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MBTA board votes to cut back service next year, if not by as much as first proposed

WBUR reports.

Background on the Covid-19 reasons for the cuts.

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How about cutting MBTA board first?

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Voting closed 37

Seriously! There seems to be so little benefit to these cuts. From the article (emphasis mine):

The service changes are part of the MBTA's efforts to close an estimated budget gap of up to $584 million for fiscal year 2022, which starts July 1, 2021. It's worth noting that T's own advisory board recently issued a report that said the transit agency overestimated its budget deficit and the cuts (as originally proposed) weren't necessary.

Poftak said Monday the transit agency doesn't have a final estimate of the savings from the modified service cuts, but it's expected to be less than the $92-95 million estimated under the original service change proposal.

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Voting closed 27

No one is riding and those that do are not paying and the Transit Police refuse to enforce fares or mandatory mask rules. In the past year fare enforcement is a joke, smoking is allowed and not one citation has been issued for not wearing masks. Overtime for the police is soaring and the Ambassadors are trying to form a union to get some protection from being stabbed or attacked in the stations.

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Voting closed 16

Just repeating what people have been saying on the Twitter:
We're going to close the Pike from Springfield to the NY State Line on weekends, right? And decrease road maintenance by 20%? And close some under-utilized exits from various freeways? And make sure everyone who lives in the exurbs will have a 10-20% longer commute every day?

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Voting closed 45

From closing roads. In fact, it probably increases costs because the state would have to pay workers to go out and put up/take down signs/barricades when the roads are closed and reopened. Road maintenance won't go down; rather, it probably goes up a bit because drivers (and more importantly, truckers) end up taking less efficient routes. That's not good for GHG emissions, either.

Further, with Covid-19 impacting supply chains, we probably don't want to make delivery of goods by truck less efficient.

If there were no cost savings from service cuts on the T, there would be no reason to reduce service.

People on the Twitter are mostly idiots.

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Voting closed 25

I don't think that the transit people on the Twitter are seriously proposing these things, they are merely making a sarcastic point that there seems to be a really big difference in how we treat transportation via car vs transportation via mass transit and how, i don't know, it doesn't seem to look particularly fair. Nor is it sensible. The T is going to save a paltry amount with this cut, they probably don't need to do it, and they are going to help to kill any kind of recovery in the Boston area by kneecapping the system that hundreds of thousands + of people use to get around every day just as people are starting to feel safe getting about their lives again.

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Voting closed 38

If roads had anywhere near as high an operating cost as transit. MassDOT's FY20 operating expenses (as in the budget) of $793 million (pulling out debt service) is under half the MBTA's comparable figure of $1.63 billion. It's almost identical to what the T spends on wages and benefits alone, and that doesn't even include what they pay to Keolis for commuter rail or to vendors for The Ride.

Without knowing how much money the Feds will print to support transit agencies, the T has to find some way to keep from going broke.

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Voting closed 19

the T has to find some way to keep from going broke.

Does it, though? The T isn't even that confident that it would go broke without these cuts; its own board says the cuts aren't necessary. FMCB seems very willing to make pessimistic assumptions about post-pandemic ridership and the durability of the work-from-home trend RE: ridership, but none of those things has actually happened yet. Planning is one thing, but making a commitment based on extraordinary circumstances and assumptions that can't be tested for another 6-12 months at the least seems... unnecessary at best.

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Voting closed 19

If car owners were actually asked to pay for anything...but we are an entitled bunch.

Excise tax is a joke and no gas tax raise in 25 years is a huge problem.

People taking transit (which makes drivers lives easier) get increases all.the.time. My 2 person household pays over $5k a year for the MBTA. My excise tax is $60.

The Governor & Mayor of this city are a huge part of the problem...they love their cars.

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Voting closed 22

Some of the T cuts won't even be noticeable to riders, and will save a lot of money. For example, the planned cuts of rush hour subway frequencies from every 4.5 minutes to every 5.5 minutes would save 20% of the operating costs during that period.

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Voting closed 17

This is a false dichotomy, because people pay for the costs of maintaining their own vehicles. If the trains were privately owned, and only the tracks were public, it would be an apples-to-apples comparison with the roadways. In this case, the costs are less about having the tracks open than they are about actually running the trains on those tracks.

If you can't be outraged without including a healthy dose of hyperbole, than your argument honestly kind of sucks.

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Voting closed 21

The T has posted signs in our neighborhood about service cuts effective December 21. The signs were already up on Monday morning, before the board meeting was held.

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Voting closed 18

Route 72 is being cut next week, the other bus changes are in March

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Voting closed 19

Once cut, services don't come back.

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Voting closed 34

That's what they said in 1987 for the E Line to Arborway...

Now, it's 20 bus routes and weekend Commuter Rail service on the majority of lines.

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Voting closed 27