Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shell game

During the past fortnight, it's been the North Shore's turn for MBTA hearings proposing cost-cutting by service cuts. The friendly natives have been turning out in large numbers to register their comments: carrying torches and pitchforks.

The sheer idiocy of most of the proposals cast some doubt on how serious the T really is about service cuts. In my town, the primary plan would cut out the route that passes through the only shopping area within five miles: brilliant. It would also eliminate at least half the express routes that connect with Logan and South Station, which have become very popular for obvious reasons. Over in Salem, the plan would virtually eliminate weekend service, and with it a major source of tourists to a city that lives or dies by its tourism. I imagine this idea must be just as popular in Rockport, up at the end of the rail line, and even more dependent on public transportation.

I suspect the T was never very serious about the service cuts. The plan seems to be to get the friendly natives to swallow fare increases without a murmur. Probably there will be some cuts too, but not as drastic as those now being trotted out. The outcome will be the worst sort of political theatre.

Once, Massachusetts public transportation was self-funded. That was inadequate in itself, but now public transportation must also bear part of the cost of the Big Dig overruns. Heaven forfend that we should ask motorists to take their fair share of that expense! And heaven forfend that we should ask the T to take responsibility for its numerous inefficiencies and overpriced perks.

So the DOT extortionate shell game continues. Film at 11.

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