Kenmore Riders Show No Fear

Sep 25, 2008 3:16 PM. All work by , , ,

BOSTON—In the wake of last night’s MBTA public hearing and almost four weeks of community meetings, greenline riders remain uninformed or unconcerned.

At the inbound subway stop from Kenmore Square, Quincy resident Tom Devlin bolted down a flight of steps and across the subway platform only to have the doors to a Government Center train closed on him. Of the four people interviewed at the subway stop, only Devlin was aware of the service plan.

“I don’t have a lot of gripes with the MBTA,” said Devlin.

Devlin takes the green and red lines to get to work at Landmark Center. He said he prefers to take the train rather than drive because the cost of parking in Boston is too expensive. Metered parking near Landmark Center is $1.74 per hour, and garage parking is $15 per day or $25 if there is a Red Sox game.

According to Devlin, that’s a price he’s not willing to pay, even though the subway is a longer commute than driving. Devlin said that his usual red line-orange line trip usually takes him twice the time it takes to drive.

“This is me,” said Devlin as he rushed to get into an approaching train. He returned with a funny smirk on his face less than a minute later, unable to get on the packed train.

“It is what it is,” he said without complaint. Devlin got on the next train, which arrived within a minute of the over-crowded train. Within a span of six minutes, seven more inbound trains passed through Kenmore station, two were so crowded that most customers on the platform were unable to get on, like 41-year-old Jim Luongo, who arrived just before the seventh train left.

Unlike Devlin, Luongo was not aware of this year’s service plan or that it was a biennial process. The Wilmington resident said that the changes would not affect him.

“I’m just trying to get to work on time,” said Luongo, “but [the train] is never there when you need it.”

Luongo, like Devlin, said he did not have any huge disputes with the train and said that his complaint was probably a common one. He too identified high parking costs as the main reason why he does not drive to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he works. Instead, Luongo relies on the green line and commuter rail and the occasional orange line.

“It’s gotten a lot better,” said Luongo, “as long as you get to work on time.”

The MBTA Service Plan team meets tonight at Northeastern for their series of public workshops. Monday is the last chance for public input, after which the plans will be finalized and handed over to the 175 delegates of the MBTA Advisory Board for approval in the fall.



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