Gov. Baker Unveils $82.7 Million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan
Warmer weather is making its fickle advent in Boston, but Gov. Charlie Baker is already thinking about winter. More accurately, the next five winters.
Baker, joined by Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and MBTA Interim MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, announced a $82.7 million MBTA “Winter Resiliency Plan” Thursday, to be rolled out over the next five years. The plan, based on recommendations from the American Public Transportation Association as well as Baker’s special advisory panel, includes snow fences and heater upgrades for the Red and Orange Lines; new and rehabilitated snow removal vehicles; vehicle-borne anti-icing equipment for passenger cars; and the creation of a “Field Inspection Team” to monitor the snow removal effort.
“In the event of another harsh winter, it is critical we are prepared. We also hope the legislature will act before the end of this session to deliver the reforms necessary to address the underlying financial and management challenges at the MBTA,” Baker said in a release. “These investments and contingency plans are important for day-to-day operations and emergency service. But, without the flexibility and dedicated oversight of a Fiscal Management and Control Board and the reforms we outlined, the T will continue to fail its stress tests for commuters and taxpayers who deserve a reliable world class transit system.”
Pollack even gave a nod to any Game of Thrones fans listening:
— Michael Levenson (@mlevenson) June 4, 2015
The plan will be presented to the MassDOT board next week. If approved, improvements to the Red and Orange Lines will begin this summer and fall. It will be funded through $62 million in federal formula funds for capital investments, $10 million in non-federal, MBTA capital funds, and $11.7 million in operating funds, the Governor’s Office says.