The P508 was sluggish this morning. We got to South Station at 8:36 a.m. I'm not sure what the problem was, though, as there were no announcements about the delays. Maybe there were leaves on the tracks or perhaps the train was just slow because it didn't get any extra Halloween candy. Who knows, but it was a poky ride.
The big news this morning isn't even about train news. The new Mass Pike toll both configuration went live at the Rt. 128 exit. Thanks to a kind reader, an Anonymous comment was submitted to Train Stopping this morning:
So the new tolls at 128 were in place today, there wasn't much traffic once you got past the idiots blocking three lanes to get onto 128 so i can't say how the new configuration will work out.
I can say that from my years of driving on the pike, that instead of just shifting the FLs(two fast lanes on the left with three cash in the middle and another FL on the far right), they need to ADD MORE. it's always the three cash lanes that have no lines - b/c everyone has fast lane.
they need to add one more fast lane and take away a cash - but that would make sense so i don't see it happening.
I do agree that they need to have more Fast Lane lines. I don't understand the Mass Pike - it is probably just a Massachusetts systematic issue. Other states seem to have way more E-Z Pass lines than the Mass Pike has Fast Lane lines. I'll be curious how this new configuration improves my commute into the city the next time I have to drive.In yesterday's Sunday Boston Globe (South Shore edition) there was yet another article about the increase in parking fees for the MBTA lots. The Globe obtained some feedback from administrators in South Shore towns, who basically reiterated what we have all been saying: the increase is too much and it is counterproductive for encouraging more ridership. For some cities and towns, such as Quincy, the increase means a direct local impact. People try to park in the streets and avoid paying at the lots.
Kingston Selectman Mark Beaton made the best comments:
Kingston, which has the largest lot on the line at 1,039 spots, does not face a parking problem, but Selectman Mark Beaton said the fee hike works against his community's energy-saving goals.
"This is not the time to be whacking the commuter," Beaton said. "We've been trying to take steps to improve the environment. You take a couple of steps forward and then something pushes you back one."
As for the honor boxes, Beaton said the time it takes to roll up four dollar bills small enough to squeeze them into the box with your parking space's number on it might reduce his use of trains. "I'm going to miss the train," he said. "I can't get the dollar bills into those little tiny holes."
Each dollar folds to a fat sixteenth or eighth of an inch, said Brennan. "Try to stick that through on a cold, snowy day and you will hear bad words," he said.
Right on, Mark. What did the T have to say to Mark's comments about the payment slots:
Pesaturo said that honor boxes have been in use for 20 years and have no trouble accepting multiple bills. However, he added, "Eventually, customers will be able to use smart cards (or a similar automated form) to pay parking fees."
Has Joe Pesaturo parked in a T lot anytime over the past 20 years OR is Joe one of the 60 or so T employees who gets to drive a MBTA-owned (state owned) vehicle to work? Honest to God - does the T respect their riders and our state's taxpayers at all?