Aug 10, 2022 - News

Baker: MBTA must prove it doesn't need federal takeover

Illustration of an MBTA sign changing into an emergency symbol.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker does not want federal transit officials to take over the MBTA while the agency works through a litany of emergency safety fixes and service closures.

The latest: Instead of the feds putting the T into a kind of receivership to directly control the agency's repairs, Baker would prefer that federal officials continue to provide mandated safety directives while the T makes the fixes itself, he told reporters yesterday.

The backdrop: House Transportation Committee co-chair William Straus told Axios last week that the Federal Transit Administration should consider putting the agency in temporary receivership.

What they're saying: The T needs to follow through on its repair agenda so federal authorities don't have a reason to take over, Baker said.

  • "It's incumbent on us to prove to them that that's a better way to go."

Background: The FTA issued directives to the MBTA in June to improve safety, which led to limits to service and monthlong shutdowns of the Orange Line and Green Line extension.

  • Baker told reporters yesterday that a lot of the advice coming from the FTA "has been exactly what I hoped it would be," adding that he appreciates the outside perspective the FTA has brought to the T's problems.
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