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Yes, reform the T, but not without boost in revenue

Joan Vennochi’s Sept. 13 Opinion column on the Pioneer Institute and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO (“Labor leaders’ hot rhetoric has grown cold”) gives the impression that the two alternatives to revive the
MBTA are Pioneer’s reform-our-agencies mantra and labor’s focus on workers’ rights.

Pioneer’s framing of “reform before revenue” presents a false choice. Making the MBTA more efficient is essential, but not enough. Our economic future unequivocally requires greater capacity to alleviate congestion and get people where they need to go. We need to improve and enhance transit, even while we maintain it.

If we want to attract tomorrow’s workforce and promote opportunity and health, we can’t shelve expansion — unless we’re willing to concede tomorrow’s economy to other, farsighted regions and countries.

Here’s the overarching issue: Our underfunded, inadequate transportation network needs reform, accountability, innovation, and adequate funding.

Kristina Egan
for Massachusetts