Boston Leaders Push Back Against Proposed MBTA Service Cuts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the MBTA are getting more pressure to reject proposed service cuts to the transit system that could impact thousands of city commuters.

In a press conference outside the Government Center station, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said on Monday that the cuts are "simply wrong" and may have long-term severe impacts on the city and the Commonwealth as a whole.

The mayor was joined by city, union and community representatives. He said that lawmakers are currently making progress on federal funding for transit, which may make the proposed cuts unnecessary.

"With the recent developments on the Covid-19 vaccine, we could see and we will see an increase in ridership soon," Walsh said. "With all these changes, we cannot rush this decision."

If passed, the cuts would impact not only riders but MBTA employees, including bus and train operators. They include eliminating ferry service, over two-dozen bus routes and several stops on the Green line.

Boston City Councilor and Mayoral Candidate Michelle Wu also released a statement about the proposal, saying that making the cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic is "short-sighted and dangerous."

"I am joining advocates, commuters, and fellow elected leaders in calling on the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board to prioritize health and safety during this pandemic and our economic recovery afterwards," Wu said. "By rejecting transit service cuts that will deepen racial and economic injustices."

The MBTA Advisory Board also recently found no budgetary justification to make the cuts at this time, according to WBZ-TV.

MBTA officials are expected to vote on the proposed service cuts next week.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports.

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