Touting of balanced T budget rings hollow to frustrated commuters
While it’s good news that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has balanced its books for the first time in a decade, the achievement is hardly worth celebrating when so many aspects of the transit system are quite literally falling apart (“Dueling images for the MBTA,” Page A1, Aug. 14). The notion of officials patting themselves on the back for balancing the budget rings hollow to commuters who have seen a slab of concrete fall onto a car in the Alewife garage, reducing spaces and forcing the recent closure of the garage.
There’s a new pricing plan that attempts to push riders to park at underused stations, but in the case of the Lynn MBTA parking garage, a lowered price will not accomplish what investing in its maintenance and safety would do for both ridership and the city of Lynn. Seven years younger than the Alewife station, its current state is much worse and demands immediate attention.
While fiscal responsibility is important, it’s also important to ensure that the T is a reliable system that commuters want to use to get to and from work in an efficient and safe manner. Every time the T proves unreliable, businesses lose out because their employees are late or exasperated, and our communities lose out as more people turn to private vehicles and ride-sharing services, increasing already-congested roads. Let’s see less celebrating small, administrative achievements and more investments in a system that works.
The writer is chief operating officer of SVN International Corp.