BOSTON (WHDH) - Amid a wave of disruptions to the MBTA’s Orange and Green Lines, transportation expert Carl Berkowitz told 7NEWS that he believes years of neglect are behind the cascade of issues that have brought the MBTA under federal scrutiny this summer.
“If you don’t immediately do the work that needs to be done, the problem gets bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Berkowitz. “Haven’t they heard of preventative maintenance? Is that a dirty word in Boston? These are all anticipated problems.”
The MBTA announced Friday that the Green Line will shut down between Government Center and the Union Square Station later this month to accommodate work for the remainder of the Green Line Extension project– at the same time the Orange Line will be in the midst of a 30-day shutdown.
“I don’t think it’s a very good approach to solving problems,” said Berkowitz. “It’s probably the cheapest and easiest way, but not the best way.”
According to Berkowitz, the issues are not ones that can be waved away as caused by monetary issues. In the transportation expert’s mind, those looking to place blame should look to administrators before empty coffers.
“Everybody says, ‘well we didn’t have the budget for it.’ Money is not the only solution to problems,” Berkowitz said. “It’s important to be able to properly fund improvements, but generally problems are the result of poor management.”
According to Berkowitz, the Orange Line shutdown should have lasted between 60 to 75 days and taken place at night after evening commutes. Berkowitz also is concerned that the MBTA’s replacement buses will not be adequate enough to replace the Orange Line during the busiest times of the day.
“If they think 200 buses are going to replace the Orange Line, they are sadly mistaken,” he said.
Berkowitz said he’s still holding out hope the MBTA will come up with a different plan, but either way, said there needs to be changes moving forward.
“I think they need a top-down refurbishment, so to speak,” Berkowitz said. “Boston is one of the oldest, if not the oldest system in the United States. It’s a great system and I think they can do great things in the future but they can’t do it the way they’re going.”
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)