T estimates GLX operating deficit at $23m a year

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.

Joseph Aiello, chairman of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, said he worries whenever the transit agency is providing service but the cost is being picked up by someone else.

“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 Line

T 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.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

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.”

Gonneville said he didn’t know the penalty for trespassing on T property.