The MBTA has been under siege lately from riders angry about its , but amid the rancor, it received some unique feedback from an unlikely source.
Cameron Erwin, a 9-year-old Waltham resident, recently sent MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis a short letter advocating for the T to become more eco-friendly. (A copy of the letter is in the photo box to the right)
A few weeks after the Jan. 13 letter, Cameron got the chance voice his concerns directly to Davis, when he meet him at his Boston office on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Specifically, Erwin’s letter advocate for more buses in Waltham, but also for more buses that use renewable resources.
“He,” Erwin said of Davis, “was nicer than I thought he would be.”
Davis, in an interview with Waltham Patch, was grateful for the letter. He receives a lot of letters, but not many from kids.
“I think its great hearing from all of our customers, all ages, “ Davis said.
The pair discussed several topics during their meeting, according to Davis. The manager said he discussed the MBTA’s two wind turbines in Kingston and Bridgewater. The Kingston turbine is complete and powers a nearby train station, while the Bridgewater project recently received funding, according to the MBTA blog. The MBTA hopes $100,000 annually from the turbines.
Davis also told Erwin of some buses that are powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel and compressed natural gas, both renewable resources.
Erwin wrote the letter after discussing the proposed MBTA service cuts and fare hikes with his grandfather, Waltham resident William Durkee, according to Erwin’s father, Everett.
Erwin's mother, Kelly, who works as an aide for State Sen. Susan Fargo, then brought the letter to her boss, who in turn asked Davis for the meeting.
Cameron’s father said he and his wife have always tried to teach their son to get involved in issues you care about.
“Try to do something, write a letter become involved,” Everett said.
As for the proposed cuts and hikes, Erwin informed Davis of his opinion on the proposals, to which Davis said nothing is final yet. Davis said the MBTA has to close a $161 million budget gap and is working to find solution using one-time revenue sources that would mitigate service cuts.
“We’re not there yet,” Davis said.
Maybe Erwin will help solve the MBTA’s woes in the future. Davis suggested Erwin consider a career in transportation.