Published December 9, 2010
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.
Update: I live-blogged the conversation. Davey made some news.