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Report: The T Should Hire More Workers Faster

MBTA instructor Shanel Mercer gives Radio Boston's Alison Bruzek a short course on how to drive a bus. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
MBTA instructor Shanel Mercer gives Radio Boston's Alison Bruzek a short course on how to drive a bus. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The MBTA should add a significant number of new employees — and streamline its complicated hiring and procurement practices — if leaders of the transit authority want to succeed at taking full advantage of a growing capital budget, Pioneer Center researchers suggested.

In a report released Monday, two authors called for reforms to how the T brings staff on board and how it delegates responsibility as a way to ensure potential and planned developments can actually be achieved.

MBTA officials have on several occasions said they struggle more to spend the capital funding available to the agency than they do to identify enough revenue. The T has spent 70% or more of its annual capital budget only once since 2014, Pioneer Center authors said, and that spending target is set to increase to as much as $1.6 billion.

One key step, the report said, is following through on the T's already-identified goal of reducing its hiring process from 96 steps to 47 steps, which would allow more senior-level staff to come on board faster and better distribute project workloads.

The report also suggested using private firms to help its efforts, pointing to the Chicago Transit Authority's use of a consortium to rebuild more than 40 stations and construct three new ones.

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