Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)
December 14, 2020
Cuts Approved by MBTA Will Severely Impact Essential Workers, Community
Text of Letter (PDF)
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) today joined Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05) and their colleagues from the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, including Senators Edward Markey (D-MA)and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Representatives Richard Neal (MA-1), James P. McGovern (MA-2), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), and William Keating (MA-09), in writing to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak requesting a full explanation for the short-term and long-term cuts that the MBTA approved today.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we worry that the proposed cuts will disproportionately impact riders from underserved communities. These riders likely have no other method of transportation and rely on MBTA services and expanded hours of service for their essential travel needs,” wrote the lawmakers. “Many of these riders—and MBTA employees themselves—are essential workers who have stepped up to help us face this public health crisis. The cuts could also add volume to each trip, further exacerbating public health risks for riders and workers alike. Reduce transit options for riders and employment opportunities for MBTA workers at this time is incongruous with the support and recognition they deserve for the risks taken to continue providing the essential services to the Commonwealth.”
“We consider public transit to be a public good and will continue to fight for federal funding for the Commonwealth’s public transportation infrastructure,” they continued. “As such, we request that the MBTA further evaluate this proposal and provide clear evidence demonstrating the need for this degree of service reduction before moving forward with implementation at this precarious time.
In addition to requesting evidence that demonstrates the need for the severity of the proposed service cuts, the Delegation Members expressed their expectation that any service cuts would be fully restored as soon as possible.
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Pressley submitted a public comment letter to the MBTA’s Fiscal Control Board expressing her strong opposition to the Board’s proposed cuts to transit service in the Commonwealth.
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