For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 25, 2021
For information, contact on behalf of the Public Transit Public Good coalition:
Orianna Tate, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-895-6783
Pressure Mounts on Gov. Baker to Stop Slashing MBTA Services and Jobs
Sweeping advertising blitz highlights Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov Polito’s short-sighted approach to public transit and constant blows to MBTA riders and workers
Boston — Deeply unpopular MBTA service cuts backed by the Baker-Polito administration will be rolled out soon, and a coalition of transit riders and workers is advertising their opposition. The Public Transit Public Good Coalition launched a sweeping ad campaign Friday, drawing attention to the harsh impact of the cuts on low-income communities and communities of color who are already disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
While deep cuts were framed initially as a necessary last resort, by December, it was clear that the cuts to service and jobs were coming from the top. Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have disregarded the needs of hundreds of thousands of current riders, including disproportionately low-income people and people of color, by suggesting service was unneeded because buses were “empty.”
“These cuts will harm communities who already have been severely affected by COVID,” said Olivia Nichols, Transit Justice Organizer, GreenRoots. GreenRoots is a member of the Public Transit Public Good coalition. “During such a severe pandemic, we should be supporting our communities of color and low-income communities. Instead, the Baker-Polito Administration is pushing measures that would restrict access to our public transit system.”
GreenRoots is a part of the Public Transit Public Good Coalition, a growing group of MBTA riders and workers fighting for an affordable and accessible MBTA system. The coalition is calling upon the Baker-Polito administration to ensure federal stimulus money received by the MBTA is used to prevent or roll back service cuts.
“The MBTA has received more than $1 billion in federal emergency aid since the pandemic started, and more is likely to come in the next few months,” said Chrissy Lynch, Chief of Staff, Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “The Baker-Polito administration should use this money to prevent cuts and improve equity and accessibility. We need better service and a reduced low-income fare to get to jobs, school, and medical appointments. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made public transit even more critical for those in need.”
The 60-sec video ad details the harm the MBTA staff and service cuts will cause amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It will air during prime-time and daytime television on top-rated television stations, including CNN, MSNBC, History, NECN and CNBC.
About Public Transit Public Good Coalition:
Public Transit Public Good is a partnership of transit workers and riders throughout Massachusetts fighting for the future of public transit. Community Labor United convenes PTPG. Visit publictransitpublicgood.org to learn more.