Cuts approved by MBTA today will severely impact essential workers, community

Malden, MA, December 14, 2020—Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5) led a letter from the entire Massachusetts 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), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), and William Keating (MA-09), 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 service cuts, the Delegation Members expressed their expectation that any service cuts would be fully restored as soon as possible.

A copy of the letter is available here.