One month in, Healey takes charge of T's troubles
Like her predecessor, Gov. Maura Healey's first winter in office is shaping up to be all about the MBTA.
Why it matters: Healey has inherited former Gov. Charlie Baker's commitment to fix eastern Massachusetts' transit system, the linchpin of the state's economy and culture.
Flashback: MBTA didn't just fail during the epic 2015 "Snowpocalypse." It utterly collapsed when it shut down all rail service in the face of massive winter storms. Getting the T back up and running became Baker's first short-term emergency and forced a long-term challenge to fix the T over his two terms.
Fast forward: Eight years later, Healey finds herself facing her own MBTA crisis.
- Instead of snow, it’s the hope for new subway cars for the Orange and Red Lines — one of the cornerstones of Baker's repair plan — that’s melting.
- The Chinese company hired to build the new cars has only delivered a fraction of the $870 million order and the project could be years behind schedule.
- Meanwhile, the T continues to use antique vehicles that cause delays and endanger riders.
What's next: Acting T General Manager Jeff Gonneville last week disclosed just how bad the situation is, and now the governor is beginning to take action.
- Healey will hire a team of experts from outside of the T to review the new subway car fiasco.
- “I think as governor I’m ultimately responsible,” she told reporters last week after a trip on one of the aging Red Line cars.
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