Is the MBTA Killing Itself?

As I stand in a near cattle-car packed South Station, waiting while no trains arrive and no trains depart (“signal difficulties”), I wonder if forces are conspiring to make MBTA service so poor that it enters a death spiral of poor reputation for reliability, increasing fares, lower ridership, less revenue, etc.. One or two long delays or canceled trains in a short time span can be ignored, but after a while it may become impossible for the T to recover the lost goodwill. There’s a saying in trademark law, “once you’ve lost a customer, they’re often gone forever.”

Are signal difficulties for real, by the way?

More on this topic: this excellent op-ed in the Globe about the importance of mass transit to the local economy and life sciences in particular; contrast with this news about what the T plans as its next big project (hint: “T TV”).

Not much good news here, either.

Is anyone listening?

[Tags]MBTA, Boston, Mass Transit[/Tags]