Greater Boston wants a world-class future, but without a functioning transit system those hopes will go off the rails. The MBTA’s mounting troubles are evident to all of us who ride the system regularly, and individual tales of woe abound. Last week on consecutive afternoons, my normal 20-minute Red Line ride home to Central Square turned into 40-minute and 60-minute odysseys because of disabled or malfunctioning trains ahead of me.
Meanwhile, one colleague reported that one of his subway rides last week was marred by a deafening rattle and a piercing sound coming from the brakes. Earlier this week, the T happened to come up in an interview I had with MIT marine expert Judy Pederson on coastal issues. She launched into invective about how her normal 90-minute train ride from Worcester (for a mere 45 miles!) turned even slower in extreme heat or cold — or just because leaves are on the track.