I'm not sure what the deal was during my commute on the P508 this morning. We sat outside South Station for a while - at least ten minutes - so we didn't pull into the concourse until 8:36 a.m. I don't recall there being an announcement regarding the delay. I had to book it to work for a 9:00 a.m. meeting, so I'm hoping today is just an anomaly and not the start of a new trend.
Yesterday's Hartford Courant published an interesting column written by Tom Condon about Worcester. Mr. Condon actually attributes Worcester's population growth to the MBTA/MBCR commuter rail service. The column also provides a good analysis between Worcester and Hartford and why train service can help a local economy.
A letter to the editors of The Boston Globe written by Doug Anderson of Scituate was published yesterday. Doug's letter focuses on the "stealth" T fare increases in the form of increased parking fees. Doug makes some excellent points that I would love to see addressed by Governor Deval Patrick. Here are his arguments:
Why do I need to pay more to park at a commuter rail station than a driver who chooses to take the turnpike instead of the T pays in tolls? Why is the state backing up the finances of the Turnpike Authority, an agency which outlived its usefulness years ago, while suburban users of the MBTA are forced to fork over money for the urban transit workers' salary shortfall?
Should I just take the money for my $198 monthly T pass and my soon-to-be $80 monthly parking fee and put it in my gas tank? This is what current public policy is encouraging me to do. After all, there are no tolls going into Boston from the South Shore, and I could get free parking at my office.
Why does the governor seem more concerned about turnpike users than he is about T users? Where are our legislative leaders on this issue?
I know I would love to have these questions answered!Also in yesterday's Globe, the "Starts & Stops" column alluded to more transportation cuts - in the form of subsidizes to private bus companies that provide long-haul service to Boston from communities including Marlborough, Northborough, Newburyport, Taunton, Plymouth, Marshfield and Worcester. Many commuters rely on these buses as they provide a more convenient alternative to either mass transit or driving into Boston.
Finally, The Salem News published another article about the Salem's quest to build a new commuter rail station garage.