06 May Airo AV Affirm: COVID-19 Murdered Massachusetts Public Transportation [OPIN
All of the money spent on public transportation was a waste. The plans to expand public transportation must be revisited. It isn’t anyone’s fault, but it’s over.
I am sad to say it, but the idea of a commuter rail line linking New Bedford, Fall River, and some of the surrounding suburbs to the public transportation network that serves metro Boston is looking more and more like a 90-year-old person in a nursing home. COVID-19 has killed again.
The virus is likely to kill off more than just the expansion of commuter rail to the SouthCoast.
The MBTA and commuter rail systems have been a constant problem for decades. The problems have become more reliable than the service itself. The non-users have been subsidizing the transportation of the users since the system started chugging down the tracks.
The Boston Globe is reporting that the folks who use the public transportation systems in Massachusetts have lost confidence in the safety of the systems’ ability to keep them safe from the COVID-19 virus. Without the revenue from the users, there is no way the MBTA and other such operations are financially viable.
According to the Globe, “Riding public transportation sparks the most anxiety, with only 18% of people saying they’d feel comfortable riding buses, subways, or commuter rails.”
It makes no sense to build more public transportation networks if people aren’t going to use them.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.