Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

It's true every day of the year, but especially on Earth Day ... if you want to help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, one of the best things you can do is get out of your car and onto public transportation. This is one of the main reasons why I take the commuter rail.

In 2008, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, the highest level of ridership in over 50 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This represents a 4.0 percent increase over the number of trips taken in 2007 on public transportation, while at the same time, vehicle miles traveled on our nation’s roads declined by 3.6 percent in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Even as gas prices fell for the second half of the year and hundreds of thousands of people lost jobs, more and more people chose to ride public transportation throughout the country,” said APTA president William W. Millar. “Given our current economic condition, people are looking for ways to save money and taking public transportation offers a substantial savings of more than $8,000 a year. That’s quite a savings.”

It is cheaper to ride the rails and when the commutes are on time, it's quite the relaxing ride. The Worcester/Framingham commutes (generally the p508 or p512 in the morning and either the p527 or p 529) have been pretty consistent as of late. Today's commute on the p508 was ahead of schedule, we arrived at South Station at 8:21 AM.

In other news, the MBTA plans to cut expenses by laying off non-union workers and transit police and freezing wages. The moves will save $4.5 million to $6 million per year, but will probably not be enough to prevent the agency's budget deficit for the coming year from going even higher than the previous projection of $160 million, MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas said.

It's a start, but the T needs to do more.


Beth said...

I noticed yesterday at the Forge Park station quite a few cars with orange tickets on them from the MBTA police. I'm guessing they're starting to catch up with people who have multiple unpaid parking violations? Have you heard anything about this?

Bill Parent said...

Hi! Where could I find MBTA on time performance for every line in 2008/2009?

Train Rider said...


Good luck! It's very hard to get on time performance stats for all lines.

You could try emailing customer service at the MBTA to see if they can help you.

I did see an article in the Globe recently that had that information ... if I can find it, I'll post it to the blog.

Train Rider

Train Rider said...

Go here to look for on time performance stats for 2007 and 2008for all lines: