Friday, November 14, 2008

Commuting Options of a North Shore Resident

  • Driving Option A: Soon-to-be seven dollar toll, plus parking and gas, to take the Tobin or Sumner. $7/toll equates to $140/month just in tolls.
  • Driving Option B: Avoid the tolls, take Route 93 and 95. Not only is this 20-30 minutes out of the way for most (at least), it would cost more in gas, which is worse for the environment. It will also further strain the already-massive traffic on Route 95 and 93. Who knows what the effects would be?
  • Subway: $5 parking/day, $59 subway/month - amounting to a total of $199/month, plus gas or time to take the bus, assuming there's one nearby (huge assumption).
  • Rail: $2/day for parking (unless that's been raised too), $135-250/month for rail ($163 for me), plus gas or additional time to take the bus, amounting to $195-310/month.
How is any middle or working class citizen supposed to afford these fares? These expenses not only curb people from going into Boston, but they take money out of the economy. Obviously, these services need to be paid for, but there are other ways to do it. For example, businesses nearby who benefit from having their workers and shoppers shuttled to and fro could be contributing, etc. As already mentioned on this blog, a small increase to the gas tax would pay for the gap in funding for highways, whilst also helping push some people toward public transportation - and the more people who use it, the more affordable it gets. I certainly don't have all the answers, but those are just two ideas on how to reduce the burden on the middle and working classes of this state, so they have more funds to put right back into the economy and improve the quality of their lives.

7 comments:

massmarrier said...

Hmm. As a single guy, if the subway is $199 a month, including $5 a day for parking, how about a bike to reduce that to $59 a month?

Vroom.

Ryan said...

It would take me at least an hour to get to the nearest T stop - and you can't bring bikes onto the T during peak times. Plus, I'd be risking life and limb to travel the routes to Wonderland, on significant highways with no bike lanes or sidewalks, cars going 60 mph.

I could very easily walk to the rail line (about 10 minutes from my house walking), but that would be a very significant expense.

I suppose I could take the bus, since the monthly fee includes bus (I think), but that would add a significant amount of time to my commute.

tblade said...

"Rail: $2/day for parking (unless that's been raised too)"

Yep, November 15 = $4.00/day. In fact...

"The MBTA′s new rates at commuter parking facilities will continue to provide affordable parking. The new parking rate structure of $7.00/day at subway parking garages, $5.00 to $6.00/day at subway surface lots, $4.00/day at commuter rail surface lots, and $3.00/day at commuter ferry lots remains below daily parking rates charged in Boston"

http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/parking/

Ryan said...

Affordable my ass...

So, we can up that to $120/month for parking at commuter lots, on top of the expensive passes. Wow, they're a bunch of scumbags. It's time for some massive protests methinks...

massmarrier said...

And bus? The 426 appears to run through Swampscott and at the bottom goes express to Haymarket. Vot. Voila. Mira.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no reason to impliment a long overdue gas tax. The tax spreads the pain out over all residents, but the Governor has the tax hanging around his neck when he runs for reelection. Sounds like politics trumps equity for the Gov.

Ryan said...

It does, but it takes a long time to get to where I'd want it to go, and isn't running when I'd want it to be running. I typically go into the city at night, not during the day. So it's really all moot, because the T's just not open then.

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