The Duke, a.k.a. Michael Dukakis, and I have kicked around transit fares at public hearings, the Rail-volution conference and here on Left Ahead. I say subways, trolleys, buses and commuter rail should be free. The employees should attend to safety and cleanliness, not toll collection.
The backstory is that charging high fees for fares, while spending hundreds of billions on yet more roads for polluting, cangerous, congesting, din-producing motor vehicles is asinine. Dukakis agrees in principle but thinks passengers ought to pay a nominal fee, like $1 per trip.
I contend the concept is that mass transit should be so cheap and clean and safe and efficient and reliable that only the most egocentric will drive and inconvenience the rest of us. That would leave the streets and roads to delivery trucks, buses, and bicycles. (cheer here)
This came to mind once again after this cursed winter. The Boston-area transit failed in every conceivable way. The new Gov. Charles D. Baker produced a puppet task force that started with a major fail. It never asked or responded what we expected from mass transit. Instead, Baker fell back into the same manure pile of doing the same old things, just cheaper.
No. No. No.
Let's ask the question of what we do and what we should and what we must expect from our mass transit. Have not fear or doubt. I have answers.