Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grabauskas Looking Out for MBTA Users, Aloisi Sticking it to Them!

The Boston Globe today revealed some fascinating new information in the ongoing saga that is the ousting of former General Manager of the MBTA, Dan Grabauskas. As if Transportation Secretary Jim Aloisi didn’t come out of this whole thing looking bad enough, the Globe today reported that in emails between Grabauskas and Aloisi, it was Aloisi who felt a fare increase was necessary. But, as everyone had heard over the last few days, Aloisi and the Patrick Administration would like you to believe that Grabauskas was pushing the hike.

Governor Patrick and Aloisi are so caught up in their political battles that they can’t keep track of their stories. Here what the Globe reported today:

“On July 6, Daniel A. Grabauskas, then the general manager of the MBTA, wrote an e-mail to Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi Jr. questioning the need for an increase in T fares by January. Grabauskas, citing an infusion of new state sales tax revenue and federal stimulus money, said the agency could probably delay a boost in fares until 2011.

(From Grabauskas)Thanks to actions in the last month by the state legislature and the US Congress, we are close to being able to . . . spare our customers, many of whom are poor and transit dependent, a fare increase for an additional year, during the worst economic climate in 80 years.’’

Aloisi wrote back the same day to say the T should move ahead with a fare increase by January.

(From Aloisi)My reaction is that there are too many ‘ifs’ or other risks in the scenario you outline - too many things have to go right. . . . My objective here is to set the MBTA on a much stronger financial footing, and moving forward on the fare increase now seems to me to be the best and most certain way to accomplish that for the next three fiscal years.’’

After reading this email exchange, it is abundantly clear who was looking out for the MBTA users, and who was trying to stick it to them. The fact of the matter is the fare increase will be decided by the MBTA Board, who is headed up by Jim Aloisi, who was appointed Transportation Secretary by Deval Patrick. So, Governor Patrick has his hands all over this potential increase, although he is trying to spin his way out of it. The fact is Governor hand-picked the current Chairman of the MBTA Board Jim Aloisi. And it was Aloisi who wanted to pursue the January 2010 fare increase and expected Dan Grabauskas to tow the line.