Dear Senator Brownsberger.
MBTA suffered huge delays across all service platforms in both recent storms. After being jammed underground multiple times for hours, I started to realize how our public transportation system is outdated and under capacitated. Aren’t the public transportation supposed to be the most reliable and efficient during inclement weather when travelling by car is mostly perilous and costly to the society?
I would suggest you and transportation committee members to take a T ride for each line (Green/Red/Silver/Orange/Blue) to gain first-hand experiences. (If possible, get a ride during a snow storm). You will see people suffering on un-covered platform for hours in the storm and you will also experience unbearable delay, congestion and accidents)
I feel that we need a systematic re-design at the city planning level. Extending Green-line or dress up a couple T stations will not do it. Commuter will continue to suffer until the system is changed. Most commuters cannot afford wasting hours of their life each day on an outdated transportation system.
HI Gang, I ride the T frequently and I understand your frustration!
It’s an enduring top priority for me to improve public transportation. Check out this thread for some of what we have been doing.
If we needed to learn anything from the past few days, it’s that the old equipment is not keeping up. The MBTA needs more money, anything else is really just window dressing. I really hope that has become clear to you and your fellow legislators.
I’ve always been on that page, as have most Boston legislators. The challenge is once you get out of the city.
Thanks for your responses and fighting an uphill battle for us.
But I feel that we are fighting this issue the wrong direction.
It is not the excuses such as lack of funding or inclement weather that are causing MBTA delays. It is the mindset.
The mindset that considers the current transportation system is sufficient (or even call it “world class”, what a joke!) is the number one reason why everyone has to suffer. Family lose time together; student lose educational opportunities; patients cannot get treatments;
Our economy also took a huge hit when working class waste time commuting, as productions are lost and talents would flee the city once they are fed up.
I can only speak from my experience to list a couple observations.
(Others please feel free to add. Thanks! ) And I think they can only be resolved with an open mindset.
(1) The scheduling and planning of MBTA is so outdated. Even during the most blissful days, we still have to suffer delays for trains coming into Alewife. (Because of the way platforms are designed)
(2) The location of Alewife T station is severely limited by surrounding community development and topology. If we don’t make a change and extend the red-line, this issue will only become harder to be resolved. Other MBTA lines might have similar issues.
(3) The traffic jams around Alewife Brook parkway. The current road design have no way to handle the incoming traffic from the highway( route-2) and neighboring routes. The congested alewife brook block also forces people to diverge onto Route-60, Brighton Ave, Concord-Ave and cause wide-spread traffic gridlocks for Arlington, Belmont.
(IMHO, there is no solution unless the Alewife system is re-designed. And delaying it will only make it harder when all the open space are developed around Alewife.)
(4) One minor point, but you will see how much we are suffering: If I parked at Alewife parking garage, it would take me 20 to 30 minutes just to get out of the garage during rush hour. The garage, ramps and roads around Alewife station is a complete mess at rush hour.
I am too much focusing on my experiences but please add your own observations so that working together, we can push for a better commute.
Again, my point is that we need to address traffic, commute and congestion with an open mindset.
Transportation is a huge problem for everyone and we should not delaying address this.
If efficiency and execution continues to be a problem, we can follow the city of Hong Kong to privatize MBTA. 🙂 It worked extremely well in Hong Kong.
. . . privatization is the nuclear option. Not sure it has solved the problem with commuter rail though.
Will, this is outrageous and unacceptable. This evening, Monday, Feb. 9, the T has announced that not only is it shutting down all rail service at 7 p.m. today, but all day tomorrow, Feb. 10. This, even though the snow is supposed to stop late tonight. Their inability to maintain service is bringing the city to its knees.
The head of the MBTA should be fired. Full Stop. A day or two of snow and the MBTA shuts down because they’re afraid they will trap people. When the weather is inclement is when the people who are taxed mightily for the MBTA need it. What do they get? The MBTA hacks stay home.
All the money that was supposed to go for capital improvements and rolling stock has gone to golden parachute pensions. Just take a look at the spreadsheets that Will had to fight to surface. Now you know why Will had to fight. Ten years part-time and you get 80% of the highest year (with maximum spiking, of course) plus full medical benefits for the rest of your life.
Will, it is time to claw back the pensions. Not another penny of taxes until the MBTA gets rid of its hack infestation and gets their pensions in line the pensions that the taxpayers are or will get.
The next time folks complain about parking THIS is the reason people in Boston have to have cars. There simply is not a reliable public transportation system in this town. Have to get to work? Have to get to the hospital? Have to get to the grocery store? Walk? Uber? Bicycle? Not.
Privatize MBTA, and many other government agencies, is the solution.
Thanks, Gang, I do often ride the T, and I have done so for most of my life. I trust you know how seriously I take this problem — just browse around this site some more and you’ll see a lot about what I’ve done (or tried to do) on this issue.
I’ve spent much too much of my life waiting outside in all weather for the 86 bus, which is an underserved route in my opinion. I’m afraid Boston has missed the boat to have a good system, because they have not been investing in building subways over the past several decades rather than trolleys and buses. Anything that is done now is welcome but will be insufficient. I am grateful that Sen. Brownsberger cares about public transit, because I’m not sure most other officials do.
Thank you, Susan. We’ll keep plugging.
Comments are closed.