Many Watertown voters have traffic, congestion and public transportation at the top of their list of concerns. Many of us rely heavily on MBTA service to get to work and other essential life functions. The majority of us are deeply concerned about the environment and climate change. If you want an advocate who will be committed to addressing these concerns in the State House, then Steve Owens is your best choice for State Representative.
Steve is a transportation professional by trade and understands the complication of going from policy to complex nuts and bolts operations. As a member of the Watertown Public Transit Task Force, his commitment to the quality of our transportation services was crystal clear.
Steve wants the MBTA system brought up to a 21st century standard of technical operation. He also wants to see the organizational culture at the T become more responsive to evolving conditions and more accountable to the ridership and taxpayers. He believes that service should be increased and expanded in geographic reach so as to offer better options to more commuters.
Steve advocates for making MBTA bus service free. While this may seem counterproductive at first glance, bus fares only account for 15% of total MBTA fare revenue. Most riders will pay a fare on another segment of their journey such as the Red Line. Imagine the improvement to our service on the 71 and 73 bus lines if fare collection were not part of the routine. Free buses will also help many lower wage workers, particularly essential workers, make ends meet.
Steve envisions putting more electric vehicles on the road in public and commercial fleets as quickly technology and procurement processes permit. Commercial operators should see tax and other incentives for going electric. Steve will also advocate for the electrification of the Commuter Rail, beginning with the Providence Line which already has overhead wires. Large scale electrification will reduce diesel emissions as health and environmental impacts and improve energy efficiency.
If you are as concerned as I am about transportation and the environment; if you are concerned about how traffic and congestion detract from our quality of life, then I urge you to join me in voting for Steve Owens for State Representative. Steve will work diligently to bring about solutions to these critical problems.
Member of Watertown Public Transit Task Force