I understand that you are facing some huge deficit and need to make some very difficult decisions. I don’t envy your position because no matter what you do some segment of the population is going to be upset with you.
I have two requests that I ask you to consider. First, Do not refer to us as customers. It seems to me that the MBTA hasn’t been in the customer service industry for quite some time(at least as long as I remember). I’m not upset that the MBTA isn’t a customer service firm. In fact, it makes it easier for me to explain trains not running on time, smelling like urine, etc because I’m not a customer. I’m a user. Customer implies that I have a choice or receive a service that I desire.
In fact, the only choice I made was to live CarFree (feel free to rip me for that and say that it is in fact “the choice” that I should reference above but I’m not debating this issue here so get over it) but not to be bound to certain geographic regions. I, like many others, chose to live their life in terms of work, school, proximity to home based on the fact that the MBTA offers this service. In some ways, you can argue that the people like me made that choice and must suffer the inconvenience of these changes. For a small portion of us that may be true but cutting our service (at least in my case) forces us into the realm of those that financially don’t have a choice. Please don’t cry for me or the rest of us that may be able to scrape together a few hundreds bucks, max out a credit card while piling on debt to get to and from work in our new cars. I know that gas prices have been plummeting so driving is more affordable than ever(*SARCASM*). But please cry for those that can’t do that because their family can’t take the hit. I know that there are plenty of people in Worcester that are happy to take the 90+ minute train to Boston in order to have a job that allows them to provide for the family. Most of them would happily have taken the same job in Worcester had it been an option but it just wasn’t.
I’ve gone off topic and could go on, but I’ll stop!
The second request, which I fully expect the MBTA to act on, is to buck the trend and increase service to Worcester all week and on the weekends. Due to the purely selfish nature of this request in that I want to be able to visit friends and colleagues on the weekends and get drunk with them, I REPEAT, I fully expect the MBTA to listen.
If you won’t do it for the people who need to support their families, do it for the punk 30-year-old that ditched his car on purpose but still wants to drink beers in town with his buddies!