Yesterday, building off of our ongoing advocacy on this issue and the statement we recently signed with 24 other business groups, NAIOP testified before the Joint Committee on Transportation urging legislative leaders to fix the the Commonwealth’s broken public transit system by adopting the recommendations outlined by the Governor’s Special Panel to Review the MBTA. We will continue to work with the Baker Administration, legislative leaders and business groups to advocate for real reforms that will quickly address the needs of the Commonwealth’s citizens and businesses.
NAIOP’s testimony from the hearing follows:
NAIOP Massachusetts, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Supports House Bill 3347
May 11, 2015
NAIOP Massachusetts, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, would like to express its support for House Bill 3347, An Act Relative to a Reliable, Sustainable Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
NAIOP Massachusetts represents the interests of companies involved with the development, ownership, management, and financing of commercial properties. NAIOP’s 1,600 members are involved with more than 240 million square feet of office, research & development, industrial, mixed use, retail and institutional space in the Commonwealth.
This winter, businesses across Massachusetts felt the impact of the Commonwealth’s failing transportation infrastructure. Employees simply could not get to work. The T, in particular, illustrated the negative impact an unreliable transit system has on the economy. Those who normally relied on the T, but had the option of driving, caused roadways to be more congested and commuting times to grow exponentially. There is no question that without a reliable public transit system, the economic wellbeing of the Commonwealth will continue to suffer. The time for action is now.
NAIOP and 24 other business organizations from across the state recently signed a statement urging policymakers to act quickly to make the changes needed to transform the MBTA into a modern, world-class public transit system. House Bill 3347, which includes many of the recommendations outlined by the Governor’s Special Panel to Review the MBTA, would be an important first step in the right direction.
The bill contains a number of important provisions. It will provide greater accountability and transparency for the T’s governance and management practices through the establishment of a Fiscal and Management Control Board. It sets performance metrics so progress can be measured and goals can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time. It addresses the T’s procurement and maintenance practices so that the system is safe, reliable and in a state of good repair. Most importantly, it requires the Control Board to implement a plan designed to stabilize and strengthen the finances, management, operations and asset condition of the MBTA and to ensure a safe, reliable, fiscally stable, modern transit system for Massachusetts.
We urge the Committee to give this bill a favorable report and to take the steps needed to create a world class public transit system that will meet today’s needs and accommodate the growing demands of future economic growth.