The 111 bus: a microcosm of commuter misery
Crowded bus just another sign of a gap in city planning
I read the article on the crowded 111 bus from Chelsea (“Uneasy riders,” Page A1, Aug. 15). Every day it seems there is an article on crowded highways, nonfunctioning subway lines, crowded commuter rail, and full parking lots. And every day it seems there also is an article on new construction: at the Seaport, taller-than-ever buildings around town, and more exclusive condos being built for the few who can afford them.
Boston has no long-term plan, never mind a way to support Amazon’s second headquarters (if it decides on us). There is no way for new college graduates and many others to live in the city at a reasonable rent. And apparently, there is no thought being given to the driving, commuting, and parking experiences that will only get worse.
Where are the planners? And why are we approving all this new building without a transportation plan in place?
A comfortable commute shouldn’t be reserved only for the better-off
The article regarding the 111 bus contained a key fact that is sometimes overlooked. The commuter rail, which serves a similar route, is 55 cents more expensive for a similar distance. That amounts to more than $20 dollars over a month of commuting.
The fare zones for the commuter rail should be adjusted to remove this premium and other, similar ones. This, along with more frequent and reliable service, would go a long way toward making the commuter rail a more equitable, useful, and convenient service.
A comfortable and safe commute shouldn’t be the privilege of those of greater means.
Correction: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of Matthew Petersen’s letter misspelled his last name.
A rolling case study of all that ails the MBTA
I read with renewed anger the story about problems on the MBTA’s 111 bus service.
“We wait a long time, and when we get into the bus, we can’t fit,” said one longtime rider from Chelsea. “There’s eight people on top of you. It’s scary.”
The 111 is a rolling case study of all the problems that confront the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as it seeks to improve bus service: overcrowding, delays caused by traffic and passengers who pay in cash, and frequent cancellations.
What makes these problems even worse, as the story pointed out, is that faulty bus transportation disproportionately affects lower-income workers who depend upon it to get to their jobs.
These issues are part of a larger picture that includes persistent breakdowns on the T, commuter trains that don’t run well or at all during extreme weather, overcrowded highways, and bridges in disrepair.
I lay these problems directly at the feet of Governor Charlie Baker.
As Bill Weld’s secretary of administration and finance, Baker cut his teeth on the Bay State’s intractable transportation issues. It is inexcusable that, while he has been governor, these problems have not only persisted but grown steadily worse.