Aloisi said yesterday that fare increases are off the table until the completion of an independent review of the T’s finances....
In June, Aloisi said at an MBTA meeting that the agency was so in need of new revenue that public hearings on fare increases should be speeded up.
But in recent weeks, the administration began painting the increases as the brainchild of Grabauskas. Last Thursday, after Grabauskas resigned, Aloisi said the increase would be reevaluated, following an independent review of the MBTA’s management to be completed by Nov. 1.
“I want those fresh eyes, and I want that independence,’’ Patrick said in an interview yesterday. “And frankly, just so there is absolutely no confusion, I have directed the secretary to suspend any more of those workshops until that work is done.’’
The call for a "fresh pair of eyes" came after Patrick gave Grabauskas $300,000 to take the fall. What Patrick didn't count on was Grabauskas releasing his trail of emails saying the 30% fare increase described as "urgent" wasn't actually needed.
Grabauskas told the Globe he was pushed out in part because the administration feared he would question the need for fare increases at yesterday’s hearing.
Patrick sidestepped questions about the issue yesterday.
“I’m not going to get into a tit for tat with a discredited former manager,’’ Patrick said. “This is not about Dan Grabauskas, try as he might to make it so.’’
But rivals say the administration has made a series of blunders in transportation. House minority leader Bradley Jones, Republican of North Reading, and Senator Richard Tisei, Republican of Wakefield, sent a joint letter to Patrick yesterday calling for the ouster of Aloisi, citing “a series of decisions and actions . . . that have been shortsighted, fiscally imprudent, and in some instances have risen to a level of gross negligence that have jeopardized the safety of our Commonwealth’s citizens.’’
Voters in Massachusetts are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but I'm having a hard time visualizing Patrick winning another election in 2010.
Time will tell!