Congratulations to the MBTA (Buffeted by snow, MBTA workers found a new way forward. Boston Globe, February 18, 2017: A1). Congratulations to manager, Bill Walsh, for fostering a climate of creativity in his unit. Congratulations to Bill Haywood for developing the idea of a tractor snow-blower.
This story illustrates the importance of keeping maintenance activities in-house as part of the MBTA. The problem lay with Operations, the solutions with Maintenance.
If the maintenance activities had been outsourced to a contractor, it is unlikely that the contractor would have had the information needed to identify the problem (though his is probably more likely with less visible problems than a giant snow storm). It is unlikely that the contractor would have the incentive to work on a solution to the problem.
For a solution to emerge, close coupling between operations and maintenance is essential. Let us not break that link.
Sent to Boston Globe