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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Newly proposed MBTA board still doesn’t have Boston seat

MBTA boards may come and go, but one thing seems to be forever: the lack of a Boston-specific seat on the impressive body, as has long vexed Hub residents and officials.

A new iteration of the T’s Governing Board has landed on Government Charlie Baker’s desk as part of the omnibus supplementary budget bill that both houses of the Legislature passed this week.

The new version will bump the number of seats on the new Board of Directors to seven from the former Financial and Management Control Board’s five.

One would be the governor’s transport secretary, and another would be appointed by the governor, one with experience in security, another in transportation operations, another in finance, a rider and resident of the “environmental justice” community, and labor unions. Last one from recommendation. The seventh member will come from the watchdog organization of the MBTA advisory board, and have some sort of municipal experience.

Warring factions among Boston politics periodically align behind the idea that the city deserves its seat at the table, given the fact that Boston is on upwards of $90 million in the transit authority’s $2 billion budget. . When prompted, various mayoral candidates — except Acting Mayor Kim Janney, whose office did not respond to requests seeking comment on Thursday — happily boarded the train of thought.

City Councilor Michelle Wu, who regularly focuses on transit advocacy, said she is “delighted” to re-create a board, with specially designated seats.

“But commuters to Boston should have a direct voice in the operation and planning of neighboring municipalities as well as t,” Wu said in a statement.

City Councilor Anissa Esabi-George said, “Many of our residents are using these services every day, and they need a seat at the decision-making table. I am in the state to reserve a mayor-appointed seat on the MBTA Board of Directors. As I did to the Board of Financial Management and Control, Boston residents have a real stake in our public transportation system and deserve a say when it comes to service planning and delivery. .

City Councilor Andrea Campbell said she would try to get a Boston mayor-appointed seat on the Tea Board — and on the separate but overlapping Department of Transportation board.

“As the center of the New England economy, Boston needs its own representation in directing the state’s transportation systems so that we can expand and improve our public transportation system,” she said.

Former City Economic Development Director John Barros praised the inclusion of Labor and Environment seats, but said, “There is no question that the City of Boston should have a seat at the decision-making table. The largest city in the Commonwealth, Economic Engines And as a tourist destination, it’s hard to understand why Boston is closed.

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