[bscb-l] FW: Response to An Open Letter to Our Customers
rick.morin at comcast.net
Tue Mar 13 18:41:17 EDT 2012
After reading Secretary Davey's Open Letter to the MBTA's customers, I felt
compelled to send the email below expressing my personal feelings.
Note the email address for Secretary Davey: Secretary.Davey at dot.state.ma.us
should you want to let the Secretary know how you feel about his Open
rick.morin at comcast.net
From: Rick Morin [mailto:rick.morin at comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:31 PM
To: 'Secretary.Davey at dot.state.ma.us'
Subject: RE: MassDOT News Alert - An Open Letter to Our Customers
Dear Secretary Davey,
Fare hikes are necessary - let's get on with them but they must be equitable
The premise that we can no longer afford the transit system we want is
wrong. That is a planning decision -- not a knee jerk reaction to an
immediate crisis that should never have come to this point. Why has the
legislature not acted on the recommendations of the Metropolitan Area
Planning Council (MAPC) and other advisory groups? There were many solutions
that the public recommended, that, given the right time and due diligence
could avert the need for cuts. The problem is that there is not enough time.
The public process should have started a year earlier. Cutting service on
the basis that there is not enough time to study means to reduce cost and
raise revenue as proposed by the public renders the entire process we just
went through nothing but window dressing.
It is socio-economically irresponsible and unconscionable to proceed with
any service cuts in the manner in which they were studied and recommended.
Who now gets to play god and decide which services get cut and which
consumers get impacted? How do the service cut decisions get made? Your
customers have absolutely no confidence in the MBTA's ability to make these
decisions properly. Everything up to this point has been a numbers game. Why
should we believe that your recommendations will be anything other than
This debacle has been known and predicted for years. The MBTA crisis needs
to be elevated to a higher statewide level and the long term solutions for
the MBTA must be part of a comprehensive structural solution for the entire
transportation system in the Commonwealth. No one knows this better than you
-- you are the Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth, not the
General Manager of the MBTA.
I would value the opportunity to discuss this with you in person.
From: Secretary Davey (DOT) [mailto:Secretary.Davey at dot.state.ma.us]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:55 PM
Subject: MassDOT News Alert - An Open Letter to Our Customers
March 13, 2012
An Open Letter to Our Customers,
Over the last nine weeks we have engaged in a public process to allow our
riders to weigh in on recommendations for closing a $159 million budget gap
next year. As we conclude that process this week, we want to take a minute
to thank you for the unprecedented level of engagement you demonstrated over
Since January, nearly 6,000 of you attended our 31 public meetings, with
nearly 2,000 individuals offering public comment. In addition, we received
5,850 emails from you about the importance of the MBTA in your lives. By
comparison, the last time the MBTA raised fares in 2007 just 800 people
attended a public hearing.
The choices before us are difficult, to be sure. Hearing your individual
stories only makes them more so. We know that a quality, reliable public
transit system is essential to getting our customers to work, school,
doctor's appointments and other activities. We know a public transit option
makes our air cleaner and roads less congested. And we know that it is a
lifeline for many of you.
We have been honest about our financial problems and we thank you for your
willingness to listen. Massive debt costs, coupled with increased operating
expenses for things like energy and health care are overburdening our
system. The system we have today we cannot afford and the system we want is
well beyond reach.
Before our April 4th Board Meeting, we will lay out our final recommendation
for closing the Fiscal Year 2013 gap. We continue to work on identifying
prudent one-time revenues that will allow us to stave off some of the
proposed service cuts for one year. Our final proposal will include both
cuts and a fare increase, however.
Unfortunately, without a new dedicated revenue source, we know we will be
back in this very place next year. Many legislators attended our public
hearings, acknowledging the need for a new solution. The Governor also heard
your voices at the hearing he attended in Revere. Our hope is that we may
continue these discussions in the coming weeks and months so that we can
collectively figure out a way to continue to provide a world-class public
transit system to you.
This is your system. Long after we're gone, customers will still have a need
and desire for a public transit option. The decisions we make today will
have a lasting impact on this system, and we thank you for remaining engaged
in this process.
Richard A. Davey, Secretary and CEO
Jonathan Davis, Acting General Manager
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