BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Monday that proposed Massachusetts Bay Transportation service cuts are “simply wrong,” adding that it would threaten the state’s economy and health.
Walsh held a press conference with A Better City President and CEO Rick Dimino, Mike Vartabedian of the Machinists Union District 15, Community Labor United Co-Executive Director Lee Matsueda, and Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 President Jim Evers to discuss their opposition to the proposed service cuts.
A package of service cuts unveiled by the MBTA on Nov. 9 includes eliminating commuter rail service on weekends and after 9 p.m. on weeknights, ceasing running all ferries, scrapping 25 bus routes, halting subways and buses at midnight, and scaling back more transit options beginning next spring and summer.
Walsh said that, “The bottom line here is that these cuts are just simply wrong. They would hurt workers, they would discourage ridership, they would slow our recovery, they’d create a bigger problem down the road.”
He argued that by cutting down service would lead to more crowded buses and trains, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“These cuts would ultimately hurt our recovery from COVID-19,” Walsh said.
The mayor also cited a recent report by Public Transit Public Good, which found that more than 800 jobs could be eliminated if the MBTA moves ahead with major service cuts.
“We don’t need to cut jobs, we need to add jobs at this particular moment,” he said.
Walsh added that he is willing to work with the state and the incoming Biden-Harris administration to find solutions to the MBTA’s financial hardships that do not involve service cuts.
The MBTA Advisory Board concluded Thursday that the MBTA overestimated its budget deficit and could erase its argument for a controversial package of service cuts by using a less conservative outlook.
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, which meets on Monday, plans to vote on the service cuts package on Dec. 14.
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