Editorial: Investigate T funding

The MBTA budget disaster has whacked Mission Hill. Low-income seniors, hospital patients and college students are all feeling the impact. The less money you have, the more the fare hikes are biting you.

And that’s just for this fiscal year. It all would have been worse if legislators hadn’t pulled off some budgetary sleight-of-hand.

It is time for the state to get serious about solving the T budget problem permanently. Yet the only sign of action so far is the State House telling MassDOT to write a report about it.

A State House commission should be formed to hold extensive hearings into how the T got into this mess and how to get it out. That should include testimony from officials, unions and riders.

In a self-defeating, attention-seeking move, some leftist protesters have called for mass fare evasion to spotlight the T’s budget problems. A truly effective effort would be to make public transportation a core campaign issue in a hot election year. Even candidates running unopposed do not want to see blank ballots or hear voter outrage. And there should be plenty of it.

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