The MBTA in the News . . .
CNet.com (wow - for all you techies - yes CNet!) published an article about the MIT students who found the security flaws in the Charlie Card. The state is going to ask a federal judge tomorrow to place a gag order on the students. The article even contains an email trail between EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the MBTA. This is fascinating.
I actually think these students should be commended for discovering the security flaws. It disappoints me that our state continues to use sub-par contractors in developing important projects. The T and the state should want to avoid a security breach at all costs. Look at the issues surrounding TJX, Hannafords, and The Boston Globe. And in the scheme of things - thoses three security issues were relatively minor. Electronic data needs to be processed in a very secure system.
In other news, yesterday WHDH-TV Channel 7 aired a special report on MBTA buses. Maybe they can air a similiar report on the MBTA/MBCR commuter rail system?
The Daily News had a short and direct editorial about the T today. They recommend that MBTA GM Dan Grabauskas try to things before raising fares:
- Demand that the unions accept changes in the T's ludicrously generous schedule of salaries and benefits, at least for those employees just walking in the door.
- Stop giving away service when demand is heaviest. Whenever there's a big event in Boston, people ride the T for free. It might be an inconvenience for both passengers and employees to collect fares; but when there's money to be made, the T should take advantage.
Both recommendations make a whole lot of sense to me. How about actually collecting fares and trying to run the trains and buses in a logical fashion too? And why not, if you're at it Dan-the-Man, eliminate the "vehicle" privileges for your 65 "on call" employees?
Finally, The Salem News mentions that funding for the Salem MBTA station parking garage has been approved.