T official disputes shutdown cost estimate

Says end-of-night wait trips cost $500,000 a year

The September 15 opinion piece by James Aloisi, the former Massachusetts secretary of transportation, exploring the end-of-day shutdown process of the MBTA, contains several factual errors and misrepresents much of the accomplishments which have been made in decreasing operating costs and improving service for customers of the MBTA.

In particular, the claim that the MBTA spends upwards of $3.8 million per year on connections for wait trips each night is wrong.  In reality, this figure is much lower, as the wait trips are estimated to cost roughly $500,000 annually. Also, the assumption that the MBTA end-of-day service shutdown is delayed solely because of one Green Line E branch train is incorrect. The shutdown is a deliberate, impressive, and well-synchronized process, which is managed by dispatchers each evening.  There are numerous trains, factors, and considerations to be weighed, which impact how the MBTA strategically shuts down service to accommodate the needs of customers and to meet the logistical needs of the system.

Meet the Author

Jeff Gonneville

Chief operating officer, MBTA
At the MBTA, we are proud of how we have made service decisions to help the public get to where they need to be on-time and efficiently.  We have adjusted schedules, invested in infrastructure, considered ever-changing school and work schedules, and taken additional steps to give riders the best service possible.

We invite the public to learn more about service performance on our transit lines by visiting our website, www.mbta.com, and we encourage riders to continue to offer feedback as we strive to improve the transit system.  All of us at the MBTA are focused on the goal of getting people where they need to be safely.

 Jeff Gonneville is the chief operating officer of the MBTA.