Friday, August 22, 2008

Smooth Friday Commute

TGIF. I can't believe this is the second to last "summer" Friday. Well, at least before Labor Day.

For a "summer" Friday, it has been a busy one. My commute was fine, very smooth. The P508 arrived in Grafton at 7:09 a.m. and we pulled into South Station at 8:18 a.m.

Boy, there is nothing like talking about fares and tolls to get the comments rolling in. Great comments to Grafton Train Rider's latest ordeal. To Anon 9:43 - your E-Z Pass suggestion is brilliant. I, for one, have never understood why Massachusetts had to go its own way and implement the "Fast Lane" program instead of E-Z Pass. A boatload of Northeastern states (NY, NJ, ME, NH, heck even RI will use it for the Newport Bridges) use it. Why did we have to be different? Different can be good and it can also be bad.

Here is The Globe's take on the Mass Pike Toll saga. Just so I don't come off as a person who promotes regional bias. Drivers who live in MetroWest and the western netherland aren't the only ones who will be impacted if the discounted tolls go away. Residents of East Boston, the North End and Southie will also lose their discounted tunnel privileges.

I will say - $.40 to drive through a tunnel that is normally $3.50 is a way better deal than the $.25 discount at the Allston-Brighton tolls and the $.50 tunnel discount extended to Fast Lane users.

To end the week, I'm sharing this article from today's Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required). Some real estate agents (including Craig Della Penna of The Murphys Realtors in Northampton, MA) are taking prospective buyers on neighborhood tours via bicycle. These Realtors are targeting buyers who are interested in alternatives to driving and may be looking for bicycle-friendly places to live.

Have a great weekend!


Keith said...

Just a point of information - the "Fast Lane" transponders in Massachusetts work on most other states' automated toll collection systems, whether it's E-Z Pass, or whatever catchy name a state decides to use. For a long time I had an E-Z Pass transponder from New Jersey, as I didn't have to pay the $25 non-refundable deposit to Massachusetts. After awhile, NJ started to charge a monthly maintenance fee, I think it was $1.50 a month, so I gave up the transponder.

Anonymous said...

The monthly fees were dropped a while ago. I have a NJ E-Z Pass and my monthly statements have no monthly charge. NY's monthly fee was eliminated also by state law. To reinforce what Keith said, E-Z Pass works in almost NE states. I've used mine in NY, NJ, ME, NH, PA, VA, and of course MA. No non-refundable deposit and you'll love cutting through tollbooth traffic as it parts before you like the Red Sea. The look on other drivers' faces is priceless!

Anonymous said...

the first train friday leaving worcester took an hour to get to get to grafton, then we were all asked to leave the train. no fares were collected as we were left on the platform waiting for 6:30 train