As the winter season creeps into New England, residents are preparing themselves for what could be another “Snowpocalypse”—frigid temperatures and tons of snow. Parkas can be purchased, kitchens can be stocked up with bread and water… but that leaves the question of the MBTA. Will the trains be able to handle another New England winter? According to Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, it’s looking like this year should be an improvement from the last. “They’ve got new cars and locomotives coming on line,” Rosenberg said in an interview with Boston Public Radio. “Things should be better this year than last year.”


Last June, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled an $83 million plan to get the MBTA ready for winter. Rosenberg says this project should make things better for the upcoming extreme weather. “[Baker] asked for $83 million to improve the systems, the tracks, the switches and all of that,” he said. “They’ve done $82 million worth of work.”


Meanwhile, the expanding costs have thrown the Green Line’s future into question.


A consulting firm, the Berkeley Research Group, was hired to review how the estimated cost of the Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford rose from just under $2 billion to $3 billion. The research group concluded the MBTA’s contractor “worked the system” to its advantage, according to a presentation of its findings on Monday.


According to the report, the MBTA failed to implement the new procurement method, and the contract didn’t require the contractor report itemized project costs, separated the project into different parts, and enabled the contractor to negotiate for the highest price. “We need to continue to expand public transit,” Rosenberg said, “but we have to have reasonable proposals, and we have to have a way of paying for it.”


“That’s job one here,” he said. “Fixing the problems, getting in there and mixing it up and putting the management structures in place, getting the competent people there, because until people believe that they’re going to get their money’s worth, they don’t want to pay another dime in fares or taxes, or any other way.”


To hear more from Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s interview with BPR, click on the audio link above.