal to everybody who’s considering applying for one of these jobs, that this is not the T that you’ve been used to.”
He stated a “strong leader can signal organizational change quite quickly,” however a part of the problem of getting the MBTA again on monitor will probably be incomes again the belief of Massachusetts residents, which he anticipates will take “much longer.”
To get the ball rolling, the congressman launched a three-page memo on Tuesday, outlining his imaginative and prescient for bettering rail connectivity within the state, to higher join residents residing exterior of the city core to job alternatives in Boston, and benefit from federal funds obtainable by means of the bipartisan infrastructure invoice.
“Consider this: if you could get from Springfield to Boston in 45 minutes, and connect seamlessly to any of our existing commuter rail or subway lines, with fast reliable service, housing options would grow exponentially,” Moulton states within the memo.
“Today, you cannot realistically live in Western Massachusetts and work in the East. You can’t even live on the North Shore and work on the South Shore or vice versa. We’re both stuck in traffic and stuck in the past. This has to change.”
His memo focuses on three key tasks, together with the long-sought-after North-South Rail Link, which might contain constructing a tunnel to attach North and South stations that misplaced traction in previous years as a consequence of its hefty price ticket; and an East-West Rail connection that’s presently being mentioned and studied.
Moulton additionally suggests reworking the commuter rail into an electrified regional rail system, which the MBTA stated it was dedicated to in January, following the submitting of state laws that known as for full electrification by Dec. 31, 2035.
The North-South Rail Link may very well be completed in 5 years, Moulton stated, however the “lazy approval and litigation process” within the state may push it to 10 years.
“The point is to transform our commuter rail system, which is, you just take in and out of the city at rush hour, into a regional rail system, where you can get all around the commonwealth faster than driving,” he stated. “That’s really the next step for transportation.”
Moulton stated these tasks are “incredibly feasible,” citing comparable tasks that “have been done easily around the world.”
“But certainly, with where the T is right now, it can’t take them on,” he stated. “And that’s why we have a new general manager for the T. And he’s going to come in and transform the organization.”
Moulton stated Gov. Maura Healey was receptive to his plan, which he put ahead as a draft to start the method of adopting a transportation imaginative and prescient for the commonwealth, however didn’t decide to any of his acknowledged priorities.
A Healey spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.