WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

Your Top 5 Ideas to Fix the T

By WGBH News

April 27, 2012
We asked how you'd fix the T, and you answered … often in very well-informed detail. In all the analysis and ideas, five suggestions emerged as the most popular.
Which idea do you like the best? Vote on Facebook.

Update, May 3: Richard Davey, head of the Mass. Department of Transportation, weighed in.
1. Expand service — more riders = more revenue


"I would put in more runs per day. If the buses between my home in Medford and my workplace in Newton were reliable and frequent, I wouldn't be driving."
— Rachel Sommer, Medford
"Add more service and reduce fares. Ridership would increase, with increased revenue."
— Kenneth Brody, Sharon
2. Have the state take back the Big Dig debt
"The first thing I would do is get the state to re-acquire the Big Dig debt from the MBTA. The MBTA spends over $100 million every year just to service the debt, which is totally unfair to its riders who want or have nothing to do with the Big Dig."
— James Lee, Jamaica Plain
3. Raise the gas tax

"I would ask the state legislature to up the gas tax another 5.1 cents per gallon and dedicate that to paying down the T's debt and making it more efficient."
— J. F. Dargon, Wareham
4. Have better PA systems so we can hear what they're saying
"Simply fixing public address systems in stations and on trains and making sure that delays are communicated effectively would make traveling by T much more civilized."
— Alicia Toney, Stoughton
5. Improve fare collection

"I rode the T daily from Cleveland Circle to Coolidge Corner in 2011. Leaving Cleveland Circle, at least 50 percent of the time the drivers would wave us on and NOT collect fares. This would happen at all the stops until I got off! No wonder the T is broke!"
— Dr. Deb Sampson, Hancock, N.H.


About WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

Love it, like it or lump it, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority touches nearly everyone's lives in eastern Mass. And it's in financial crisis, with newly announced fare hikes not enough to cover next year's projected $100 million budget deficit. WGBH News features special focus coverage of the tracks and troubles of our public transit system.

About the Author
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 

"If I Ran the T ..."

Everyone who's ever rode on the T has an opinion about what problem they'd change first. If you were in charge, where would you start? Let us know.

The Fare and Service Plan

On July 1, the T will introduce fare increases and service cuts to cover a $159 million budget gap for the next fiscal year. Read the plan on mbta.com.


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