T estimates GLX operating deficit at $23m a year
Lang pushes better-paying jobs; ‘urban explorers’ shut down Orange Line
THE MBTA PLANS TO SPEND $2.29 billion building the Green Line Extension into Somerville and Medford and another $23 million a year providing the new rail service.
John Dalton, the T manager overseeing the Green Line Extension, said the operating costs on the new stretch of track from Lechmere into Somerville and Medford will be $26 million a year, partially offset by fare revenue of $3 million a year.
The $23 million net operating deficit is relatively high. A November 2015 analysis conducted by the T indicated the operating deficit for all Green Line and Mattapan Trolley service in fiscal 2015 was $97 million.
The administration of former governor Deval Patrick had planned on the state Department of Transportation covering the annual operating costs of the Green Line Extension, but the Baker administration has decided the T will pay the bills.
“I don’t think it’s healthy for the T to be in that moral hazard position,” he said.
Lang: Guidelines should push for better-paying jobs
State transportation officials on Monday tried to hash out guidelines for future transit-oriented developments, prompting a lively discussion about the strategies the state should employ.
Brian Lang, a member of the boards overseeing the state Department of Transportation and the MBTA and the president of UNITE HERE Local 26, raised concerns about one of the proposed guidelines, which called for the creation of jobs.
Lang said the guidelines should be more specific. He said lots of jobs have been created at Boston’s Logan International Airport, but he said most of the positions pay minimum wage and offer few or no benefits. “People can’t live on them,” he said, noting some of the people working at Logan are homeless or living in basements.
Lang said the guideline should be changed to call for the creation of jobs “with family-sustaining incomes.” He said the state should use the leverage it has with the land it owns to pressure developers who want to participate in transit-oriented development into offering their workers better-paying jobs. Lang stopped himself mid-sentence, saying he didn’t mean to say the state should pressure developers. Instead, he said, the state should build a partnership with them.
‘Urban explorers’ shut down Orange LineT officials said the Orange Line was shut down briefly last Tuesday during the evening rush hour when two “urban explorers” were spotted roaming along the tracks.
Jeffrey Gonneville, the chief operating officer of the T, said the Orange Line was shut down until transit police tracked down the two individuals and arrested them. Gonneville described the two people as “urban explorers.”