MassDOT and MBTA officials today announced the introduction of 24-hour service at a press conference held at the State Transportation Building. This move came from a recent mandate by state legislation requiring the T operate at all hours of the day. The legislature hopes to reduce the incidence of drunk driving and provide riders extra hours of service to beat delays and get to work on time.
Fifteen minutes later, the MBTA declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in an unprecedented and seemingly impossible legal manoeuvre. Luckily, state officials were on hand with shovels to symbolically 'bury' the T. General Manager Beverly Scott, Ph.D., and other public officials had to leave the ceremonies as it proved too emotional to bear, citing their years of hard work trying to get the MBTA properly funded.
The state mandate went unfunded and would have cost the T upwards of $100 million a year in raw operating costs and lost maintenance time. MBTA officials caved at the thought of having to sit through another series of public budget hearings with most complaints alluding to 'finding change in the couch' and blaming pensions, fare evaders, and corruption at the T.
'I think I'd scream if I had to sit through another person offering front door boarding as a viable solution for bridging our operating budget gap,' said a service planner who asked to remain anonymous. 'Truth is, so many people just don't read the 11-page budget reports we put out...what's the point?'
MBTA CFO Jonathan Davis was most concerned with the humiliation in having to once again endorse station naming rights as a fallacious means of bolstering advertising revenue. 'It's barely worked in New York and Philly and the 3-year renaming of State Street was hardly lucrative. We're better off converting all our trains into bars and Starbucks cafes,' he said.
Dr. Scott, said she was sad to see the historic system collapse so unexpectedly. 'In all my years working at transit agencies bringing meaningful change and reform, this was the most profoundly sad outcome I've ever seen, let alone in the history of the industry.'
Jay Walder, former MTA chairman and current CEO of MTR Corporation, operator of Hong Kong's transit system, has invited Dr. Scott over as Chief Operating Officer at over nine times the pay of her current job as MBTA General Manager. 'I was tired of getting paid many times less than my industry equivalents while also having to dodge or wage political battles with politicians simply riding popular, uninformed opinion', says Walder. 'When I heard the news, I figured I'd at least offer Dr. Scott a way out.'
The MBTA will be liquidating its assets through various televised and live-streamed auctions. Capital asset managers hope to at least get $5,000 from the auctions, valuing the oldest Green Line cars at $20 per three-car train. The tunnels and tracks have been valued at $1 per mile and will be donated to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation for re-use as homeless shelters and an underground extension to the Olmsted Park System.