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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Globe discovers the T

News flash: The No. 1 bus between Harvard and Dudley squares runs in bunches, making it impossible to figure out when it will show up and whether you will be able to get on.

The No. 1 has the worst complaint record in the system, with the No. 66 -- that also runs between Harvard and Dudley by way of Allston and Brookline -- coming close.

But guess what Globe -- so does the Green Line's B Line. And if you did a little bit of digging you would find horror stories involving just about every public transit line in the system.

The MBTA is broken -- bad service on bad vehicles facilitated by bad management. Anyone who pays any attention to the blogosphere knows that.

But for far too long, the Globe has ignored the mess under its nose. The ignorance is worst when it comes to this year's fare. Despite receiving a penny on the state's sales tax, the MBTA was running deficits bad enough to "require" General Manager Dan Grabuaskas to threaten service cuts -- or higher fares.

Where did all that money go? We know about the lemons purchased for the Green Line -- the low-floor Italian-made Breda cars that look sleek for the outside while failing to hold as many people as their predecessors -- at least when they weren't jumping the rails.

We do know some about the problems on commuter rail -- rolling dungeons where you swelter without air conditioning while unable to see out of windows that consistent of permanently scratched Plexiglas.

Now we get to pay higher fares for this rotten service (or at least some of us do.)

So it's nice to see the Globe has finally discovered there are problems with our public transit system. Let me add something else for you to look at -- what has been the result of higher fares? Is the system a little healthier or is it still hemorrhaging? Why should this public agency not report its revenue numbers monthly like other, bigger, agencies?

And I can't wait to hear about the smooth transition of those D Line repairs -- particularly with the Reservoir-Fenway branch about to shut down for the pennant race.

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