Excerpts from Beverly Scott’s 26-minute press conference Feb. 10
I can sleep at night with no equivocation that to the extent we had information anyone that needed to have information had the information. We do not control Mother Nature….I wish I could tell you I have a crystal ball. I don’t have a crystal ball.
Scott is asked whether she should resign
Do you know what? I’m not even getting into those conversations. I’m not even getting into those conversations. I wake up early in the morning and I, let me tell you how I am. I’ve always been part of a team. And so I’m not a confused person at all. I tell you the honest to God’s truth, I love what I do. I’ve always told people, if you ever think that there’s anyone else that you think can do it better, they should do it.
I’m not getting into it. I have not had a direct conversation with the governor. I can only say that everybody is frustrated. I have had no conversation with the governor throughout the three weeks of what has been going on.
Let me tell you what we’re doing, exactly what I have said throughout this and I want to make a point, particularly about the people that have been working for doggone near three weeks, many of them around the clock. I’ve got a broad back. Anything that has happened is me, because these folks that are out there and are continuing to be out there and will stay out there are giving it, they are absolutely poetry in motion. They are tired. They love this Commonwealth and they are giving it all they have. And, quite candidly, I’ve been around 40 years. I’ve been through hurricanes. I’ve been through the World Trade Center bombing, tornadoes coming, 30 inches, 36 inches, and all that so this wasn’t this woman’s first rodeo. And it is why because of the fact of the exceptional experience and knowledge of this team that they have been making a way out of no way and they’ve been doing it for years without significant investment.
Let me tell you what we’re going to do is get things up as quickly as we can, as responsibly as we can. But let me tell you this. The fixing of it has to end up being a collective because we are running an extremely aged system that is getting a pounding every single day and we love it because we love our public. But I’m telling you that this is not a spring chicken system by any stretch of the imagination and if anyone – and we have more intelligent people per mile on these commutes than you can shake a stick at – for anyone to have any belief that a system that’s over 100 years old, that’s got equipment, much of it that is running out there on this Red and this Orange Line that are much over capacity can continue with the age that ts is and to think that it’s going to have the resilience to wind up rebounding and flying like an eagle that is absolutely the epitome of and I’m not going to say foolish. So this was a perfect storm, a perfect storm.
She is asked whether she has an operating plan and whether she could have done better at dealing with the snow.
I’m telling you now we are in execution. This is a 6,000-person organization. We have snow emergency plans that people have duh de duh de duh. We’ve already done some different types of thing, but now we are getting from giddy-up to whoa. And so I can have a whole lot of smart duh de duh de duh. Never take away from that. I want to get everything from everybody that can help and give an idea…But right now we have to execute. And we have got to be able to execute solidly without …I’ve got to have people who are empowered at the local level to be able to make decisions that in some instances you could never write a script for…There is no fear…I’d welcome anyone who would give good thoughts and ideas.
She is asked why there has been insufficient investment in the T and why she hasn’t raised the issue.
Oh my goodness. We have been. What do you think everybody just went through in terms of ….People here it’s not that they don’t know what to do. And it’s not like they were sitting up there and didn’t make the investments in the system because they didn’t have the money and didn’t make it. You can see what the thoughts and plans and the technical specs were done and they were shelved because we didn’t have the money to do it even with the Orange and the Red Lines. Do you know when they started doing the specs on those? It is 2015. I can see evidence for 2007 and 2008 and they did not have the money so it is not for the lack of.
It’s infrastructure across the board, absolutely missing in action in terms of making infrastructure improvements. My point is this. I am truly unimportant in this. I am unimportant. If there is anything that I hope for this Commonwealth, I’m out. Get what you need or what you want. But what you have to do is give that person, God Jr. or whoever, give them the resources that they need and that means there has to be significant investment and reinvestment in the system. If this does nothing more than spark not only that conversation but action… This is not a red or blue conversation. This is purple.
When we talk about the switches and the signals, I don’t have any buttons I can push. You are talking about people literally out there with pick axes, shovels, and propane tanks that are getting these old switches, just like in the old railroad movies, that are making these switches get de-iced.We are always thinking how we can, not why we can’t.
If there’s a silver lining, I’m going to tell you this. Just take Bev out of the picture. Just take Bev out of the picture. If there is a silver lining, please can we be talking about what are the long-term….Yes the T needs to be efficient. It needs to push itself. But this is not just about cutting costs. You can cut every cost you want over here and that is not in fact going to wind up taking the place for what has to be systemic, planned, serious, bold reinvestment in terms of this doggone transportation system, not just to wind up keeping it where it is but making it what it can absolutely be in terms of being a modern, top-notch, serving-with-pride transportation system.