Has Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen done the unthinkable and gotten his dysfunctional airport, highway, and transit clans to see the virtues of sharing — without the benefit of a mandated reorganization certain to prompt massive bureaucratic resistance? Can MassHighway and Massport really be
forced persuaded to cough up “operational and fiscal” assistance to their cash-poor cousins at the MBTA and the Turnpike Authority?
That’s what may be coming out of a hush-hush (read: closed to the press and the public) meeting between Cohen and the heads of the four agencies. If so, perhaps MBTA officials can take a deep breath and dampen down their continuous loop of
threats fears about future fare increases. (Which just goes to show what front page, above-the-fold headlines in The Boston Globe gets you.)
According to a State House News Service (subscription required) story, “The focus has been on what we can do to help provide some relief to the T and the Turnpike,” Cohen said, calling [the confab] “sort of a family affair.”
Massport is in comparatively good financial shape (at least for now) thanks, in part, to its lucrative parking concession at Logan Airport, but MassHighway has its own debt issues, so it remains to be seen what “assistance” means in the real world.
And, what of MassTrans, the once and future department re-organization plan that no one wants to own anymore? If the Patrick administration can restore a semblance of fiscal health to the T and the Turnpike, all while bypassing a Legislature definitely unenthused about anything that smacks of defiling the state’s sacred transportation org chart, so much the better for the Patrick administration. (Oh, and yes, presumably Massachusetts commuters...) What's next, Fast Lane transponders and Charlie Cards for everyone?
Green Line photo by Nekonomist.