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MBTA Lagging on Some Strategic Goals

March 06, 2019

Despite steady progress toward achieving most of its goals for improvement, the MBTA is lagging on several infrastructure- and customer-related benchmarks outlined two years ago in its strategic plan, according to the first in-depth review of that plan.

A joint report released Wednesday from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Conservation Law Foundation and the MBTA Advisory Board found that 10 of 44 strategic goals are considered behind schedule, while another three are "progressing but face significant obstacles."

"This is a critical period for the MBTA. The successful implementation of the projects included in this Strategic Plan can mark the beginning of a period of growth and reliability for the MBTA," Paul Regan, Executive Director of the MBTA Advisory Board, said in a press release announcing the report. "We need the Strategic Plan to be successful because Massachusetts needs a vital and dependable MBTA for a sustainable future."

More than half of the goals in the 2017 strategic plan have already been completed, many of them related to long-term planning and fiscal sustainability after years of deficits. But almost all of the accessibility metrics are not on the right track, the review found, and the MBTA still needs more work to plan for how vulnerable its assets are to climate change.

"We must make it as easy as possible for people to get out of their cars and choose public transit, and that starts with a system that works for everyone," said Staci Rubin, senior attorney at CLF, in the release. "It's clear that the MBTA needs to focus on protecting the system from climate change and improving accessibility. These aren't always the most visible projects, but they're critical if we're going to have a transportation system that is prepared for the future and doesn’t leave anyone behind."

Wednesday's report is the first in what officials say will be an annual series analyzing the MBTA's progress toward fulfilling the vision in its strategic plan.

Via State House News Service