Tran$portation – MBTA can’t pay bills, but is giving pay raises

Let’s quickly review a few recent news items pertinent to the Commonwealth’s transportation-related budget, shall we?  Monday I wrote about the striking dissonance between the Herald’s front page report about a  working stiff in Braintree who has been told by state officials that the MBTA lacks the green to pay him the paltry $1500 it admits he is owed following the flattening of his automobile by a T bus; and the Patrick/Murray Administration’s victory dance over some flattering comments issued by one of the bond rating agencies.

That post also mentioned last week’s announcement that the Green Line Extension project – first promised to a group of ankylosaurs somewhere around the end of the Cretaceous period – is being pushed back to 2018 (which to interested residents of Sommerville means that the next announced delay has been pushed back to April 2016 or thereabouts).  And the outright cancellation of the Red/blue Connector, which cancellation is sure to draw yet another costly lawsuit from the Conservation Law Foundation, whose animating principle seems to be that the planet can only be saved by government funding of expensive, logistically nonsensical and operationally redundant mass transit projects.

Then there’s all this talk about “new transportation revenues” floating around Beacon Hill.  Speaking of which, how about that Governor Patrick?  After pushing his Governor wannabe LG out in front of the gas tax hike bus in the first place, Patrick jumped in, got behind the wheel, and drove the damn thing over him – first refusing to back the LG after Murray’s open speculation about a hike; and then pretty much pinning the whole thing on Murray’s chest when Senator Brown jumped in to throw cold water on the idea.  But I digress…

We already knew the Big Dig tunnels are leaking so badly that the lights are falling from the ceiling (never fear: they’re now secured with twisty-ties). 

And now today we learn that there is a little subterranean lake forming a few feet below the Big Dig tunnels. Okay, “lake” is an exaggeration, but is reality any less disturbing?… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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