GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

June 12, 2013

Letter: Let's be realistic about MBTA station

To the editor:

There has been a recent flurry of reporting about the MBTA and its supposed long-term commitments to the Rockport rail station, including a Times editorial (Wednesday, June 5) that set forth certain issues.

Some of these issues are financial, the magnitude of the proposal, and the prolonged delays in getting anything done.

Now, let’s get realistic and accurate. With the MBTA continually in deep financial difficulties, it seems most unlikely there will be much accomplished to improve the Rockport rail station. Since Rockport is the “last stop on the line,” along with other pressing rail needs, we need to expect little or perhaps nothing.

Even so, certain environmental issues must be addressed.

Since the MBTA stores trains in Rockport, it has a responsibility to minimize its community disruption. This includes effectively reducing the excessive and continual noise from the idling and charging train engines. It also would be helpful if the MBTA provided more complete train information readily available to residents and tourists.

Periodic maintenance and upgrading of the station parking lot would be a wise decision, too. But, if it is the MBTA’s unspoken goal to then charge daily fees for vehicular parking to justify properly maintaining the lot, it is best to leave it just as it is — in disrepair.

Such parking charges would markedly increase overall commutation costs. And, this would discourage commuters to use the trains. Commuting costs must be kept at levels that stimulate use rather than deter it.

MBTA officials need to understand this. Other long-range sources of revenue need to be sought and obtained.

MBTA officials have not been functioning effectively for a long time. Why can this be said? Just look at the ever-increasing ticket rates, the shabbiness of the trains, the poor schedule performance, the overall facilities neglect, and poor planning. MBTA officials have to become more sensitive and accountable to their missions, and to think more creatively rather than making false promises not kept, or repeatedly raising ticket costs.

JOSEPH MUZIO

Normanstone Drive, Rockport

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