Monday, October 20, 2008

Cinderella Goes to the Ball

So the baseball season ended for Red Sox fans last night. Well, at least our team made it to the ALCS. Cinderella, the Rays, are going to the Ball. Now that baseball is officially over here in Red Sox nation, it sure appears as though fall has finally arrived. It was nippy this morning.

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.


Kidney Stones said...

I took the P506 this morning, and we sat outside of Yawkey for a good 10 mins. We arrived at South Station around 8:20. This may have contributed to the delay you experienced.

What a foolish train, seriously. I get up 30 minutes earlier (which is a lot!) to arrive 3 minutes earlier (assuming the 508 is on time)?!?!?!

We need a train that leaves Worcester somewhere around 7, stops only in Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, and Ashland, and then books it to back bay.

Richard said...

I couldn't agree with you more. The P508 ended up being close to 15 minutes late this morning. They really should have two 'super' express trains out of Worcester, at say, 6:15 and 7:15. These would only stop as far as Ashland. It would be much better for the Worcester line than adding 5 more VERY slow (1.75 hour) local trains.

AJ said...


I think we all said the same when they moved the train times at the beginning of the year! We're starting when to gain 3 minutes?!?!? I feel like we spend longer at each stop even though it's not usually necessary.

They did finally announce the parking fair increase though, even though they didn't mention how much.

As for the Sox, you win some, you lose some. The Rays have been RED HOT since July and totally deserve it. The Sox didn't play well in the Games 2 through 4, and the scores reflect that. The Game 7 loss is no reflection on a bad team, but shows just how the Rays are the "perfect" team right now. They're fortunate to have both their hitting and pitching working at their peaks, and no injuries. There are very few gaps in that lineup. They deserve a World Series for the season they've put together.

Not too long ago we were cheering our Celtics for their Worst-to-First Championship. I think you really have to respect what the Rays did this season. It's pretty damn amazing!

Train Rider said...

Word to that AJ re: the Rays. You have to respect what they've accomplished this year. I'll be rooting for them in the WS although I won't watch it with as much fervor as if the Red Sox were in it.