T should ask riders about bus stop cuts

May 12, 2011
By

When I read in the Gazette that the MBTA was going to cut bus stops on the 39 route from 33 to 25, it dawned on me that the T has done a great job of dividing and conquering JP residents to serve its own purposes for over 30 years (“Bus stop changes could come this summer,” March 18). Few will recognize that a substantial bus stop cut was one of the forecasts of the JP Arborway Committee (trolley folks) to JP bus advocates over the years; but it was. How could the trolley proponents be so clairvoyant? Well, they can remember when the T “temporarily” suspended trolley service to JP in favor of trackless trolley buses; and that temporary suspension was never reversed. Keeping track of T broken promises is a full-time job and the T management fully exploits the one common denominator among all of us—we are incredibly busy.

While I would much prefer trolley service on Centre Street, I can say that 33 bus stops shrinking to 25 will be a disaster for handicapped and elderly JP residents who need the bus to get around. These changes add a mere three football fields in length to walk to catch a bus, according to the T. How did the T come up with 25 stops? Didn’t you get your service survey in the mail? Could it be that the T, as usual, never sent one? T management has a problem spacing out bus runs, and it has a problem making runs in a timely fashion; so those of us who have seen numerous bunched up buses running right after each other and have seen substantial missed schedules are going to see T management “manage” that problem by unilaterally cutting bus stops. So to accomplish an increase in speed of the bus route, a goal none of us asked to have accomplished, T management is going to increase the burden on disabled and senior citizens who we would like to see better served. T management’s view is, “To heck with the citizens and their needs. Let’s change bus stops so T on-time statistics and we, the T managers, will look better.”

To thwart this longstanding practice of deciding service changes before consulting T users, I suggest that Mayor Menino and Gov. Patrick require the T to survey T users about service changes that are to be proposed and to meet with residents to discuss any and all proposed changes to service before any such change can even be nominated to the area at large by the T.

I have lived through some 30-plus years of T contradictions, broken promises and misleading information; and I am just totally sick of it. Let’s stop T management trickery once and for all.

Stop these bus cuts and insert a better service review process.

Frank Stone
Jamaica Plain

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