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If the T doesn’t work, fix it

A closure sign at the Government Center MBTA station on the evening before the MBTA shut down the Orange Line for a month on Aug. 19.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

Thank you for drawing attention to the continuing challenges faced by commuters and residents trying to use public transportation (”If the T doesn’t work,” Page A1, Dec. 22). Investing in reliable public transportation is not only good for the economy, it is also good for public health. It promotes positive health outcomes by connecting residents to groceries, jobs, school, and medical appointments. When public transit works well, it reduces the number of cars on the road, which means fewer emissions and cleaner air. But the Commonwealth’s problems with public transit do not begin and end with the MBTA. If anything, service in the rest of the state is even worse.

Many of the state’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities are unable to provide adequate frequency during traditional commuting hours and offer no service on evenings and weekends. We must do better. Now is the time for Massachusetts to develop a comprehensive plan for public transportation statewide. With the Healey administration taking the reins of state government next month, there is a significant opportunity for change. In addition, new funding will be available for transportation, thanks to passage of the Fair Share Amendment in November. With all of these factors in alignment, let’s seize the moment and invest in a public transportation system that meets the needs of all Massachusetts residents.


Oami Amarasingham

Deputy director

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Erin Rowland

Communications consultant

Massachusetts Public Health Association