Spare Change News
On Jan. 18 at Rosie’s Place, Lee Matsueda of the T Riders Union came to talk about MBTA proposed fare hikes. The MBTA wants to reduce service to most bus routes, increase the RIDE base fares, increase the CharlieCard fixed route base price, and institute a $5 premium fare for non-ADA (outside of fixed route service area, before/after hours, or same day) trips.
Lee and the ladies at Rosie’s had a few suggestions for the T.
1. Stop wasting money on projects that you don’t 1/23/12 5:25 PM plan on finishing. It’s been said that you invested $3.4 million into fixing the leak in the roof at Back Bay Station, but the roof is still leaking.
2. Run more buses on the popular routes and have shorter layovers in the stations. Currently, the 1 and the 66 have had 3-5 buses sitting in Dudley Station for half an hour or longer without pulling out. Out of service buses have left when the station was crowded, and people had to wait for over an hour to catch the next bus.
3. Leave the 34E alone – or, if you want to improve it, run more of them and run them more often. Suburban buses quit too soon and in some cases they don’t run often enough. Consider the fact that at the Dedham Mall, some employees don’t get off work until between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., depending on their jobs.
4. Make the buses wider and get the drivers to
load handicapped and elderly passengers and baby strollers so that they don’t cause problems in the aisles for others.
5. Either put cameras on all of the buses, or get rid of them. It’s a waste to have them on some buses and not all, especially since you can monitor all fights and accidents on the buses.
6. Fix all the trains, trolleys and buses that are rusting in the yard. Fix all the new vehicles that have been breaking down and causing accidents, due to the brakes failing and the buses not responding to the drivers.
7. Get rid of the drivers with attitude problems.
8. Show more leniency toward the riders.
9. Run the Commuter Rail later. Worcester Station closes at 11 p.m. That’s too early. People go to see sporting events and concerts in Worcester. The train should run until 1 a.m. so people can get back home. It’s bad enough that you can’t get to places like Brockton on the weekend unless you take a bus or have a car, but you’ll be making things worse by not running the Commuter Rail to Brockton and other suburban towns on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s when people usually travel from the suburbs into Boston with the kids, to go to the zoo, the libraries, the museums, the aquarium, the whale watches in Boston Harbor, the Freedom Trail, or Old Ironsides.
10. Leave the elderly and disabled fares alone.
11. Don’t eliminate the water shuttles. Some people can’t get home without them because they can’t afford to pay for alternate transportation to get to coastal towns, or out to Thompson Island or Georges Island.
12. Run the SL4 and SL5 later and run the SL1 and SL2 more often. There’s a large amount of people who go to Downtown Boston and Logan Airport at all hours of the day and night. If you want to, charge a baggage fee between the hours of 11 p.m. – 4 a.m. for tourists going to the airport.
13. The E branch doesn’t need to be eliminated and the Mattapan trolley doesn’t need to have weekend service eliminated. They need more buses and trolleys running into Mattapan and the E Line needs to run more frequently.
14. Shorten lunch breaks and bathroom breaks so that the trains, trolleys and buses run on schedule. Make the driver rest areas bigger so they can do what they need to in order to care of themselves and still be punctual.
15. Make sure that when the drivers show up, they have schedules on them if a customer asks for assistance. Many drivers can’t get schedules unless they’re in the stations, and many stations run out of schedules for the popular buses.
16. Get rid of the heaters at the outdoor bus enclosures. They don’t work and they don’t make sense.
17. Put undercover officers on the buses, trains, trolleys and the Commuter Rail to prevent people from carrying weapons.
18. Fire the people caught sleeping on the job, or give them different hours which work better for meeting their needs.
19. Train all the drivers to help people who lose their money in the fare box or who they think may have difficulty. Fix the fare boxes to prevent people from losing their money in them.
20. Fix or replace the worn-out seats on the trains and buses. Fix the electrical problems on all the trains, trolleys, buses and the Commuter Rail.
BEATRICE BELL is a Spare Change News writer and vendor.