Yesterday's Boston Sunday Globe ran an article about how the MBTA is approaching dire financial straits. Due to the T's financial situation, fare increases and service cuts are very likely to occur sometime over the next 12 to 18 months. The T's budget deficit is expected to be about $142 million during the 2009-2010 budget year.
One project that may not see the light of day is the last phase of the Silver Line. This project was touched upon in both the main Globe article and in yesterday's "Starts & Stops" column. Since the T is essentially broke, the Federal Transit Administration does not want to grant matching funds, so the T won't be able to move this project to a final design until it can prove it has the money to support it.
An interesting inquiry was raised in yesterday's "Starts & Stops" column: the inability of transit riders to park at a MBTA lot and take the commuter rail to Logan. Basically, since you can't park in a T lot overnight, if you want to park your car and (to crib the slogan of a famous NY-NJ Port Authority commerical) "take the train to the plane." In reading why you can't park overnight, I'm thinking that sometimes the T should just not answer questions. This is why you can't park overnight:
Joe Pesaturo, the MBTA spokesman, said the lots are not staffed overnight, and parking is prohibited in those hours for liability reasons. He said overnight parking is allowed in several subway garages and ferry yards, which could work for passengers such as Fraser if she is willing to take the Quincy ferry directly to Logan, the Red Line from Braintree, or some other route with an overnight option.
Joe - let me ask you a question - have you actually been to a MBTA commuter rail lot? Guess what - most of them aren't staffed during the daytime. Does that mean we shouldn't park our cars there?
Good grief - what stupid answer.
Considering how much it is to park and pay tolls at the airport, you would think more people would be encouraged to use other means to get to Logan. Logan Express may not be handy to a lot of people, so why not be able to take the train. Also, what if you want to take Amtrak to NYC? Unless you park at the Route 128 lot, you really can't. So I couldn't get on a Worcester line train and either take it inbound to Boston or outbound to Worcester to hop onto an Amtrak train if I needed to park my car overnight. That's nuts, huh?The Stop the Pike Hike protest tomorrow has been altered. Instead of not using the Mass Pike, the organizers have asked participants to not use their Fast Lane transponder and to pay in cash instead. They recommend paying with coins. Read all about it in this report from WBZ.