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russianteadrinker t1_j6ngpdc wrote

i think we need to ask why the commuter rail fares are so poorly scaled to begin with

why tf is the fare to get from Zone 1A to Zone 1 $6.50 and the fare to get from zone 1 to zone 8 $6.25

its cheaper from someone in hyde park to get to providence than forest hills. make it make sense.


giritrobbins t1_j6ogsta wrote

To a degree I understand it. If you incentivize someone from further not driving that makes life easier for everyone in between (e.g. one less driver).

Though as someone who lives next to the WR CR stop, I will never take the CR unless I have a weekend pass or work is paying for it. Even if it was 4 dollars I'd do it more often.


russianteadrinker t1_j6oijl4 wrote

i take the commuter rail because i have to but commuting from zone 1 and commuting to zone 1A is needlessly expensive. Scaling the zone 1 fare down to, say, $4.25 to mimic express buses would save a zone 1 commuter without a monthly pass about $100 a month (or probably about $50 if they scaled the pass down the same way). For a lot of T users $600-1200 a year in savings is substantial, not to mention if they also scaled down the rest of the zone fares. That would also make the commuter rail a much more attractive option compared to driving, particularly if you take the mass pike which has tolls.


oneMadRssn t1_j6olsms wrote

Those single ride fares seems fine to me. We should incentivize people that live further away to use it.

The monthly pass costs make no sense though. Someone going to Zone 1 needs to pay only $214, but someone going to Zone 8 needs to pay $388. If the difference in single fare is only 4%, why is the difference in monthly pass a whopping 81%?


borissjodin t1_j6oqct8 wrote

The single fare for 1A->1 is 6.50, for 1A->8 is 12.25 - I don't know where the 4% figure came from but the month pass seems proportionally more expensive


oneMadRssn t1_j6osser wrote

I was just using the other dudes numbers above.


russianteadrinker t1_j6opctu wrote

youre comparing zone 1 and zone 8 whereas im comparing zone 1 and interzone 8


BigHmmEnergy t1_j6opnfp wrote

Because there’s a $4 surcharge for getting off at a Zone 1A station. Eliminating that would be a good step forward


johnniewelker t1_j6oydde wrote

Hyde park to Forest hills: don’t we have busses for that? All zone 1a to zone 1 have alternate cheaper options such as the bus or the T.


russianteadrinker t1_j6pbqun wrote

"all zone 1a to zone 1 have cheaper options" which in many cases are also waaaayyyy slower and less reliable. from my experience T buses get delayed much more often and by much longer than the commuter rail. some examples:

newtonville to boston landing: 6 minutes vs 50-60 minutes with a transfer

belmont to porter: 6 minutes vs ~30 minutes with a transfer

waverley to north station: 23 minutes vs 1 hour with two transfers

wedgmere to west medford: 3 minutes vs 40 minutes including a transfer and a half mile walk

unless your zone 1 stop is on a frequent bus route or a "rapid" transit route, looking at current estimates it is anywhere from ~3 to ~15 times slower to get from zone 1 to 1A without using the commuter rail. not to mention transfers (likely outdoors and standing) and needing to walk.


[deleted] t1_j6nuxig wrote



[deleted] t1_j6nwzs6 wrote



russianteadrinker t1_j6ohhlq wrote

not right now because the only direct trains from hyde park to providence run at 9.40am and 11.15pm

but when those run the fare is $6.25

the fare calculator will tell you the same


Graflex01867 t1_j6o70d5 wrote

No, that fare is correct. I thought there’s no way that’s right, so I looked it up. It’s right. (Which is crazy.)

The inter zone fare is 6.25, for covering 8 zones. The straight fare for 8 zones is 12.25.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nypu2 wrote

Which cost isn’t true?


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6o9oh0 wrote

Interesting. On the MTicket App, it says a trip to Providence from Hyde Park is $6.25. Idk what explains the discrepancy between your link and what I’m seeing on the app. Im inclined to believe the app though because the app actually sells the tickets.


climberskier t1_j6nf7cv wrote

Could we add more frequency? Then more people may actually take the service.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nylbs wrote

We absolutely need more frequency. But the fare issue is a major issue. From Roslindale (in Boston), you can take a bus to Forest Hills (in a bus lane) that comes 20+ times an hour and transfer to the Orange Line for $2.40. Or you can take the commuter rail for $6.50 one way, plus you might need to pay to transfer.

The vast majority of people opt to save $8.20 on their round trip and just take the bus to the subway. That’s why there are about 20,000 rides on the Washington St buses and only ~1,000 rides on the Needham line.


DarkPurpleHibiscus t1_j6o1kwh wrote

It also doesn't help that the Needham Line leaves South Station at 3:55, 4:55 and 5:55... if you have to work until 4 PM or 5 PM you're going to have to wait a long time to catch the train home, so I would assume a lot of people like myself opt just to take the orange line. Which is ridiculous because I live literally a 4 minute walk from the Bellevue stop.


NEU_Throwaway1 t1_j6og46f wrote

The Fitchburg line right now too. Morning inbound trains are scheduled to arrive at 8:06 and 9:04 AM at North Station. This means there really is only one train the entire morning that gets you into the city in time for working hours.

Outbound trains depart North Station at 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM. Makes more sense if you work near North Station, but good luck making those departure times if you have a subway connection especially with the current reduced service and T shenanigans.

And I work in Watertown, so if the 70 is stuck in traffic and I miss the train at Waltham, I have to wait an hour in the cold.

The pre-covid schedule was a train approximately every half hour. Even if you missed a train, you wouldn't have to wait way too long. I've been driving in 99% of the time now and only taking the train when I'm way too tired or lazy to drive in rush hour traffic. I'd go back to taking the train immediately if they brought back one additional train during rush hour, or the express train.


trekiegirl12 t1_j6p79dv wrote

100% agree. I live in Haverhill and have taken the commuter rail a couple times in the last two weeks due to the weather. It was actually nice not to drive. I have no metric to compare the $11 one-way fair to, but as a trade off to gas, parking, and a link pass, it’s only a little more expensive without the variable of traffic. The issue is the times really mess up my work schedule as it either gets me in too early or too late. I also missed the 5:40pm train last Monday and had to wait for the next one at 6:40pm. Can’t see myself doing a 5:45am to 8:15pm work day regularly. My 3-4 hours daily commute is bad enough.


johnniewelker t1_j6oyivn wrote

You need more tracks… I’ll never understand why we don’t have more tracks. It doesn’t take that much space compared to highways


georgethethirteenth t1_j6pfltm wrote

Ugh, I understand the reason we don't get it but this was the number one reason I switched from CR to driving.

In my case, it wasn't so much frequency as the first train not being able to get me to the office in time for a daily 6:00AM. I'd grab the first train of the morning, hit Porter at 5:47 and have no shot at getting to my desk in Kendall by 6:00 (thank you multi-team collaboration and time zones).

Before I had this meeting hit my calendar on the daily I had taken the CR every morning/afternoon. It had the occasional issue, but I didn't find the fare overly excessive, it was less stressful than sitting in traffic, and I got my yearly book count to unprecedented levels - I actually enjoyed the CR.

Of course then there was Covid, a move, and a job change so I wouldn't use it anymore...but an improvement in both frequency and hours would have been most appreciated by me a few years ago.


Maxpowr9 t1_j6nce8m wrote

Like House Zoning, Fare Zoning needs an update too.

I do see Wu's point too. You have subway trains that go pretty far outside the city. Route 128 stop in Westwood is Zone 2, so it's $7 one-way. A ~15 min drive up 128 takes you to Riverside in Newton where it's $2.40.

The Fairmount and Needham Lines should be part of the Subway system too but that's another discussion for another time.


Efficient_Art_1144 t1_j6nahjc wrote

This feels a bit disingenuous to ask why the mayor of Boston only wants to cut fares in Boston and not Lynn.


Texasian t1_j6o6lea wrote

Mayor of Boston focused on Boston things. Movie at 11.


kevalry t1_j6na8zd wrote

In an ideal world, we would cut transit fares and raise gas taxes, tolls, and fees like other countries where progressives claim to want to emulate. However even suggesting raising gas prices here even by a couple of cents is like a third rail of politics. Even raising transit fares so the users have to pay for it would make sense for the average American voter but it will literally discourage transit usage as transit fares have increased faster with inflation than gas taxes have.


CJYP t1_j6pacqc wrote

It's generally not the progressives who run crying to the Republicans when people talk about raising the gas tax.

Gas tax needs to be revisited soon anyway. Once most cars are electric, the gas tax stops being meaningful at all. We need a vehicle miles traveled tax instead.


deadliftothersup t1_j6pi0db wrote

Miles and weight the way some tolls proxy by using axle/tire count. This would reflect road damage better.


TightBoysenberry_ t1_j6nbc9f wrote

conservatives and progressives in America don't want to pay for anything.

They think everything the govt does should be magically free.


3720-To-One t1_j6ngwiy wrote

Lol. Yeah, except progressives do want to pay for things via taxation.

It’s conservatives who think stable and desirable societies don’t cost anything.


TightBoysenberry_ t1_j6nidqx wrote

talk to any progressive in MA about raising their taxes or fees or whatever, and watch them immediately backpedal.

they are for lots of things, but if you suggest they pay more to see those things happen, they are suddenly not for them anymore.

same reason most of them are NIMBY and against housing, in their town or neighborhood. but 100% for it somewhere else.


corned_beef_balls t1_j6o3gl2 wrote

MA had a tax refund last year. Some of this doesn’t require more taxes.


therealcmj t1_j6oygz5 wrote

Hi. It’s me a progressive here.

Raise my taxes. Please.

Use it to provide universal pre-k. Feed kids free lunch at school. Provide free after school programs. Free subway service for all city residents. Lower T fares for commuter rail. Raise on street parking prices. Tax the fuck out of parking lots in the city. Add a congestion tax.

K thx


DarkPurpleHibiscus t1_j6nxut1 wrote

Sounds like you've been listening to conservatives lying to other conservatives about what progressives are like.


TightBoysenberry_ t1_j6o1ay9 wrote

Most people are hypocrites. Has nothing to do with what they believe.

Most of the Boston/Camberville people you talk to are all about housing and progressivism and transit and bikes!! Until they put a bike lane or new housing development on their street. Then they are vociferously against it.

Anyone I know in Davis Sq or Union Sq for example, is 100% against the new development there. Because change = bad. They live there, and nobody else should!


10lbCheeseBurger t1_j6okupb wrote

The MBTA should be a loss-leader. It is one of the main reasons the reason the city of Boston and its surrounding boroughs attract so many businesses, young people, etc.

This shit is a Costco chicken. It shouldn't matter if it doesn't turn a profit on its own--the money it brings into the state indirecty cannot be overstated.


TightBoysenberry_ t1_j6ooqxp wrote

You can't argue that to the average citizen though, they don't understand the concept. They can't understand it... because they are stupid and ignorant when it comes to economics beyond basic arithmetic.


RoyalWater54 t1_j6nam8u wrote

As it should be. People don’t have that many options. The MBTA is one of the most poorly run public transit systems in the country.


kevalry t1_j6nbd4b wrote

Not really. MBTA has gotten worse than SEPTA but it is better than most transit systems in the USA where it is virtually non-existent.


UltravioletClearance t1_j6nd48x wrote

Two thirds of the state lack any form of inter city public transit. It's a regressive tax on people who can't afford the luxury of living in a commuter rail town. Many of whom have already been forced past 495 or into New Hampshire by gentrification and a complete failure to build housing.

Even the commuter rail system within the 1A/1 fare zones is a mess. A lot of people who live near those stations work outside of the standard 9-5 work hours so the Fairmount and Needham lines don't serve a significant percentage of Boston residents.


AboyNamedBort t1_j6o08pl wrote

So you're answer is that non drivers should give millions every year to drivers because drivers are too cheap to pay for the roads they use? The more someone drives the more welfare they get. No wonder we have so much traffic and pollution. Our ridiculously low gas tax and free parking encourages people to clog up the roads and pollute the air.


UltravioletClearance t1_j6o1j1m wrote

My answer is we should only consider penalizing driving once there is sufficient housing for everyone who works in Boston to live either in Boston or within walking distance of a commuter rail station.


dpm25 t1_j6o7n6w wrote

Is it penalizing driving to subsidize driving less?

That's a pretty hard sell.


Wizard_of_Rozz t1_j6np178 wrote

Roslindale Village is definitely in the wrong price zone.


SideBarParty t1_j6o1t8b wrote

Congestion tolls please

Every trip into downtown Boston should cost the driver a fee, which goes directly towards funding more MBTA service


giritrobbins t1_j6oh5bq wrote

And demand pricing for parking. Better enforcement of parking downtown.


johnniewelker t1_j6ozqzo wrote

I honestly think a $20 toll on 93 and 90 is overdue. The traffic is out of control


ftran998 t1_j6o6b4f wrote

Congestion tolls are a tax on the poor.


Ciridussy t1_j6obcn8 wrote

The poor are already taking public transit.


NEU_Throwaway1 t1_j6ohd02 wrote

And the poor definitely aren't paying over $20 a day to park in the city to work lmao


sock-opera t1_j6obaf2 wrote

I’ve heard this argument many times and I just don’t agree. It’s a straw man argument. By your logic, toll roads are also a tax on the poor. Or you could say taking the T is a tax on the poor. This doesn’t make sense as a toll model is a fee-for-service model just like many things in this world. Except EZpass tolls and the MBTA are tax deductible as commuter benefits. Or, we could exempt Boston residents from the congestion toll. It’s an inappropriate assumption that a congestion tax cannot be implemented without disproportionately affecting those who are low income.

Not only that, but we know that the pollution created by ICE vehicles disproportionately affects poorer residents who are more as risk for respiratory illness, so it’s not so easy to just say “drive tax bad for poor” because driving is already bad for them.

edit: typo


value321 t1_j6p19jt wrote

>Congestion tolls are a tax on the poor.

A portion of the toll revenue could be used offset costs for low-income drivers.


brufleth t1_j6nm3at wrote

The commuter rail pricing only sometimes worked when 5-day in person work weeks were the standard. Even then it was often just trading off driving less for less flexibility with cost being a wash.

Now it is a joke just like many of the MBTA's monthly pass options. They made some sense in the before times, but are silly for anyone going in 4 or fewer days a week.

So the commuter rail needs to find a new way to make sense. Dropping prices is one thing, but they also probably need more smaller trains (increased flexibility), and more proactive service for events or something. IDK. I'm not sure how you fix it, but holding the line and just expecting people to be forced into using it more (or even as much as before) is silly.


zaahc t1_j6nudab wrote

Yeah, the monthly pass costs really need a refresh. The train from Salem to North Station is $16/rt. The monthly pass is $261. There were 20 non-holiday weekdays in January, so the $261 monthly pass saved a nice bit over paying $320 for individual rides. But most people I know are only going in three days per week AT MOST. So for them, thirteen pay-per-rides this month is $208 v. $261 for the monthly pass. Plus, the savings grows every time a conductor doesn't check tickets.


man2010 t1_j6o0ldf wrote

They added the 5 day flex pass for this exact scenario


MJAMI7 t1_j6ogqb0 wrote

The 5 day flex passes can only be used within a short amount of time, and for my zone it’s $72. They have the 10 ride option for $80 but those passes are valid for 3 months. But depending on how often you go in, it’s also not cost effective. Then you add parking to any fare, and it’s even less cost effective.

And how is it the Salem fare costs the same as Swampscott, that doesn’t make any sense?! Shouldn’t Swampscott be less?


man2010 t1_j6oif5c wrote

They can be used within 30 days; that's hardly a short amount of time and it isn't based on calendar months like monthly passes are. Obviously it's not cost effective to buy them if you don't take the commuter rail at least 5 days a month, hence these being for people who commute a couple times a week. The 10 ride pack is just 10 individual tickets with no discount so I'm not sure how that's relevant (or why the MBTA even offers it). I'm not sure how you're calculating what's cost effective or not, but the flex passes are 10% cheaper than single tickets which makes it pretty easy to see how they're more cost effective. Salem and Swampscott are also in the same zone, hence their fares being the same.


MJAMI7 t1_j6ok9bh wrote

I go in 2 days a week, so neither option is cost effective for me. I didn’t realize they were in the same zone. There’s only a mile between Lynn and Swampscott, and they were different zones. You’d think they’d both be Zone 2, and Salem as zone 3.

When I took the Providence line, every station was a different zone. No matter the distance between them


man2010 t1_j6om0ql wrote

Unless you have parking included, work somewhere outside of downtown Boston, or carpool, it's almost certainly cheaper to take the commuter rail compared to driving. Regardless, even if it isn't cost effective for you personally, it is for many people who commute into the city a couple days a week but not often enough to need a monthly pass. As for the commuter rail zones, the Newburyport/Rockport line isn't the only one with multiple stops within the same zone.


MJAMI7 t1_j6oq18c wrote

Definitely cheaper and easier than driving in from Swampscott. The cost is worth the less stress from driving. It will be interesting to see if the commuter rail makes and fare and scheduling changes when the Sumner Tunnel shuts down this summer.


Krakatoacoo t1_j6o55rb wrote

Your example is great. However, it doesn't factor in price for those who need to use the subway or bus once you get into the city. The monthly pass has those fares included.


MJAMI7 t1_j6oivgp wrote

Since they put the gates in at North Station, the conductor always checks the ticket on my train. And even if he doesn't, you still need to activate the ticket to get through.


brufleth t1_j6nx3sr wrote

Sick days. Weather events. Service outages. Vacation days. Etc etc. And to your point, it isn't even all that close with a reduced work schedule anyway. It would at least make more sense if it was like the NYC subway and you only paid X times in a given time period.


babebluize t1_j6p0x66 wrote

If we want people to take public transportation it has to be cheaper and better than driving. I drive 2 hours everyday because it’s less expensive than taking the T. I would consider taking the train if it were less expensive.


kauisbdvfs t1_j6o1ucs wrote

It costs way too much for me to go to South Station from where I am in the South Shore.... $22 round trip then I have to pay for subway round trip. $26 just to go to Boston from 30 minutes away without a car.


[deleted] t1_j6nboec wrote



giritrobbins t1_j6oh2lx wrote

It is. They can run faster, they have less maintenance and issues in general. And oh yeah not beholden to the price of fuel to the same degree.


johnniewelker t1_j6ozjy2 wrote

Newark to Manhattan is roughly 12 miles or 18 mins ride in the train. That’s the equivalent of Newton to Boston… They are roughly the same price in the commuter rail

Newark to NYC is more expensive when using the Path vs the T


[deleted] t1_j6p0xkz wrote



johnniewelker t1_j6pfbq9 wrote

You are right overall. I was pointing out that NYC / NJ metro is not that special either. I currently live in NJ. I think the Septa is a bit more reliable, but overall same stuff.

We need more European style metros without the French strikes though


Main_Confidence4816 t1_j6ok0mf wrote

Why is it 400 dollars a month for a commuter rail pass? Why do we come on here and panic like 80 year olds any time there’s an announcement about making things affordable??


itsonlyastrongbuzz t1_j6nbt3m wrote

> Readville and Lynn share one thing in common: They both have MBTA commuter rail stations that are about 9 miles from the downtown Boston terminal.

And because the distance is the same, so are the fares: A one-way trip from Readville to South Station costs $7. Same for Lynn to North Station (normally anyway — at the moment the Lynn station is closed for repairs).

>But the two places differ socioeconomically: In the ZIP code that includes Readville and Hyde Park, the median household income is $81,859, according to the Census. In the city of Lynn, the median income is $64,986, and in the ZIP code of the station itself, the median income’s only $24,207. About 30 percent of households in Lynn and 46 percent in the station’s ZIP code receive food stamps; the number in Readville’s ZIP code is 22 percent.

>And so, in the name of equity, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu submitted legislation this month that would cut fares in … Readville

This is actually hilarious.


bfshins t1_j6nv6yo wrote

It is definitely a bit absurd, but just to be fair about it the Readville stop is in the city of Boston and the Lynn stop is not. The mayor of Boston doesn’t really have standing to demand a change in Lynn.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nz9ql wrote

I don’t know why people expect the mayor of Boston to be responsible for fares in Lynn on a state run transit agency.


itsonlyastrongbuzz t1_j6nwxsz wrote

A pillar of her mayoral campaign was “Free MBTA Fares” as a means of social and economic equity.

So far she’s:

  • Spent $8M in Federal COVID relief funds to make three bus routes free for two years.

  • Is now trying to make the a commuter rail stop cheaper for its affluent riders.

Maybe it’s not hilarious but it’s pretty funny.


AboyNamedBort t1_j6nzisa wrote

Again, she is the mayor of Boston, not the mayor of Lynn or the governor of Massachusetts. She is fighting for her constituents. Whats pretty funny is you not understanding that.


itsonlyastrongbuzz t1_j6o1hhy wrote

The residents of East Boston will be pleased to know that while the tunnel is closed for five months this summer and traffic is a nightmare, that their mayor made the commuter rail cheaper for people who live on the Dedham line.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nzmn4 wrote

The free bus lines mainly serve Roxbury and Mattapan, definitely not affluent places. Hyde Park and Readville are not really affluent places either. For reference, Brookline average household income is >120k.


itsonlyastrongbuzz t1_j6o0tz4 wrote

If you’re going to make bus lines in the city free, those are probably good ones ones to go with.

The problem is:

  • was that a good use of Federal money for COVID relief?

  • what do you do next year when the funds are dry?

  • is the commuter rail the best place to start serving the economically disadvantaged?


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6o22b8 wrote


Not sure. But it’s not my job to figure that out.

Yes. It absolutely is. People think of commuter rail riders as being affluent, and currently the commuter rail riders are relatively affluent…..because the poorer ones can’t afford a $13 round trip from Hyde Park to South Station. But there are a lot of people who could benefit from the fast transit in there neighborhood if the price was just cheaper. Hyde Park is not affluent. Roslindale is not affluent. These are middle class places; neither of these neighborhoods is in the top 10 richest in Boston.


itsonlyastrongbuzz t1_j6o4ip8 wrote

People think of commuter rail riders as being affluent because the commuter rail schedule is built to service white collar working hours.

They’re not designed for the hospitality or service industry, or healthcare workers working 2nd or 3rd shifts.

I sort of don’t get what you’re saying about pricing being a barrier. If $13/round trip is too expensive, what does their commute currently look like?

Are they currently driving and parking downtown for less than that?


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6o6x0s wrote

I agree. There are other issues besides just price that make the commuter rail less attractive to lower wage workers. As a white collar worker, I can set my hours around the train schedule—most low wage workers cannot.

Most transit riders in Hyde Park are taking the 32 bus to Forest Hills and transferring to the Orange Line. There are about 10,500 rides on this bus route each weekday. Another 1500 on the 24 bus to Ashmont. Only about 1000 get on or off the commuter rail at Hyde Park


bingbong6977 t1_j6obfeq wrote

JFK to Quincy center is one stop. 8 minutes. And 7 dollars.


BasilExposition75 t1_j6oqd92 wrote

If the four of us what to go into town from the Concord train, I have to drive there, pay to park.... pay $12 each for round trip tickets: or $48. So it is about $50.

I can park in town on the weekend for $20.

It is a no brainer.


Wtf_is_this1234 t1_j6pb4gf wrote

You can park downtown for half that on the weekend. You just need to know where to look.


klausterfok t1_j6nrq0e wrote

How about let's make all transit fucking free and stop punishing people for being poor or trying to limit cars on the road.


man2010 t1_j6nur4h wrote

Cutting $475+ million from a transit agency that's already looking at 9 figure deficits going forward doesn't seem like a good way to improve our public transit


AnyRound5042 t1_j6o1guk wrote

Bpd budget is in the billions including $70 million in overtime. Easy solution


AboyNamedBort t1_j6o26k8 wrote

This is America, where only drivers get things for free and somehow country music is popular. It's depressing.


ZetaInk t1_j6o3ril wrote

Sure. But it won't help much if they don't actually convert it to regional rail. People don't use it outside commuting because the service is limited. And commuters usually aren't worried about cost, given most companies provide subsidies and it will always be cheaper than driving.

At this stage, fare reductions are only capturing the (I anticipate) relatively small population of commuters comparing commuter service cost with driving to or taking the subway.

And for that small boost, you risk exacerbating existing budget shortfalls and, perhaps the only thing worse, drawing the Sauron's eye of the legislative budget hawks.

Plug for TransitMatters and their regional rail modernization plan:


tryingkelly t1_j6om7cr wrote

Public goods should be free at point of sale, if you want to encourage usage, then make them free. Pay the fare out of the city coffers


RailRoad_Candy t1_j6nb7gw wrote

Offering me a half-price ticket to ride a train that may or may not come (flip a coin) when I depend on that transportation for my livelihood...the price of the ticket really isn't the main issue at heart is it?

Not saying it's half-price but you get the point. I don't remember her running on the promise of half-baked band-aid solutions? Was that a commercial of hers that I missed?


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nyvyi wrote

The commuter rail train is very reliable. It is by far the most reliable transit in Boston. The issue is it doesn’t come frequently and it’s prohibitively expensive unless your employer subsidized it.


sihtydaernacuoytihsy t1_j6nhur5 wrote

I'm sorry, but that's the entire game.

Housing: we'll mostly defer to nimbys, but will give away land to a handful of developers and annoy everyone with ineffective rent control.

Education: we'll keep doing BuildBPS, but we'll call it a Green New Deal and staff it with recent graduates who have no business running a two billion dollar redevelopment project. (Edit: they added today (1/31/23) a new Chief of Capital Planning. I can't tell if she has any construction project management experience; she's former BPS transportation head.)

More education: black lives matter, but we'll skip the part where we adequately resource majority-black schools. Hell, we won't even guarantee the buses will run on time or translators will show up.

Climate: 400 ppm is an existential threat to the city, but you're gonna have to drive to work if you want to be on time.

Police reform: We'll fully fund the police and will not start a significant alternative social services response team. Hell, we won't won't even change the overtime rules that allow hundreds of police to make more each year than the mayor.

(I hope she proves me wrong, since her promises are largely good ones.)


sas92398 t1_j6nk2l6 wrote

She’s all about “innovative” gimmicks that don’t actually improve anyone’s life


sihtydaernacuoytihsy t1_j6nn1ih wrote

I mean the problem to me is that real solutions involve tradeoff and piss off the losers.

We need massively more units of housing, hundreds of thousands, which will require annoying the nimby's and neighborhood defenders, building over thousands of single family homes and two story businesses, etc. (I also think they should not have many affordable units; the affordability benefits should come by bending the supply:demand ratio, not from creating stupid lotteries.)

Likewise, real police reform isn't possible without pissing off the police.

Likewise, a real Green New Deal school building program will require hiring mid and late-career professionals, pissing off the campaign staffers who wanted patronage.

Don't get me started on busing, school and neighborhood integration, or bike lanes.

She's too ambitious, and maybe too much of a lightning rod, to accept those tradeoffs. The former is on her; the latter rooted in class, race, gender, and just weird GOP conservative insanity, and I feel bad for Wu on that stuff. She should be able to make hard decisions without jagoffs threatening her and her family, expressly or implicitly. I loathe the bullhorn brigade because they unduly constrain Wu's policy choices (also they're just assholes). But I roll my eyes at Wu's please-them-all attitude, too.


septagon t1_j6o06jc wrote

See: every major American city with full progressive/democrat leadership. They NEVER fix the things they claim to care about.


sihtydaernacuoytihsy t1_j6oeij5 wrote

That seems like a littttttle bit of a stretch. Many fail to live up to their own intentions, and adopt half-measures and can-kicking. Weirdly, however, crime is down, guns are down, teen pregnancy is down, unemployment is down, trash is down, education is up, incomes are up, amenities are up, in most of those cities over the course of the last couple decades.

Indeed, the reason we have the housing price crunch and the gentrification and displacement is that American cities (all major US cities are varyingly blue) have become much more desirable locations over the last couple generations. Maybe that's a result of progressive leadership, maybe it's not, but a lot of things that we cared about a generation ago are a lot better now. Change is slow and imperfect.

Edit: PS the adjective is "Democratic", when you're not watching Tucker.


AboyNamedBort t1_j6o183v wrote

A coin flip? A tiny percentage of commuter rail trips are cancelled and you are spreading lies by saying its 50%.


RailRoad_Candy t1_j6o3eqr wrote

If I need it there when it says it's going to be there, and 20/30/40/50/60 minutes goes by until it shows want to convince me that THAT is reliable transportation?

If a Train is 25 minutes late for an 8PM platform time, that Train didn't show up AT 8, it's late as hell. It DID NOT SHOW WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO. At that point I'm looking at alternate modes of transportation because I'm trying not to lose my job.

You can shove that "...spreading lies" s@#t right up your a##. People have LOST THEIR JOBS because they depended on the T to be remotely functional and remotely punctual and those people were WRONG to assume so.


Hi_Jynx t1_j6ntzbr wrote

Eh, the commuter rail is pretty expensive if you have a longish commute for a monthly pass so it probably is at least partly the issue. But the unreliability and infrequent trains is also part of the problem I imagine.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6o15wl wrote

The frequency is absolutely an issue, the reliability is actually really good. In the ~100 times I’ve taken the Needham Line I’ve never had a train more than a couple minutes late.

But the price and frequency make the bus to the subway a more attractive option most of the time.


Hi_Jynx t1_j6p8r33 wrote

Eh. I remember having to wait at the Andover station over an hour during a snow storm - one of the last times you want the train to be so delayed. I get on some level weather happens and it can/will cause delays but I really wouldn't call that reliable. Bonus because the Andover station last I was on it does not have any type of enclosed waiting area so it was not a pleasant experience not knowing when the train would come and not really being able to get out of the cold/weather at risk of missing when the upcoming train would come.


CJYP t1_j6pc7qk wrote

If the snowstorm is bad enough, every travel method will be disrupted. Driving would certainly be just as delayed, or more, along with a high risk of getting into a crash. Biking would barely work at all. Walking could work if you have the right gear, but you need to be prepared and take it slow. Flights would be delayed or cancelled. Busses might be ok, if there are bus lanes for enough of the route and the plows got to them, but even that's iffy. There just isn't a good way to travel when the snow is that bad, and holding the commuter rail to an unrealistic standard doesn't really help.


Hi_Jynx t1_j6phchs wrote

I don't know if I would call it that bad, cars were certainly still running and people were considering pooling together for a rideshare, there's just not many options further from the city.


Wtf_is_this1234 t1_j6pav9c wrote

> In the ~100 times I’ve taken the Needham Line I’ve never had a train more than a couple minutes late.

So basically, you rode it once and it came on time?

CR pre-covid had daily delays on just about every line exceeding 15 minutes.


paxmomma t1_j6nmoe6 wrote

How about they actually collect the fares? Most of the time I ride the commuter rail the conductors don't ask me for a ticket.


stellarsllama t1_j6ny911 wrote

it should be free, and we should make the car drivers pay for it (unironically, every road should be a toll road with congestion pricing)


AnyRound5042 t1_j6o1lrb wrote

All this missing revenue could be made up easily if all the double parked princess trucks from the suburbs were ticketed


DearChaseUtley t1_j6oj4le wrote

I agree with your suggestion to install congestion fees for commuters....AFTER the MBTA provides more station parking and service frequency. You cant punitively erase a behavior without a viable alternative already in place. The current lot capacity and service frequency doesn't offer that.


dpm25 t1_j6p2eac wrote

The MBTA should be reducing parking at it stations and using the land for residential development.

Train stations should be surrounded by housing and life, not parking lots.


DearChaseUtley t1_j6pdkxz wrote

Sure I guess that is the short sighted approach to never reduce congestion and commuting by single occupancy car. What’s your next brilliant idea? Bulldoze the millions of existing single family homes?


dpm25 t1_j6per24 wrote

Nothing says reducing car dependency like needing a car to safely access your local MBTA station.

Take Braintree. Surrounded by high speed 4 lane roads strip malls and a parking garage.

Only way most people get there is by car. Put some housing right on top of the station and none of those commute need to drive to the station at all.


DearChaseUtley t1_j6pfwr0 wrote

It’s not about reducing car dependency, it’s about reducing daily car use for commuting.

Implying that the avg family that owns a suburban single family home and two cars is going to trade all that in for…a condo…just to commute? Come on man.


dpm25 t1_j6pfzs6 wrote

You think housing on top of the red line would go empty?


DearChaseUtley t1_j6pgkwf wrote

I think it would be filled by people who already lack a car.


dpm25 t1_j6pgqoa wrote

Oh, interesting. So it would drive ridership of the system?

Ya don't say.


DearChaseUtley t1_j6pgys8 wrote

…by people who already use it. You aren’t solving any problems just relocating them.


dpm25 t1_j6ph7kg wrote

Where do those people who already use it live?

Who will move there when they move out to apartments on top of Braintree?

Wait. That's a net increase in ridership AND a step towards fixing our housing crisis.


DearChaseUtley t1_j6phklp wrote

I get it, you are too young to see a perspective on life other than the one you live. Best of luck with your red line commute.


dpm25 t1_j6phylo wrote

I own 3 cars, drive/bike to the Braintree MBta station for my commute.



thrillybizzaro t1_j6ojpk6 wrote

Make all public transit cheaper. Make people feel stupid for driving into the city. Everyone benefits (less traffic, less pollution).


ToadScoper t1_j6opypn wrote

What really needs to be done is regional rail, or at the very least more frequent trains on key corridors. While full electrification is required for true regional services, regional rails pilot could be implemented in the interim with more frequent diesel services on key corridors until electrification happens (I believe the previous MBTA control board considered this plan in 2021). A new off-board fare system is crucial to regional rail and really should be considered moving forward


modernhomeowner t1_j6ng2c8 wrote

If people in the city chose commuter rails (designed for longer distances) rather than a bus or subway due to the same 1A rate, would those going to Foxboro/Dedham/Norwood/Norfolk still want to ride an overly crowded commuter rail or would they start driving into work?

Perhaps a solution to still achieve Wu's goal without Foxboro people ditching the rail for their car is to leave Readville a zone 2 for the Franklin/Foxboro line, but make the Fairmont line more of a subway with the standard subway fare along it. Essentially two different fares at the same station, but just classifying the trains differently.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6nzunx wrote

The Foxborough folks would be getting on first and would have seats the whole way in. I think they’ll be alright.


modernhomeowner t1_j6o0y4o wrote

Getting home they all get on at once.


thomase7 t1_j6op8g4 wrote

Worse case you stand for a few minute until people get off at those 1a stops and then you can sit. It’s not that big a deal. Still way better than sitting in traffic in your car for an extra 30 minutes.


Victor_Korchnoi t1_j6o2uop wrote

Thanks. Didn’t realize how the train worked


modernhomeowner t1_j6o3h3e wrote

Apparently not. If people who take the train to work find it uncomfortable, whether the trip there or the trip home, they won't ride it. It's better for the transit system to have those foxboroers paying $20 a day then have the 1A people taking up space on the commuter rail when they otherwise could have taken other forms of transit with the same dollars, not taking money out of the system.


Quirky_Butterfly_946 t1_j6nehmq wrote

The No Paywall link does not give me the article, but a blank section where it would be.


jm9903 t1_j6nmqi7 wrote

More globe spam