Friday, May 12, 2006

Free the T!

We are delighted to return from our trip to find that Shari Sachs over at Democracy for America -- Cambridge is onboard. He too is calling for a free MBTA.

We can all contact our legislators. Other bloggers should grab this and wave it. You can see our post advancing the concept here.

We need some numbers, which I haven't had time to run yet. If you can, beat me to it, and if you do, tell us where your posts are.

Key concepts here include:
  • As a state and nation, we stupidly heavily subsidize highways over mass transit.
  • This leads to sickness and death from pollution and accidents, dreadful commutes and ugliness on and around the highways, economically indefensible reliance on oil, mostly foreign, and neglect of low- or non-polluting mass transit and bicycling.
  • We have no infrastructure that would permit real high-speed, inexpensive rail like in Europe and Asia.
I have no doubt that the cost per mile including all those factors far outweighs what true intracity and intercity mass transit would be. We have so much catching up to do, we need to start immediately.

There will be much moaning from the hide-bound hicks in the sticks and swells in the dells. They don't want to subsidize those damned city folk in Boston, Worcester, Lawrence... Make them see the benefits, and then remind them that the vast bulk of the commonwealth's funds come from the citizens and businesses of cities, funds that support very expensive roads and rails for the rest of Massachusetts. The cost per passenger mile is already carried by the cities. It's time to give back with sensible policy.

If we truly want to be in control of our nation's future, we need inexpensive, convenient and clean mass transit. Let we make that statement here.

The least you need to do is tell your state and district politicians to get with the program. Start with a free T.

Find your officials here
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