couple of points:
-The media in North America very much favors a ridership approach to reporting on transit. I find the problem with this to be twofold.
Firstly, there is an overall belief that “ridership justifies existence.” Unfortunately, the way that NA is zoned and planned, exclusively for car dependency, makes this argument problematic and non-car transit will be constantly be fighting an uphill battle until urban planners address this stain on our cities. While Boston is among the least car dependent places in the country, it’s still vastly more car dependent than it should be.
Secondly, media vastly favors transit scrutiny to car scrutiny. People have elephant memories when it comes to citing cost overruns on rail-related ventures, but car related boondoggles
never even surface. Somehow, the green line extension is wasted money, yet the Allston Interchange Project is pure visionary genius.
The Herald didn’t say anything false, but I view this as a red herring to fixing our T.
As to your points about downtown Boston, I completely disagree. I commute to downtown for work from cambridge, and shop/eat often in many of the neighborhoods. A “shell of its former self” is complete hyperbole. I’m not saying Boston is the way it was pre-pandemic, but you’re acting like it’s a ghost town. Especially in the creative and service professions, Boston is more or less back to pre-pandemic numbers (save a few things here and there).
I run a nonprofit in Boston for performance. Our audience numbers are double what they were in 2019.
It’s pretty obvious the T needs to reassess its service relative to the needs of riders. The antiquated model of “commuter traffic” just doesn’t work. The purple line should adopt a regional rail model. The heavy rail lines have many issues, but simply running better frequencies with greater reliability would be a start. Lowering frequency to match ridership is not to way to improve the T.
If we throw our hands back and say “low ridership,” thats just lazy. The T is a needed, public good. It’s horrendously mismanaged, and incredibly underfunded, but I really don’t understand why ridership should ever justify need. It should be the other way around. Boston is one of the few cities in America where car ownership is not necessary, and it’s the T that makes that possible.