Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes We Can and Yes We Will

AJ's comment to yesterday's P508 late post inspired this morning's headline. Yes - we the commuters of Massachusetts will be paying for the inept management at the MBTA and the Mass Pike. Sure, the Mass Pike will ultimately be dissolved (which impacts a lot of people who depend on the Pike for employment). Dan Grabauskas appears to have an iron-clad contract, so he'll be running the T, smirking at us for the free lunches and MBTA cars until his contract expires. These are the worst cases of management, but we seem to be at a point where so many areas in the business world aren't run very well anymore.

Here's AJ's comment in its entirety:
You know, I was watching Fox News this morning, and I just had to post. I couldn't even wait and do my usual routine, commute, read about the mornings commute and comment. This was just too good to wait!

I for one, want to step forward and just say I'm honored to be one of the fine residents of the state who have been entrusted with helping to rescue the MBTA and the Pike! I don't think people have been reading this whole scenario properly. These officials have been put in place to run these agencies. Their sole jobs are to make sure the MBTA and Mass Turnpike pay for themselves, and possibly even run in the black. Yes, they're debts are in the billions. Yes, they can seem to cut internal "fat". Yes, they continue to threaten to cut lower level jobs, instead of the upper levels who make more, and are responsible for the important decisions who put us in this situation. Yes, they're still taking catered lunches. Yes, they drive agency funded vehicles in case of commuting emergencies. Yes, they've make shady-at-best investments that should find them behind bars let alone behind their cushy, seemingly untouchable desk.

But you know what? They've proven they can't do it on their own, and they've turned to us. It gives me such pride to know that my new $4 parking fee will personally help repay 8.some-odd million annually in debt. That my new $2.25 Alston-Brighton toll will help recoup something like 125 million annually, nevermind the $100 toll (approximately) I'll spend each time I use the Ted Williams Tunnel. I only wish there was more I could do to help. I'm thinking of helping collecting fares on trains that seem understaffed, like the 413 train to Worcester yesterday. The fact is, these government agencies have reached out to say, "Hey Commonwealth! We need your help! We just can't seem to figure this out, and you guys are always here to accept something you have no choice in or control over." and we should embrace that!

Picking up on my sarcasm?

The big stories today - the looming parking lot increase and the Mass Pike.

West edition of The Boston Globe started this thread yesterday about rising suburban commuter costs. Sure, gas has decreased but everything else is going up. On a side note - I saw gas priced at $1.99 a gallon last night on Route 146, but I digress.

Editorials from today's Boston Herald ("Pike plan takes toll"), Boston Globe ("A $15 billion hot potato) and The Enterprise ("Opinion: Turnpike Authority may finally disappear").

This article from today's Herald also points out some of the difficulties that arise if the tolls are removed from exits west of Weston. This is a very complex project that the state can't just run into. In trying to save money, we could end up spending more money.

What a mess.

Now on to parking. I'm including a link to this article from today's Eagle-Tribune because of the quotes from commuters. Yes, we're upset. Yes, people will pay. We just wish the T would show riders some dignity and respect by providing a better answer to the reason that they're increasing the lot fees. We all know the money isn't going to be used to maintain the lots, it is covering the T's deficit. Don't even get me started on where some pennies could be cut from the T's budget.

Finally, though this is a few week's late, here is the latest update on Helen of The Importance of Dessert's quest for information regarding the Yawkey Way stop on the Worcester-Framingham commuter rail line. She backed up her letter to Grabauskas with data obtained through a survey of MathWorks employees. Very interesting.

1 comment:

RalphB said...

Another article on the parking increase in today's Milford Daily News, Commuters upset over parking fee hike. The focus here is largely on the Franklin commuters.