Riders, Union Workers, Politicians Hold Virtual Rally To Decry MBTA Cuts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Passengers, union workers, and politicians came together Friday for a virtual rally against cuts at the MBTA.

The MBTA is set to receive more than $1 billion from the federal government in stimulus money to help it recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Service cuts went into effect on Sunday.

Among the participants at the virtual rally was Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“They deserve support; they deserve recognition. They don’t deserve cuts,” she said.

Sen. Warren, along with the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, has signed a letter addressed Gov. Charlie Baker urging a reconsideration of those cuts.

Jim Evers, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union, which represents transportation professionals, said his members do not deserve to be threatened with cuts after working through the pandemic, and neither do the passengers.

“We’re wondering who is going to be next,” he said.

Rep. Stephen Lynch told WBZ NewsRadio he was informed by the MBTA that there would "be no layoffs or furloughs made by either the MBTA or Keolis and the MBTA is committed to increasing service levels as quickly as possible."

In a letter to Rep. Lynch, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak expressed his gratitude to the congressman and the Massachusetts delegation in their "hard work and effort in securing additional federal funding for the MBTA in the American Rescue Plan."

Poftak said the MBTA is committed to "increasing service levels as quickly as possible on the bus and subway white running the spring schedule, with the addition of 'run as directed' buses as we are able." He went on to say that service on the Commuter Rail will increase by April 5.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.

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(Photo: Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

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