Fred Salvucci’s May 29 op-ed “Massport should help solve T mess” is a reminder that the major transportation projects of the past 20 years, including the Big Dig, were done on a credit card. We borrowed billions for our transit, roads, and bridges, and today we are paying the debt service instead of keeping up with our needs. Even considering the increases in tolls and transit fares, net revenues to transportation over the years have not kept up. The state cannot afford to operate the transportation network we have, let alone make crucial investments in the MBTA, the highway system, and local roads and bridges. Salvucci is right that this crisis can only be solved if all entities who benefit from these investments, including the Massachusetts Port Authority, are asked to participate in the solution.
The MBTA Advisory Board has advocated that Massport play a larger role in ferry and transit access to Logan Airport and other Massport properties, and the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation released legislation that shifts the ferry service and its assets to Massport.
Those who pay tolls, transit fares, and gas tax all pay for the benefits they receive. Cities and towns contribute to the transit system directly and pay for local roads. Businesses understand that assets need to be maintained and occasionally replaced, that this costs money, and that they benefit from the investment. We now need businesses and institutions, such as Massport and others, to pay a fair share.