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Mayor Wu's Letter to State Joint Committee on Transportation

Mayor Wu provided comments regarding the current state of the MBTA.

July 18, 2022

The Honorable William M. Straus

Chair, Joint Committee on Transportation

State House -Room 134

Boston, MA 02133


The Honorable Brendan P. Crighton

Chair, Joint Committee on Transportation

State House - Room 109-C

Boston, MA 02133


Dear Chair Straus, Chair Crighton and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for holding this important hearing on the safety management practices at the MBTA. As the Mayor of Boston and a regular rider of the system, I know firsthand how the MBTA affects every aspect of our residents' lives and the essential role it plays in connecting them with healthcare, education, economic opportunity, and each other. I know how the unreliability and uncertainty in our system results in time away from family and work, missed appointments and pickups, and added stress as people go about their lives. It is imperative that the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation make sustained improvements that ensure the system is safe and reliable for every rider.

Since June, service levels on our major rail lines have dropped by almost 25%. The same number of riders now crowd onto fewer trains and wait longer for each trip. For years, many of our rail lines have been subjected to prolonged “slow zones” due to poor track conditions. These delays can add as much as 8 minutes to a trip, and total thousands of lost hours every single day for Boston residents and commuters. More than an inconvenience, these delays have a cost in lost wages, lower productivity, and reduced quality of life for those who commute by transit.

Safe, reliable, and affordable transportation is the foundation for our shared prosperity and health. As the hub of the system, Boston residents and businesses bear the brunt of the impacts from service interruptions, reduced schedules, and diversions; they deserve a system that will get them to their destinations safely and on time. Making the MBTA work for everyone is essential to revitalizing our economy, as well as ensuring that Boston continues to be a city that serves all of its residents equitably. Though the problems we face today have been decades in the making, I ask that the MBTA, the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration make reforming the MBTA their top priority in the coming weeks, months, and years. I also hope that sustainable long-term funding sources are identified for the MBTA, so that we can continue to invest in the system that will support our region’s transportation for generations to come.

Thank you for consideration of my comments. I look forward to working with you and our partners across the Commonwealth to build a safe and reliable transportation system that truly serves our residents, visitors, and our local economy.


Mayor Michelle Wu
City of Boston

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