Your Questions For MBTA Head Richard Davey?

Published December 9, 2010

Richard Davey (MBTA)

Richard Davey (MBTA)

He’s everywhere — on the loudspeaker at Park Street, on Twitter, on YouTube, and today, new-ish MBTA General Manager Richard Davey joins Radio Boston for about 30 minutes to take your questions.

There is a lot to talk about. Here is some of what we hope to cover:

  • “Quiet cars” on the commuter rail. Starting next month, the T will test no-chatter coaches on the Fitchburg and Franklin commuter rail lines. That means no cell phones, bleeding earbuds or loud conversations.
  • T ridership at a 2-year high. Davey said average weekly ridership reached 1.3 million in October. The T faces a dilemma: too few riders, and the drop in fares hurt its budget. Too many riders, and the T can’t handle the capacity.
  • New ways to raise revenue. The T has only two revenue streams: fares and proceeds from the state sales tax. When the recession hit and consumer spending fell, the T’s multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall ballooned. Davey has proposed selling officially branded T merchandise as one way to raise cash.
  • Additional cars on the Green Line. The T will test three-car trolleys on the D branch. If it’s a success — I can’t imagine it won’t be a hit with riders — the T will expand to the B line, Davey said. (Wish this had happened when I lived in Brookline.)
  • Real-time transit data. The T has steadily expanded its offering of real-time transit data for developers. All buses in the system are covered, and trolley cars are next. Davey said Green Line tracking is “several years away,” however.

What’s your MBTA wish list? What are you gripes? Here’s your chance to ask the guy in charge. Leave your questions for Davey in the comments, or tweet @RadioBoston.

Update: I live-blogged the conversation. Davey made some news.