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As your cell phone and computer clocks were automatically setting themselves back in the wee hours of Sunday morning, there was a similarly abstract-yet-important change taking place: The Commonwealth's disparate, sprawling transportation agencies merged into one big super-agency.
The merger has been, and will continue to be, an administrative nightmare. Radically different union contracts have to be reconciled, and lot of people probably have to be let go or have their compensation cut in order to realize the big savings that consolidation is supposed to yeild.
But even if you're not a toll taker or a member of the Carmen's Union, there's still a reason to care about this merger: there are some very big, very controversial choices about transportation financing on the horizon. Apart from the legislature, this new MassDOT (with its new board) is the venue in which those choices will be debated and the decisions implemented.
Should pike tolls continue to help pay for Big Dig tunnels that many pike commuters never use? (Some vocal folks think not.) Should we toll I-93? Should we raise the gas tax to help pay for the MBTA's crushing debt? Whatever happened to the Oregon-style mileage chips the Governor said he wanted to put on our cars?
Let the new MassDOT honcho Jeff Mullan know what you think this Friday @ 1, when he comes on our show. Also on the guest list is now-Former Mass. Executive Office of Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, who we imagine might have some interesting parting observations.
This program aired on November 6, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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