Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the MBTA and the city's transportation infrastructure has reached a state of urgency, after derailments and delays wreaked havoc on commutes this week.
"This is at the point of urgency, on so many different levels, that we really need to start seeing some action," he said Friday, during his monthly 'Ask The Mayor' segment on Boston Public Radio.
The mayor said during the interview that 100,000 more people are working in Boston than five years ago, and 50,000 more people are living in the city.
"We need to get as much money into the MBTA and infrastructure as possible," said Walsh. "The head of the MBTA and the leadership of the MBTA need to get this money into the street quicker — they need to get more money in there."
Walsh was referring to an $8 billion investment into the MBTA, which Governor Charlie Baker announced in January. But Walsh also said he would be open to increasing revenues.
"The governor and myself went down to Washington a few weeks ago to talk about a $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion infrastructure bill. It doesn't seem they're going to do it — Congress, the Senate can't agree, the president is in his own world," said Walsh. "So the responsibility falls back to local authorities, that means the state and city. And if we need to raise revenue, we need to raise revenue."
Walsh said that a city program that doubled fines for illegal parking in some locations has proved effective for funneling money directly back into the streets and reducing parking violations.
When asked if congestion pricing would be an option for Boston, Walsh said the public transit issue comes first.
"That's not the answer to derailments on the MBTA. If we bring congestion pricing in, the understanding is that people will say, 'We don't want to pay to come into city, so we'll take public transit into the city.' So if we want to bring [in] congestion pricing we need to make sure the system is strong and reliable."