Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reshuffling state transportation reports that a plan surfaced in the legislature today that would combine the MBTA, the state highway department and the Turnpike Authority into one quasi-public agency. Because of my experience growing up in East Boston, I don't trust quasi-public entities, such as Massport, which are not directly accountable to voters.

I think that the T, the Pike, the roads and all of the transportation agencies in the state -- including Massport -- should be combined under the authority of the state transportation department. This makes state government completely accountable for it all. That's not to say that corruption or incompetence or tyranny will not surface, only that we will know who to blame when it does -- and they can be voted out of office.

Why is Massport being kept out of the proposed Massachusetts Surface Transportation Authority? Even the name seems to have been created with the goal of excluding the only agency of the bunch that makes a profit. Wouldn't it make some sense to use some of that cash to help run the MBTA, which has seen an increase in ridership? Or is Massport too powerful to touch?

1 comment:

acf said...

I had the same feeling when I heard the news about this new 'agency'. If it's set up as new department of the state gov't, then we can talk, but if it's another 'independent authority' then count me against it. I've had enough of these little kingdoms like MassPort and the Tpke Authority. They are little more than excuses for self perpetuation with high salaries and pensions. If they are combined into a new superagency, I hope that it is a true streamlined organization, and not the establishment of a more powerful 'transportation czar' and hierarchy over and above the existing ones, as in Homeland Security. I want a different way of doing things, not more on top of more of the same.