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$40M In Unused Snow Removal Going To MBTA?

Should the money go to the MBTA as the Governor proposes, or do you have other ideas for it?

With a winter of record high temperatures at least partially behind us, the state government has only used about $10 million of the $50 million set aside for snow and ice removal, according to a Fox News article.

Governor Deval Patrick wants to give that money to the MBTA.  As he says in this Patriot-Ledger article, "We’ve had a good and calm and relatively snow-free winter so far. If the winter continues as it has been, there will be unspent snow and ice budget. That may be part of the one-year fix."

The fix he is referring to is the MBTA's estimated $161 million projected budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, but we at Patch are wondering if you see other things that need fixing.  Where do you think the money saved this year should go, and why?  Leave a comment and let us know.  

Editorial note: this article and comments section is shared across the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, South End and Jamaica Plain Patch.com sites.  

TrainSafety February 25, 2012 at 06:56 PM
The MBTA has lowered it's service, lowered it's safety, and the employees treat the paying customers with contempt and verbal abuse. They shouldn't be rewarded when there are so many safety issues and questions about drivers sobriety and the lack of response from the MBTA police. There is zero accountability for any of these issues. Just days after the last fatal accident, I tried to report a trolley driver with very erratic behavior and slurred speach. That issue was ignored by the MBTA police and some guy wearing a vest labeled 'Safety Inspector'. The money shouldn't be stolen by MBTA officials, or given to their friends and families who are employed in 'do-nothing' Information Booth jobs where they drink and swear at customers.
concernedJPmom February 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM
that money would be a tremendous boon to the Boston public schools this year as devastating cuts are looming
TrainSafety February 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Anyone have any horror stories about MBTA employees and practices? They lock the gates twenty minutes before the last train but the gates are beyond the turnstiles so people have to pay to go back through and find another exit. The card readers are defective and often double charge. The people in the booths say they have no idea how to get anywhere on the T because they don't live in Boston and never use it. They don't help with pass issues and they usually don't even open the window when someone is trying to get help.
Kasey Hariman February 28, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I've had positive experiences with T employees working in information booths; it's unfortunate you haven't. It seems like there are some unsupported generalizations here -- do you have any statistics to show that most T employees live out of the city, or are there any accounts online of folks getting double-charged due to a faulty card? What about anecdotal accounts of T employees in information booths drinking and swearing at customers? A T bus driver was recently busted for drinking on the job; he was fired immediately (http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/somerville/2011/01/mbta_driver_fired_for_allegedy.html) and the T driver who caused the Green Line trolley crash in 2009 by texting while driving was also fired, and since then a cell phone ban for all bus, boat, train, etc. operators on the MBTA has been in place. This doesn't look like "zero accountability" to me. Are there other specific situations you're referring to?
TrainSafety March 03, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Kasey sounds like a T employee whose job is to promote the transfer of snow funds to the MBTA. The riders who've used the train have seen what I've seen, because it's impossible that I've witnessed only the flukes. My eyewitness accounts are what I've given. When I've asked an Information Booth person a simple question about the Green line, I was told "How the F### should I know, I don't live here,". I've given anecdotal evidence and my own eyewitness accounts. I've helped people who've been told by T employees, "It's not my job to help you". Keep in mind, public transport is a service industry. The MBTA should fire most of its employees and hire ones that can actually do their job. It's a good economy to find good employees.

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