Why do public transit systems go to shit in cold weather?

So this evening on the way back to  Providence on the MBTA Commuter and announcement comes over that dispatch is ordering them to stop at Route 128 and Canton Junction. Something about that struck me as odd and I’ll explain why.

At each stop only one person got off the train. But here’s the rub – how did the dispatchers know that people go on the wrong train in the first place? Yeah – something reeks on that one. But the end result is we get into Providence at 5:50PM a full 25 minutes late. Of course the MBTA service has been shit all week. And I suspect with 12 inches of snow coming next week will be awful too.

And RIPTA true to form whenever it’s cold and snowy/rainy  – RIPTA is always late. It’s funny they put up these displays on all the shelters in Kennedy Plaza but the one for the 27/28 buses isn’t switched on yet. I wonder why. And I’m pretty sure they have GPS tracking on those buses now. In fact the level of technology on a bus has gone up seriously in the past 40 years. I remember when buses had manual transmissions, no air conditioning, no electronic fare boxes, no tracking, no traffic light holding equipment, and no cameras. Now of course all of that has changed, they’re automatics now and air conditioned. But it doesn’t make up for the fact that RIPTA is consistently late.

I’d like to see about 50 Billion dollars invested in improving public transit in the northeast region. I’m pretty sure if you got the congressional delegates from New Hampshire on down through Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island you have quite a few congress critters and senators. Maybe if they put their heads together we could get first class public transit systems.

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