Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Worcester Line is Running Late

According to the SmarTraveler report on WCVB-TV this morning, the Worcester-Framingham line is running 15 to 20 minutes behind schedule "due to police action."

WBUR is airing a report this morning about transportation options beyond public transportation. The report focuses on the Route 128 Corridor, which apparently has the largest vehicle usage in the state. Every day, 250,000 vehicles use 128.

According to a piece that ran yesterday on Itemlive.com, the MBTA has scheduled a public meeting for September 22 in Lynn to discuss possible changes to the service schedule.

Yesterday The Boston Herald wrote an article about potential changes to the MBTA bus routes. The MBTA Service Plan details the bus routes that could be eliminated due to ridership.
calls for eliminating four bus routes - the 6, 48, 500 and Silver Line 3 - due to low ridership. Route 48, for example, recently had only 85 boardings during the course of 25 weekday, one-way trips.

The plan also entails scaling back on more than a dozen other bus and ferry routes in order to increase service where it’s needed most without raising fares, T officials said.

“We want to put the service where people want to travel,” T General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas said. “But this is a draft plan, and if we’re missing something about a special need, we would want to take that into account.”

State Representative Alice Hanlon Peisch is running for re-election against Dr. Larry Kaplan for the 14th Norfolk District seat in the House. The Boston Sunday Globe published an article this past Sunday about both Rep. Hanlon Peisch and Dr. Kaplan. Rep. Hanlon Peisch has been mentioned on Train Stopping in the past, due to her ongoing support of commuter rail and mass transit issues.
In the transportation arena, Peisch said she would like to see the state dedicate more funds to improving bridges, roads, and public transit.

"We have not invested in it over the past 15 years to the extent that we should have," she said. "It's become painfully obvious over the last few years."

Peisch also supports the state taking responsibility for some or all of the MBTA's debt, allowing more of its revenue from ridership fees and a state sales tax subsidy to go toward its operations. If reelected, Peisch said, she hopes to work with the MBTA to decrease delays on the local commuter-rail line, which runs through Wellesley and Natick.

"If you can't be assured the 8:15 train will show up at 8:15, then you're going to stop taking it," Peisch said. "The quality of the experience could be improved, but I think the first thing you do is improve the reliability."

She supports raising the state gasoline tax to help fund transportation projects, Peisch said, and also believes the state should consider raising additional revenue through creative ways of collecting tolls on highways that would not require building toll booths but could use roadway sensors.

"If we're going to do tolls they should be distributed equitably and not just where we happen to have tolls at the moment," she said.

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