Dishonest, incompetent MBTA admits failure
posted at 1/18/2012 2:35 PM EST
In an "impact analysis" document, MBTA admits--without using honest words--that its mismanagement since 2002, steadily escalating costs in the face of stagnant and declining ridership, has failed. [ Elizabeth Moore, Potential MBTA fare increase and service reductions in 2012, MBTA Central Planning Staff, December, 2011, at http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fare_Proposals_2012/Potential%20MBTA%20Fare%202012%20Impact%20Analysis.pdf ]
MBTA publicity has been flagrantly dishonest. False claims of "increased ridership" are exposed by federal reports showing stagnant system ridership after 2002 and falling ridership after 2005. [ National Transit Database, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 2011, at http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/data.htm ]
Ridership (unlinked trips, millions) by type of transit
Year 2002 2010 Change
Rapid 239 208 -13% (urban subway and trolley)
Bus 109 108 -1% (all types of bus service)
Rail 39 37 -5% (suburban commuter rail)
In the first of two proposals to change fares and services--obviously the only serious one--MBTA cuts bus service to levels resembling the early 1960s, abandoning most of the middle suburbs of Boston that include Nahant, Swampscott, Marblehead, Beverley, Danvers, Peabody, Burlington, Lexington, Dedham, Milton and Canton, plus large parts of Waltham, Newton and Quincy. [Potential MBTA, 2011, Fig. 2-1]
The second proposal is a doomday, scare tactic. also abandoning most bus service to the near suburbs of Lynn, Saugus, Revere, Winthrop, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Melrose, Wakefield, Stoneham, Woburn, Winchester, Medford, Arlington, Belmont, Needham, Quincy, Braintree, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Hingham and Hull, plus large parts of the inner suburbs: Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline.
It shows bus service cut back to levels resembling the late 1920s, when bus services were new and classic Eastern Massachusetts streetcar lines, built from the 1880s through the 1920s, were nearly all still operating. [Potential MBTA, 2011, Fig. 2-2]
In a heavily political stunt, incompetent management targets bus service, which has shown by far the most stable ridership, as a sacrificial victim--admitting, between the lines, MBTA management's protracted and gross failure to manage the costs of rapid transit, rail and subsidized taxi services.