South Shore Chamber update on MBTA proposed service cuts
The MBTA proposed a series of transit cuts earlier this month in an attempt to answer some budget shortfalls due to a decrease in revenue and ridership. These proposed cuts affect Ferry Service in Hingham & Hull, as well as some bus and commuter rail service in the region.
The proposed MBTA service cuts could impact far more people and interests than simply the individual riders of ferries, buses, and trains. Some of the proposals threaten the region’s economic future. Municipalities, developers, businesses, and homeowners have planned, invested, or located around long-term transit assets.
The South Shore Chamber of Commerce has been engaged in dozens of public and private discussions with state and local officials as well as residents and businesses. The Chamber recognizes the financial pressure on the MBTA during the COVID-19 slowdown when people have been asked to stay at home. However, we are also looking to the recovery. We are concerned that deep cuts or elimination of services during a slowdown may mean no services during the recovery. Mass-transit services are not easily reinstated once capital and personnel changes are made.
The Chamber has submitted a formal statement to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board. The FMCB will be making their decisions in the next few weeks.
Chamber's advocacy efforts
On November 17th, organized and led meeting with Joe Aiello, Fiscal and Management Control Board Chair for the MBTA with 50 + regional leaders, stakeholders, local officials.
Submission of an official letter to MBTA outlining concerns. See link to full letter.
Creation of member sign-on letter. Chamber members can support our position and express concern by reading and signing the letter via the link provided.
Dates to know
Here are a couple upcoming public hearings to put on your calendars. Please note the South Shore public meeting is TONIGHT, Monday, November 23, 2020. Links for more information and to register are below:
Monday, November 23, 6:00 PM
Forging Ahead Virtual Public Meeting: South Shore (Region 6)
Wednesday, December 2, 6:00 PM
Forging Ahead Virtual Public Meeting: System-Wide Service
Contact a Representative
You can email Representative Joan Meschino or Senator Patrick O’Connor directly to share your comments and support of these services.
Our CEO in the news
Peter Forman, the CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said decreasing public transit in the area could put the South Shore at a serious economic disadvantage compared to other areas near Boston. “I’m not being dramatic when I tell you that I think these proposals present probably the greatest economic setback to the region that we’ve seen since when the Shipyard closed down,” he said.
Additional information & resources
MBTA Forging Ahead Plan: https://www.mbta.com/forging-ahead
MBTA Scenario & Service Planning: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2020-11/2020-11-09-fmcb-N-forging-ahead-service-scenarios-accessible.pdf
Rep. Joan Meschino - Save the Transit: https://joanmeschino.com/save-our-transit/
Sen. O'Connor - Proposed Cuts: https://www.senatoroconnor.com/mbta_cuts
Save the Greenbush Save the Boat: https://savethegreenbushsavetheboat.com/
Save the Ferry: https://www.savetheferry.org/