So far, it appears that the February 2008 on-time performance stats for the MBTA/MBCR commuter rail lines have not been released. Both Train Rider and I will watch for this information.
I woke up this morning and heard that the MBTA's buses are added GPS systems to some buses as part of a pilot program. Here are stories about this program from WCVB-TV Channel 5 and BostonNow.
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune published an article this morning about a possible commuter rail line station extension on the Haverhill line. The line extension could include a stop in Plaistow, NH.
This particular quote didn't make a lot of sense, since the MBTA/MBCR commuter rail has a line that originates from Providence, RI. The last time I checked, Rhode Island was still an independent state (even though it used to be part of the Commonwealth.
Part of Hoch's hesitation is due to the fact the MBTA would have to cross into New Hampshire. The authority doesn't serve any state other than Massachusetts, he said. To make the change, he said, there would be too many "bureaucratic obstacles" to overcome.
He also said that, when it comes to kvetching about the MBTA (which Bostonist does on a routine basis), "People like to pick on their transportation system." So it's all a figment of our collective imagination? This Bostonist spent several years riding MUNI and BART in the Bay Area, and, sorry, but those systems were more efficient. They definitely weren't perfect, and you can read all about that on SFist, but they seemed to be on time more often than the MBTA.
But the MBTA gets so many of the little things wrong. They would improve in the eyes of the public just by being on time more often, trying to make sure the credit-card system doesn't crash when a new month is ready to begin, and having more than one person at the ticketing window at Downtown Crossing when it's time to buy passes.
I think there second point was incredibly relevant. If the T could work to improve things, public perception would improve. As it stands, every "improvement" ends up being like a step backwards.
This region is fortunate to have a sophisticated population who has traveled to or lived in other places. I think we all get envious of "good" mass transit systems when we visit cities like Washington, DC, London, Chicago, etc. It is such a treat to ride on clean, efficient trains that get you to where you need to go on time. I particularly love DC's Metro system.