‘We Need A Voice’: Mayor Walsh Responds To Newly Proposed MBTA Board

MBTA Red Line Derailment

MBTA Red Line Derailment from 2019. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)

By WBZ NewsRadio's Bea Aldrich, Kendall Buhl, and Karyn Regal

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Mayor Marty Walsh is speaking out after learning Gov. Charlie Baker's newly proposed MBTA board would not include a dedicated seat for Boston.

“We’re going to have a conversation about that,” Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio. “Boston is the largest payer to the MBTA. It has the largest ridership whether people are coming into Boston or not. We need a voice on that board.”

The governor’s proposal — a move that stems from the 2021 budget — would phase out the MBTA’s Fiscal Management Control Board by the end of June.

The new seven-member MBTA board is set to permanently replace the FMCB, according to Baker. The proposed budget would also pour $135 million dollars into the T.

The proposal calls for the board to have a seat that would represent all the communities that pay into the MBTA, as well as seats for the secretary of transportation, appointed experts, and a T rider.

On Twitter, Mayor Walsh said he commends the governor for the proposal “to add a municipal appointee” to the board and looks forward to "reviewing his full proposal.” But, he added that Boston needs a seat as the “largest payer” into the T.

“I will continue to advocate for Boston having a dedicated voice on the board,” Walsh said.

Last summer, residents grew increasingly frustrated with the T’s service following a series of derailments and delays. The mayor was one of many city officials to speak out about the failures in service, and wrote on Twitter in June that the MBTA needed to “reinstate a local seat on the oversight board.” This was a comment he referenced in response to Wednesday’s proposal.

Gov. Baker said that many communities outside of the Boston use the T.

“There are 154, 164 communities that are part of the T’s service area," Baker said. "I think having them make a decision about who they believe is going to be best able to represent their interests is a better way to go than just picking one over another."

Listen to the the full conversation between WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) and Mayor Marty Walsh:

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