Seems kind of pointless to blog today about anything other than the election (which everyone is sick of, but you can see my snarky tweets here) or the World Series (which I know nothing about), but here's an item about a very expensive commuter rail in south suburban Boston that isn't exactly on fire. From the Boston Globe's Eric Moskowitz:
SCITUATE — Three years after the Greenbush train made its inaugural run, ridership on the $534 million commuter rail extension is far below the MBTA’s projections, and those who do take it are more likely to be former passengers of the T’s own commuter boats than motorists lured away from the South Shore’s congested highways.
Last week, according to the T, an average of 2,133 weekday customers rode the line toward Boston, about half the 4,200 riders the transit agency had expected within three to five years of opening Greenbush. Even more sobering for the T is the fact that ridership in each month from October 2009 to June 2010 — the most recent month for which complete statistics are available — had dropped below the levels in the same month a year earlier.
I'm a big mass-transit supporter, but the lack of return on the Greenbush line is especially disappointing given all the lower-income cities and neighborhoods (much of Dorchester, Chelsea, Lynn, etc.) that could have much better public transit and would be delighted to use it. (See my post on "The Gentrification of Mass Transit.")
But, of course, high-income suburbs have higher voter turnout than urban areas, so legislators are more interested in pleasing them. Which means that this is an election-related post after all.