Following up on his commitment to the T Riders’ Union in our August member meeting, MBTA General Manager Richard Davey met with the Chelsea TRU chapter at Chelsea City Hall in November. TRU members and other riders had the opportunity to share complaints and suggestions with Davey and hear from him and members of his team.
In his introductory remarks, Davey highlighted his top five priorities as General Manager: safety, customer service, employees, fiscal responsibility and innovation. He also emphasized a commitment to bilingualism and improving employee morale.
The Environmental Chelsea Creek Crew (E3C), an EJ youth group from East Boston, presented a campaign to allow bikes on the Blue Line during peak hours. The campaign is part of E3C’s Safe Streets Task Force. Like the Red and Orange Lines, the Blue Line only permits bikes during off-peak hours, but due to bridge and tunnel restrictions, it is very difficult to bike into Boston's mainland from Chelsea and East Boston during rush hour. Davey said he would look into the issue.
Seniors living in Admirals Hill also raised concerns about service on the 112 bus, which stops running at 8:00 p.m. This leaves those traveling at night without a safe and affordable way of getting home. ACE Member Marjorie Delorey has been very active in organizing Admirals Hill residents for better service.
Riders raised a wide variety of other concerns, from bathrooms and wheelchair access in subway stations to customer service from T employees. Knowing the T will face a $150 million deficit in the coming fiscal year, members wanted to know how the T plans to improve service without implementing fare hikes or service cuts, which Davey said are "not on the table right now." At the meeting, he emphasized efficiency measures as a first step.
Several Chelsea city councilors attended the meeting, as well as the chair of the MassDOT board, the director of MBTA bus operations, and the chief of transit police. Thank you to members and everyone who attended for your support and commitment to first-class public transit.