(BOSTON- March 23, 2016) State senate candidate Diana Hwang delivered almost 1,100 petitions yesterday to the MBTA’s Fiscal Management Control Board urging them to restore late night T service. The service’s last night of operation was Friday, even after a decision by the control board to cut the service drew criticism from Federal officials for failing to determine if cutting the service would unfairly impact low income communities and people of color.
Two weeks ago, Hwang, along with State Senators Linda Dorcena Forry and Sonia Chang-Díaz who have endorsed her candidacy, called on the control board to complete their equity analysis before closing the service. The analysis, which was completed last week, showed exactly what Hwang, Forry and Chang-Díaz suspected – that it will have a disparate impact on low income and minority residents.
“Over a thousand people joined me today in saying ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to decisions being made behind close doors that hurt our communities,” said Diana Hwang. “There are so many residents in the 1st Suffolk and Middlesex district who rely on the T operating at later hours on the weekend so they can go to and from work. People feel like they aren’t being listened to, and that they need a voice in the halls of power. That’s why I’m running for State Senate.”
Delivered with the over one thousand petitions from residents was the following letter:
March 21, 2016
Dear Members of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board:
The MBTA’s financial difficulties are well-known and documented. We have a history, as a state, of under-investing in public transportation and last year’s deplorable service interruptions brought this issue to a painful head. I certainly appreciate the difficult work you are doing to rectify the situation and I fully support raising the revenue we need for public transportation by increasing the tax rate on millionaires.
However, I feel strongly that we cannot cut MBTA costs at the expense of the hard working men and women who use late-night service to travel to and from the jobs they desperately need to feed and shelter their families. Your own equity analysis showed that these cuts hurt low-income riders the most. East Boston is ground zero for this concern. It is physically impossible for late-shift workers who work downtown or in other parts of the city to walk home to East Boston after their shift ends. And a cab ride can cost them hours of pay. Late-night service shouldn’t be a luxury. Rather than eliminating it on weekends we should be working towards expanding it to weekdays.
Recently, I urged the MBTA to reconsider and now, more than 1000 individuals have joined me by signing a petition asking you to do the same (see an enclosed list of their names). I ask that you do whatever you can to accommodate the transportation needs of those who so desperately rely on recently terminated late night service.
Candidate for State Senate, 1st Suffolk & Middlesex District
Diana Hwang, a Democrat of East Boston, is a candidate for State Senate for 1st Suffolk and Middlesex representing Chinatown, Downtown, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, parts of Cambridge and North Suffolk County including East Boston, Winthrop and Revere. The special election democratic primary is on Tuesday, April 12.
Source: Cayce McCabe