Dear Congressman Lynch:
On behalf of A Better City and our 130 member businesses and institutions, I want to thank you for your leadership in speaking out against the proposed MBTA service cuts, staff reductions, and use of federal stimulus funds. Your advocacy and the unified voice of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have proved to be an effective influence in persuading the MBTA to reverse course and commit to restoring transit service in the near future. We are immensely grateful for your support and advocacy, as the MBTA is essential to achieving an equitable economic recovery for our region.
Since the onset of the pandemic and the ratification of the CARES Act, A Better City has called upon MBTA leadership to use federal funding to prioritize safety and provide robust service for riders, predominately essential workers, who have continued to use and depend on the system. During the MBTA’s Forging Ahead exercise, we were a leading voice among advocates urging the T to allocate all available resources to avoid service cuts that could endanger current users and result in insufficient service to support workforce return. With the second and third round of relief generously provided by Congress, there was neither a need nor a justification for the MBTA to implement service level planning changes—the MBTA could balance its budget and run full service, which A Better City noted in public comment.
Today, all signals point to a return to the workplace in the near future, and recent employee and employer surveys organized by A Better City show that workers want to return to their physical workplace to some degree and they expect public transit to be a viable commuting option. The business community is counting on the MBTA to be ready in the weeks ahead to encourage transit use and to help generate economic activity throughout the region. The MBTA must send a signal that the Boston area is open for business and our transit system is ready to welcome back riders, serve all our communities, and support our climate goals.
Going forward, A Better City will continue to call on the MBTA to use federal resources to restore full-service levels as soon as possible. We will also remain actively engaged during the ongoing debates on the MBTA service plans, including commuter rail and water ferry routes, operating budget, planned use of federal transit funding, and capital infrastructure investments.
Thank you again for your bold leadership on this critical issue—we look forward to collaborating with you in the months ahead.
Richard A Dimino
President & CEO
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Ed Markey
Representative Richard Neal
Representative James McGovern
Representative Katherine Clark
Representative William Keating
Representative Seth Moulton
Representative Ayanna Pressley
Representative Lori Trahan
Representative Jake Auchincloss