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letters | a new operator for state’s commuter rail

Time to rethink, and redouble, commitment to transit system

The announcement of a new operator of the commuter rail system gives us a good chance to think about encouraging more public transportation (“Commuter rail gets new operator,” Page A1, Jan. 9). Driving can be dangerous in winter. More important, taking the commuter rail rather than driving means fewer carbon emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.

Currently, the MBTA is not encouraging people to switch from driving as well as it might. Cost is probably the most prohibitive factor. While I can drive to Porter Square from my home for, at most, $4 in gas, the same trip costs twice as much by commuter rail while taking considerably longer.

Frequency of operation is also a problem. Trains do not run often on weekends, and there is a two-hour gap in service during the evening on weekdays. This makes the train inconvenient to those who ride it less frequently.

If the cost were lowered and additional times were added, the train would become more appealing.


Boston needs to live up to its forward-thinking reputation by providing an affordable and dependable public transportation system to its surrounding towns. The benefit to the environment and to commuters would make this a worthy investment.

Nathan Banfield