Sunday, April 12, 2009

Proposed MBTA cuts and Salem

The Globe has published the list of cuts the MBTA is considering.  They’re devastating.  Here are the cuts that affect Salem:

- Reduce weekday evening bus service by 50 percent after 8 PM.
- Reduce weekend bus service by 50 percent
- Eliminate service at Quincy and Lynn bus garages after 9 PM. weekdays and all day on weekends
- Eliminate highest net cost per passenger bus routes
- Moderate "surgical" cuts to bus service
- Eliminate routes due to network redundancy
- Reduce THE RIDE service area

Operations and Service Development

- Eliminate Suburban Bus Program subsidy
- Eliminate Commuter Boat Program subsidy
- Reduce THE RIDE service area to within 0.75 miles of fixed route in 29 communities

Commuter Rail

- Eliminate weekday commuter rail service after 7 PM.
- Eliminate all Saturday and Sunday commuter rail service

The impact:

  • Salem would be unreachable on nights and weekends via commuter rail.  This would cripple Haunted Happenings—we depend on the train as the main means of transportation for revelers.  It would be impossible to hold events at night if people couldn’t get to Salem at all via public transportation.
  • Salem commuters would be trapped by their cars;  as many people have pointed out, they’d have to drive into Boston if there were even the chance they would have to work late.
  • Salem bus passengers will not be able to get anywhere on the weekends if service from Lynn Garage is stopped on weekends or early evenings  (If your domestics need to shop for themselves, I guess that’s a shame.)
  • The surgical service cuts the T is considering would probably include the 451 and 465, both of which have had trouble getting ridership
  • The shuttle service that serves Peabody’s Centennial Park—an employment center—from Salem Depot is in danger.
  • Lastly, RIDE service for people with disabilities is in considerable danger of reductions.

Driscoll and Keenan need to stand up and take this as a serious threat to Salem, which has paid into the MBTA system for decades.  John, don’t wait for your masters to tell you what to do:  Pass the reforms you’ve talked about with me (over and over again) and keep this from happening.

Update:  The North Shore Alliance for Economic Development says the cuts would be devastating not only to Salem but the whole North Shore.

Update:  This story made Globe North this week (5/3), and Boston business leaders criticize the cuts.

1 comment:

Nor the Great said...

I hope this does not come to fruition. As a Salem visitor from a different state who does not travel with a car, it would kill any hopes I had of visiting Boston, Concord, Quincy or anywhere else while I visited Salem. Basically, I could go into Salem and back to the hotel in Danvers and that's it.

Thanks for the information