David D'Alessandro knows a lot about the MBTA. He led an independent review of the MBTA for then-Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2009, which was cited in MBTA general manager Beverly Scott's Tuesday press conference. He joined BPR on Tuesday to talk about the biggest issues the MBTA faces and what he thinks needs to get done. Listen to the full conversation above. Highlights below:
01:50 "The big problems are the electrical systems, the switching stations and all"of the power issues- when you're 80 feet underground that's where the safety problems are."
02:30 "Beverly Scott is wrong about the Big Dig. The Big Dig exacerbated the debt problems. (...) The real problem here isn't Beverly Scott, who is relatively new, or even the last couple of Governors, the real problem is that the legislatures been kicking the can on the MBTA system for 15 years. They keep delaying the level of funding they need... "
08:32 "How long would it take to make this system comparable to some of the better systems in America? (...) It will take at least 10 years and a really protracted and expensive plan."
10:11 "I would look to have some private sector folks take a look at this for Charlie Baker, and not let the bureaucrats look at it only. Because the bureaucrats tend to fall back on myths- 'Oh, it's the union costs,' 'Oh, it's the Big Dig', 'It's the fact that we didn't pick something 15 years ago'. The fact is- the problem is the neglect for so long because the politicians have played let's kick the can as long as we can."
13:05 "The legislature continues to hide and, you know, they try to blame it on Beverly Scott? You could have Warren Buffett in that job and it wouldn't make any difference."