T for tardy - The Boston Globe
THERE WILL always be unhappy customers in any business that measures its own performance based on "mean distance between failures." But that's reality at the MBTA, where state transit officials are trying to prepare riders for sharp fare increases in January.
...Also on the plus side, riders who use both subway trains and buses in their daily commute are in store for free transfers, which could actually lower the cost of their ride. But it is not so clear how fare increases from $1.25 to $1.70 for subway rides and from 90 cents to $1.25 for buses translate into better service for commuters. And occasional riders without CharlieCards could be looking at subway fares as high as $2.25 and bus fares reaching $1.60.
Fare increases might be bearable if they coincided with clear improvements to the T's public address systems, which evoke distress calls from distant ships breaking up at sea, and upgrades of LED message boards to include reliable arrival times for the next train. Grabauskas says that many such communication improvements will be in place by the end of 2007. Major upgrades to security systems, including radio interoperability for first responders, are also coming on line, he says.
Transit riders don't care that the T strains under debt service that consumes about a third of the authority's annual operating budget. They want reliability, safety, and cleanliness. That's what the T must provide before it can justify hiking fares