Complete shutdowns and complete satisfaction go hand in hand for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The agency stopped service on the Green Line E Branch to complete some much needed track maintenance in the month of August, and the results were positive.
The MBTA says crews were able to handle a year’s worth of overnight- and weekend-only work, and the cost was 70 percent less. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack have been touting the new ways the MBTA has been executing its plans.
On the E Line, workers replaced more than 30 miles of track, upgraded seven road crossings and five pedestrian crossings, and improved stations. The work will help trains move faster, saving commuters about 1 minute per ride.
MBTA is looking to do more accelerated capital delivery in the future. Funding, however, is an issue. State lawmakers failed to pass a measure that would have sent millions of dollars to transit, and there is an $18 billion transportation bond bill still sitting on the table.
MBTA officials project a deficit as large as $577 million in FY 2022, and additional deficits for the next three years. A proposed surtax of 4 percent on household income above $1 million could generate $2 billion annually.