WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

Tell Us How You'd Fix the 'T'

By WGBH News   |   Friday, April 13, 2012
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BOSTON — If you've taken even one trip on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus, train or ferry, you have an opinion. As part of our April news focus on the MBTA, we want to hear your ideas to improve the system. From the small irritations of everyday commutes to the big $100-plus million budget gap anticipated for next year ... if you ran the T, what would you change first?

Call us at 617-903-0840 and leave a message with your idea. (Please leave your name, because we may play your response on the air this week during Morning Edition or All Things Considered.) Or you can add your voice here:


From the WGBH Vault: MBTA Improvements

By WGBH News   |   Friday, April 13, 2012
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April 13, 2012

mbta 1989

The more things change ....

In this Feb. 7, 1989 segment from WGBH-2's Ten O'Clock News, reporter Hope Kelly talks to MBTA riders about changes under general manager James O'Leary's tenure. Both ridership and budget increased, and some stations were renovated — but not everyone was happy. Their complaints are a lot like ones riders have today. Their eyeglasses? Maybe not so much.

Check back for a week of WGBH News Focus coverage of the MBTA starting April 23.

Thanks to producer Gary Mott for archival help.

The Big Dig: $23 Billion and Counting

By Sarah Birnbaum   |   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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July 11, 2012

big dig tunnel

The Tip O'Neill Tunnel, part of the Big Dig. (Wikimedia)

STATE HOUSE, Boston — At a Beacon Hill oversight hearing on July 10, Massachusetts transportation officials said the Big Dig debt is starving other road and bridge projects statewide.
At the hearing, state transportation officials said the total cost of the Big Dig, including interest on borrowing, has grown to more than $23 billion. It is the costliest highway project in the nation’s history.

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Mass. Senate Passes MBTA 'Bailout' Bill

By Sarah Birnbaum   |   Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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June 20, 2012
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON — If your sports team is losing, you fire the coach. That’s what Sen. Gale Candaras (D-Wilbraham) proposed doing with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority during a June 20 fight over a proposed $51 million bailout of the struggling agency.

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Demand Could Outpace Supply on the T

By Jordan Weinstein   |   Thursday, June 14, 2012
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June 14, 2012
BOSTON — A new report from a leading land-use think tank warns that by the end of the decade, Boston’s subways could grow so packed that trains would roll past waiting commuters, unable to accommodate more riders.
The study from the Urban Land Institute finds that surging T ridership and booming construction around transit stations are poised to overwhelm the MBTA, potentially limiting future development and slowing the regional economy. Stephanie Pollack, the lead author of the study and a professor at Northeastern University, said the problem for the T is money.

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The MBTA Arrives ... on Stage

By Michelle Liu   |   Thursday, June 14, 2012
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June 14, 2012

mbta musical
What, the T doesn't make you want to sing and dance? (Courtesy)

BOSTON — Bostonians may curse the many troubles of the MBTA, but they love to hate it. Now there’s a musical that many of us (well, those who ride the MBTA) can relate to — from the Boston sports fans who crowd the T after games, to the tourists trying to make sense of subway maps, to the college students out for a night of partying. Born out of ImprovBoston, “T: An MBTA Musical” has moved to the Club Oberon stage in Cambridge through July 13.

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About WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

Love it, like it or lump it, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority touches nearly everyone's lives in eastern Mass. And it's in financial crisis, with newly announced fare hikes not enough to cover next year's projected $100 million budget deficit. WGBH News features special focus coverage of the tracks and troubles of our public transit system.

About the Authors
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 
Sarah Birnbaum
Sarah Birnbaum is WGBH News' State House reporter. Send her a news tip.
Jordan Weinstein Jordan Weinstein
Jordan Weinstein is a news anchor for NPR's All Things Considered on WGBH, 89.7 FM in Boston.

"If I Ran the T ..."

Everyone who's ever rode on the T has an opinion about what problem they'd change first. If you were in charge, where would you start? Let us know.

The Fare and Service Plan

On July 1, the T will introduce fare increases and service cuts to cover a $159 million budget gap for the next fiscal year. Read the plan on mbta.com.


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