Massport and the MBTA are teaming up on a three-month pilot project to provide free Silver Line rides from Logan to South Station.
They need to fire the idiots who came up with this. Free rides for tourists and business travelers? Sure! Hike fares for people who ride the T every day? Absolutely!
Boston Globe actually has a really good article about it all (shocking, I know).
Massport wants to entice travelers to ride the T, so they are trying this promotion. Next bus-displays to put minds at ease, and all-door boarding too, for shortened dwell times and less frustration.
I am hoping that the efficiency of all-door boarding convinces some higher-ups that they should strive to have it all the time on all surface vehicles.
Most of the people I have seen going to the airport are business travellers with regular passes - not tourists. That may change seasonally and with time of day, but my experience is that people who work downtown use this to get to and from the airport and the southbound trains.
Whenever I'm on the Silver Line from the airport it's usually packed with disoriented convention-goers (typically trying to get to the World Trade Center or their Back Bay hotels). I guess we just ride it at different times of day.
Still, if the T is creating a better level of service for airport Silver Line passengers to entice more people to use public transit, it's really a bait-and-switch. Once those riders see how awful the operation of the rest of the system really is, those who can afford it will go back to expensive taxis or just drive their cars.
I like to think of it more like giving free rides to tourists that will be dropped in the city and will spend their money in the city which helps and boosts businesses. That's just me. I think it's a great idea to do the pilot. Also, once the business people try it, maybe they will like it enough to continue using it after the pilot is over. :) -Mea www.hertrainstories.blogspot.com
Perhaps the massport-paid-for rides will slightly offset the million a year the T is paying Massport as 'rent' to have the SL bust stops on their property...
I think you've got that backward. I think Massport pays the T a couple of million bucks a year to offset the cost of service to the Airport. Massport also purchased/owns a portion of the buses that the T uses to serve Logan.
The Globe article says that Massport keeps about 75% of Silver Line fares collected at the airport, since they paid for the buses.
Where did you hear that Massport pays the T for the service?