Also see: Riders of the Hull ferry talk about the proposed end of their commute:
And no mention of the Big Dig debt that is actually killing the agency?
I'm pretty sure I covered that in the chapter "How We Got Here" where it states that the legislature was so confident in the Forward Funding plan that it allocated $3.3 billion worth of Commonwealth Debt, mostly from the Big Dig (complete with a video of the Zakim Bridge and the Gov't Center entrance to I-95), to the MBTA's budget. I then talked about the collapse of the MA sales tax and the negative effects of purchasing mechanically defective vehicles, an sub-par automated fare collection system, and the construction of an expensive bus tunnel that cannot be completed and hasn't brought hoards of new riders into the system.
I appreciate you taking the time to watch my video and I hope you enjoyed it.
The MBTA bond debt didn't pay for the Zakim Bridge or the entrance to I-95, it paid for parts of th transit projects that the CLF required to give their O.K. for the Big Dig
The Silver Line Waterfront has about 15,000 riders on a typical weekday. Seems like it actually has brought "hoards of new riders" into the system.
15,000 daily riders is about the same as the 39 and 66 buses. It's also roughly the same as the surface portion of the C Line and a few thousand less than the E Line's surface run. Any of those get a billion dollar investment? Nope. Would a billion dollars worth of investment be better suited to improving those and other pieces of the system? Yup. Let's not forget that phase three is pretty much dead and the project will never really be completed. It's a blunder for the T. A blunder that was mismanaged and far too grand for what it turned out to be. I get the argument that South Boston's waterfront is a up and coming neighborhood. Doesn't mean it deserves the grand (slow) busway it got. That's a great example of a financial misstep from the T.
We build and maintain transit for the long haul, right? So it's not fair to judge the seaport segments of the Silver Line now when the area hasn't even begun to reach its potential. There are quite literally millions of square feet of commercial and residential space planned or under development in the seaport, precisely because of the Silver Line. Let's wait a decade or two and see what ridership is like then. This stuff takes time.
The Silver Line Waterfront tunnel cost about $600 million, not a billion. The Phase-III tunnel ould have been a billion.
15,000 riders is over a two-mile route plus the airport segment, very short compared to other service, and a very low-cost per rider to provide the service. As a comparison, the Greenbush Line cost about $500 million to build, is almost 30 miles long, and gets half of the ridership of Silver Line Waterfront. The 2-mile long Mattapan-Ashmont line, about th same distance as the Silver Line Waterfront, only carriers about a third of the ridership. And that $600 million investment is in a tunnel that will last generations. Plus the ridership will continue to grow as the area is built up.
Again, I acknowledge that the waterfront is an area experiencing economic growth but the Silver Line is far too grand for the purpose it serves. Look at the amount of detail (and money) that went into Courthouse Station. According to the T's Blue Book Courthouse has an average of 912 entries per day. That's about 40 more than Riverway Station on the Green Line. Difference between the two? Courthouse has chrome plated walls, huge cement columns, grand staircases, and a lobby that could hold a political convention. Riverway is a corner on a street with no signage (save for a 'trolley stop here' sign on the OB). While ridership may improve as business expands (focus on the word may as you cannot always predict the future), there is no reason a tunnel to the grand scale we got today was built. All things considered they'd have been better off creating a bus route with a dedicated right-of-way through Downtown and South Boston to the Airport like they have on Washington Street. You cannot deny that the Silver Line was a financial mistake by the T.
Again, way too early to make the call on the Silver Line, especially considering the growth of the surrounding area.
The developer McCourt paid for part of Courthouse station. 40 years from now, the $600 million paid to build that tunnel will seem like chicken feed and the tunnel will still be there. I again point out that a large part of the Silver Line Waterfront costs came from federal money, while the MBTA had to pay the entire cost of building the Greenbush Line because the feds would not pay for it.If you want to zero in on a project that was a financial drain and has been a poor performer ridership wise, Greenbush is a much better example than Silver Line waterfront.
I missed that, possibly while multitasking.
The part about cutting the E line service down to Forest Hills is very one-sided. There are many people in JP who will argue that the 39 is the better option.
And those people are stupid. The end!
(Less choice is never a "better option" when it comes to moving people.)
running a trolley line down a road that has no room for it and that experienced less-efficient traffic flow when that line did try to squeeze down the road.
If there was any effort made to take the E-line out of the flow of traffic from Brigham Circle to Forest Hills as it is from Brigham to Prudential or along any of the other Green Line routes, we wouldn't be having this conversation. However, nobody made the effort and now the tracks are paved over, the cantenary poles are rusted away and about to be taken down and only a handful of people are left to bitch about which efficient mode of public transportation would burn less fossil fuels.
Both the E line and the 39 rely on fossil fuels to operate. From Forest Hills to Heath, though, only the 39 exists. By that virtue, and the fact that nobody has any more will or finances to build out the E line than they do to build out the Green Line extension to Somerville or to rebuild the A line.
Boston loves to grouse about what was, but shows no will whatsoever to produce solutions for what lies ahead. That's perhaps the most "stupid" thing about transit in this town. The E Line is done... the past. Think toward the future. Could a new green line run down the Riverway and Jamaicaway? Propose a solution, don't mourn the last generation's problem.
I skimmed it though. The gist I got was TRAIN BAD BUS GOOD. WHY U NO LIKE "PROGRESS"?
To which I have to say this: stop typing. Just ... stop. Slowly stand up and step away from your computer. You have no legitimacy in a conversation about the MBTA's light rail ops when you arrive with an evident vehicle-centric bias.
The only point made is that the E Line is gone and the 39 exists. Doesn't seem to favor one or the other, just states the obvious. I didn't see a "vehicle-centric" bias.
Any great transit system is a convergence of bus and rail. Portland has a great tram, but the buses still pick up a lot of the slack. New York's MTA has extensive train service, but the bus is still a key piece of the puzzle.
JP would love more rail, but it has it in the Orange Line. The E Line as it existed was unsustainable given the layout of Centre and South streets. No dedicated-lane solution has been offered, which is all you would need to convince any reasonable person of the merits of an extended E Line. Instead, E Line proponents just tell residents "the problem is your car." That's just not going to make it with anyone and is a big part of the reason that the E Line argument exists on the fringes.
We have great minds in this town. Put forth a plan and convince your neighbors. Light rail here would be great progress, but Centre/South is an increasingly transient corridor where people just don't care about a rail line that existed more than a decade ago and clogged up what is now an attractive pedestrian thoroughfare when it did.
I see someone else has pointed out the N-Judah line in SF. Let me just say that the MBTA whines too much about street running being difficult. The N-Judah runs through some really dense and busy business districts (much more attractive than Jamaica Plain, too) in the Inner Sunset, and it does so while sharing the road with mixed traffic. As do all the other light rail lines there. But here in Boston, all we hear are excuses about how our situation is "Special and Unique" and can't handle that. Bullshit. Come up with a better reason.
And hasn't exactly broadened very far within that time. It was in existence about 190 years before San Francisco was even incorporated, so that's just part of the reason it's not nearly as pliable as roads in San Francisco.
Also, don't paint the N-Judah to be something it isn't. It has an enormous right-of-way between 9th and 19th and has plenty of problems sharing the road with mixed traffic. Between 2008 and 2011, it was the most accident-prone of all the Muni's rail lines after hitting 84 vehicles during that span: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/01/n-judah-lurches-top-crash-heap
If you're pitching it as an example of a reliable alternative for JP, I'd counter with this quote from a N-Judah rider:
“The train constantly gets interrupted to the point where we have to get off and find another one,” said rider Liza Heider. “I don’t know what’s going on half the time, I just know that there is always something going wrong.”
Ye olde asphalt has been replaced many times. I can assure you from personal experience from within the last month (I happened to ride from 19th to Market while visiting) that Judah and Irving are no bigger than Centre and S. Huntington in JP. None of them are small streets (by my standards, anyhow). There is plenty of room for improvement certainly; hell, a good number of stops are just marked by a bit of yellow paint on an electric pole, but at least they are trying. Cars acting stupid is no reason to take it out frustrations on public transit. Cars also routinely run over people, but I don't see anyone calling for an end to cars on streets because of that.
84 crashes in three years is way more than can be attributed to "cars acting stupid" and doesn't seem like an ideal model. Nobody's saying the N-Judah shouldn't exist, but I could see why the T would be in no hurry to replicate the experience here. Especially when it wants to keep rail off the streets as much as possible.
I think San Francisco does a better job of plowing their streets than Boston.
Let us not forget that re-extending the Green Line to the Arborway/Forest Hills is a CA/T commitment, much like the Green Line extension to Medford. Its going to be done whether people like it or not.
And as far as your fossil fuels statement, that's a line of BS. EVERYTHING on the T uses Fossil fuels. Seriously, that argument is a moot point really, since ALL modes of the T (bus, subway, and streetcar).
I seriously doubt any residents who live along the J-Way will allow a streetcar down there? I doubt it. Its too much of a parkway and a thruway to bypass traffic South and Center streets. That and most of the westerly side of the J-Way is a park, people would come out in droves to protest it down the J-way (because they would feel it would 'lower property values' (even though it really would not) because a train would obstruct views.
The E line could easily extended back to Arborway via Center and South streets. And it would serve the most riders. And yes, a block or two differences (Center vs J-Way) would make ALL the difference in ridership.
Anyone who says differently, I highly suggest that you take a ride on the N-Judah in San Francisco. It weaves around several very narrow and more dense areas than Center Street. It seldom has problems, because people TAKE the train instead of driving or taking a parallel bus service. Imagine people taking the train instead of taking their cars to avoid taking the 39 bus... what a novel concept.
The extension of the E line just needs to be engineered right (which of course, this is the T we're talking about..), remove some parking, better enforcement of towing, etc. Or why don't we just go to the next step and build it all as a subway? ;)
You'll always attract more riders with a train than a bus (in Boston). Gee I wonder why ridership went down on the E-line between 1985 and now. I've rode the 39. yeah its frequent, but its still just a bus. I'd like a one seat ride from Copley to Center Street rather than getting on a bus. I think others would agree.
The E Line used to be a legal commitment, the regulation was changed, and it no longer is. Fairmont Line stations and adding a spur to Union Sq. to the Somerville green Line proposal were replacements for taking out the e Line requirement.
A commenter below brought up a valid point:
The Orange Line moved from Washington to the Southwest Corridor in 1987. That move absorbed quite a few riders from the old E Line route by making the Orange Line a much more accessible option for folks from Forest Hills to Stony Brook.
The Orange Line is that one-seat ride to Copley, is much faster than the 39 and is a far more direct route than the old E Line. The train has won, even if it's not the train you're rooting for.
I wouldn't count on the E Line coming back any time soon, though. Old timers have pointed to that agreement for years, but the tracks are paved over, the poles are coming down one by one and much of Centre/South seems to have adapted well to either the bus or the walk to the Orange Line. The uproar of the early aughts isn't what it used to be.
Unfortunately full restoration of the E-line is no longer required, but instead giving we get BUS SHELTERS ON THE 39. Pretty much the same thing, right?
was very one-sided. not to say that i don't agree with their point, but i think several of their claims were misleading or based on false assumptions. for instance, there was something about "customers who pay with cash, like tourists and college students." every college student i know has a CharlieCard, and i don't think there's really any excuse not to have one if you live in this city and take the T regularly...
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to watch my video. I hope you enjoyed most of the arguments (as it seems you agree with them).
There is no intention to mislead viewers - only to promote the story of how the T became broke and how fare increases and service cuts will hurt riders and employees. All claims and facts come from public sources - namely "Born Broke" from the T Advisory Panel, the MBTA's Budget, and the CPTS Impact Analysis - all of which are available on the MBTA's website.
While many college students own CharlieCards, many fumble at the front of trolleys to scrape out their $1.50 or $2.00. That claim was not to say only college students and tourists pay cash but rather that they are two large groups of people who do.
If you have any other questions or comments about the video feel free to inbox me on youtube or get my email from the movie's webpage at mbtaunfare.blogspot.com.
My position is probably obvious, but here are a few facts:
Green line trolleys use less energy, put out fewer emissions, could raise more money via their fare and one green line car carries more people than an articulated bus.
Have you ever been on a single green line car and seen how crowded that gets?
Green Line trolleys on Centre and South St. also got stuck behind automobiles parked next to snowbanks blocking the tracks.
That and they used tracks that are paved over and cantenary wires that no longer exist. Oh, and the T doesn't want any part of rebuilding it.
That said, the 39 is a pretty sweet ride. I'm on South Street and prefer it to riding the Orange Line.
Your position is confusing and troubling. You're obviously anti-trolley restoration (a business owner? a bus fan?).
Many community "issues" with the mandated service restoration can be addressed with proper enforcement by BTD/BPD or by careful design.
Of course the T would never restore or expand surface streetcar service voluntarily. It is a slippery slope though: as the T experiences more and more financial troubles, they will look to reduce existing service even further.
As is proposed on the weekends on the Huntington Avenue line. Paint it silver, sprinkle it with glitter, call it BRT, but busses ≠ trolleys.
The service restoration of the E line is no longer a legal requirement
And why is it no longer a requirement? Because, like a pack of brats, the T outright refused. So instead of getting away with "nothing," they were given an alternative.
Kinda like being told to clean your room, but when you refused, your mother asks you to wash your hands, instead.
Since 1987, the Orange Line has served that corner of JP well and has been a faster, more direct, more reliable route to Copley than the E Line ever was. Just because certain elements of JP are scared to ride it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
I'd like to use a name but I don't have one to go by. While I appreciate that some people believe the 39 is the better of two options the point I was going for is that the T has seemed to have an ax to grind with the E Line for quite some time. The other point is that regardless of people's opinions/feelings over bus vs. rail the simple fact is that ridership has gone down along the corridor since 1985.
Even though the drop from 1988 to 2000 is partially attributed to the lengthening of the E line from Northeastern to Brigham Circle to Heath Street it is undeniable that the drop from 2000 to 2010 is a result of the inconvenience of switching to a smaller and less reliable bus.
I thank you for taking the time out of your day to watch the video my voiceover actors, narrator, interviewers and I worked so hard on and I hope you enjoyed the rest of the arguments put forth.
Not arguing that ridership has gone down along the old E Line corridor, but there's one factor you're not accounting for. The Orange Line was rerouted in 1987. When it moved from the Washington Street elevated to the Southwest Corridor, it became a lot more accessible for folks along the southernmost end of the old E line.
From Forest Hills to Stony Brook, the Orange Line became far more accessible and, by the looks of it, drew quite a bit of traffic away from the old E Line route and the current 39 route. I'm sure that's not the case in Jackson and beyond, but may be worth a look.
Quite a lot of the Arborway ridership shifted over to the Orange Line, which didn't serve the Copley/Back Bay area until it was relocated in 1987. Before 1987 if you wanted to travel from Forest Hills to the Back Bay you had to take the E Line, later Route 39. After the Orange Line relocation in 1987, it became much faster to take the Orange Line from Forest Hills to Back Bay. Ruggles Station is also very close to Northeastern, and siphoned riders away from the Green Line after the Orange Line relocation in 1987.
I was interested in this topic, but elected not to finish watching the video. The videography at the beginning frustrated me. Why did the filmmakers choose to take current-day footage and put annoying little lines and annoying music and "pretend" it was from years ago? It's obvious it is not, and just makes it irritating to watch and listen to. Not only that, but I just don't see what it adds to the video. Were they going for authenticity? A historical perspective of some kind? There must be better ways of doing so.
I am still interested in the topic, however, I just do not want to watch that video. Is there a transcript of the speech available anywhere?
lollerskates. I lasted 38 seconds before clicking "Close Tab." Pity, it may have gotten better?
As the 'filmmaker' I'd like to take a moment to respond.
First and foremost I am not a filmmaker by trade. I primarily shot this video with a handheld Samsung Camera, and the opening was shot with an iPod Nano. There are obviously problems with certain camera angles and the steadiness of each shot. I am an amateur video taker and therefore am not trained on how to light a shot or find the most flattering angles.
The purpose of the opening of the movie is to show how humble and simple the beginning of our transit system was. The planners of the Boston Transit Commission set out to solve a problem that plagued downtown Boston. They worked together and built something small. That small tunnel grew and grew into the system that serves 1.3 million riders in 170 communities today.
If you continued watching you'd have seen that the "that was then" segment transforms into a "this is now" montage of all of today's current services. The point is to show people that this transit system that is clinging to life today is the product of previous generations of Bostonians who sought to provide us with a world class transit system and that today is our turn to protect this system for generations to come.
My voiceover actors, interviewers, editing partner, narrator, and I worked incredibly hard over two weeks this month to put this video together. We had no budget to work with - only our passion and drive to be an effective voice for good during this turbulent time in our transit system's history.
I greatly appreciate anyone who takes the time out of their day to watch our video and I will always accept criticism and feedback to my work.
I must say that "Un-Fare" does a decent job of getting out the often overlooked or outright ignored facts regarding the T's finances. Rather than bitching and moaning about the T and the fare increase (and peppering those rants with everything from tangents to misinformation to logical fallacies), the director (?) has set out to educate his fellow riders.
Couple of things though...
Being concise and essential is key to getting your message(s) across. I watched the entirety of the film and there a few places were it starts to drag on a little. Ideally, you try to produce something that folks remember for being smart, clever, and informative; not "that 20 minute video I stopped watching after the first three."
As for the point about the 39, some folks have mentioned it already: the Orange Line moving over to the Southwest Corridor took a bite out of Route 39 ridership (and several other area bus routes too). There was also a bit of a ridership slump overall at the time. Plus, having seen PCC's trying to hold their own on Centre Street during rush hour I shudder at the thought of a Type 7 or 8 trying to thread its way to Forest Hills.
The point you're trying to get across at the beginning is nice, but it would have been better to accompany the narration with some still photographs of early electric cars along Tremont Street (bonus points if you could've found one showing Boston's last horsecar line, which was still running in the late 1890s). There are plenty of period photos out there. Perhaps some subway construction photos could have been thrown in too?
Oddly enough, a few years after the Tremont Street Subway opened the Boston Elevated Railway found itself in a financial situation similar to the T's present one. Namely: after a series of tricky political maneuvers the El found itself in charge of a large system practically overnight (the West End St. Ry. became a paper corporation after the subway opened) with only a few ideas on how to fund its operations; was obligated to pay not only rentals on the subways (they were owned by the Commonwealth/City of Boston, the MTA finally gained ownership in 1949), but also help pay off the debt from building them; needed to modernize its system (streetcars, some of which were rehabbed and motorized horsecars from the mid and late-1880s, that were old and outdated by WWI) but didn't have the money to do it right away, etc.
That's my two cents for right now.
Thank you Division2Supt for watching the movie and giving such great feedback. I appreciate the time you took out of your day to watch the movie and then give constructive feedback. I'll do my best to respond to a few of your points.
I'm glad to hear you thought we told the story in an appropriate manner. My team and I sought out to educate the riding public as to why the T is in the financial situation it is in today as we knew the public hearings would bring about every tangent, rant, and illogical fallacy you mentioned.
While I agree that being concise is important I also believe there are a lot of changes in the two proposed increases/cuts that needed to be addressed by the film. In the end the decision over the length of the film came down to content over form.
The piece about the Arborway line was supposed to place emphasis on the fact that the E Line has long been treated as the black sheep of the MBTA and that it is no surprise that, despite having higher ridership than the C Cleveland Circle branch, the E Line is on the chopping block. Yes the 39 exists, but it's not a better service. While one can argue that riders have shifted over to the Orange Line (a point I'm not wholly convinced by as the Orange Line stations are a bit of a walk from some sections of the line - especially for those near the monument or who live west of Centre/South Streets) I think the drop in ridership on the 39 is evidence that people have avoided bringing their business to JP and that people from JP are now dependent on other means of getting downtown.
I agree that more actual images from 1897 would have been good in the introduction but its important to remember that we completed this video in a little over two weeks time. Filming began Thursday January 5th and was completed Friday January 20th. Editing occurred Sunday January 22nd. I think we did a rather good job telling an important story in an informative, creative, and entertaining way.
Again I very much appreciate you taking the time out of your evening to watch the movie and give your feedback.
"a point I'm not wholly convinced by as the Orange Line stations are a bit of a walk from some sections of the line - especially for those near the monument or who live west of Centre/South Streets)"
A lot of the ridership that shifted to the Orange Line were transfers from bus routes at Forest Hills. Before 1987, if you were coming from Route 32, 34, 36, etc and were bound for the Copley Sq. area, you transferred to the E-Line/Route 39. After 1987, people traveling to the Back Bay from Rosslindale/Hyde Park/est Roxbury etc shifted to the much faster Orange Line.
(a point I'm not wholly convinced by as the Orange Line stations are a bit of a walk from some sections of the line - especially for those near the monument or who live west of Centre/South Streets)
I live back on St. Joe's and have coworkers who live on Orchard and Hagar. All of us take the Orange Line for the morning commute and make the walk down to either Green or Forest Hills. It's really not such a long stretch of the legs and, given the traffic the E Line would have to contend with from Forest Hills to Brigham Circle and the roundabout route compared to the Orange Line's straight line, it's far more efficient.
JP is extremely well served by public transportation of all stripes. The E Line question is less of public necessity than it is of public mindset. JP is also a huge biking community and that Southwest Corridor Park teems with bike commuters heading toward Copley. That wasn't so before the Southwest Corridor project. Proponents of the E Line also patently refuse to acknowledge the proximity and/or efficiency of the E Line. Part of that dates backs to trepidation about the old el and long-held prejudices regarding Orange Line riders. Part of that is also reluctance to admit that Orange Line on the Southwest Corridor made the E Line a cumbersome redundancy that didn't have the ridership numbers to warrant continued existence.
Thank you for providing such excellent insight into how those in JP feel about their service today. I do think that for many commuters along the South Huntington, Centre, and South Street corridor - most especially those who are elderly and disabled, a walk from the monument or JP Center, or Lochstead Ave, or Bynner Street to Forest Hills or Green Street or Stony Brook or Jackson Square is a bit of a hike. But this argument over the Orange Line, vs the 39 bus, vs the E Line streetcar is an ideological battle that has been going on for 30 years. While I support streetcar service over bus service my intention with the video was to say that the T has seemed to have a vendetta of sorts against streetcar service on the E Line. While I agree that ridership changes on the 39 between 1988 and 2000 can be attributed to changes in service along the Orange Line and the lengthening of the E Line to Heath Street, the drop in ridership along the corridor between 2000 and 2010 is emblematic of the alienation of JP Centre and South Streets without a one-seat ride downtown. After all between 2000 and 2010 there were some service improvements along the 39. New 60 ft buses in 2003 and 2009 improved air quality along the line by introducing Compressed Natural Gas to JP. Those same buses increased the capacity that each bus could hold per trip. And the berth at Forest Hills was moved so that now the buses can go in and out without having to navigate several traffic lights to leave Forest Hills. Yet ridership has dropped. I think to say the loss of trolleys from Downtown to JP has had an affect on the residents and businesses of the line is a valid argument. To say the loss of weekend service along Huntington Avenue will also affect businesses and riders is equally as valid.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know what you thought of the video,
And before someone writes a post about it - yes - I know the 2009 New Flyer DE60LFR use hybrid Diesel/Electric technology and not Compressed Natural Gas like the 2003 Neoplan AN460LFs.
I think the kids are trying to do a great thing here by asking people to get involved and prevent many T services from being scrapped along with a fare raise. That being said, there are some glaring errors here:
The T at present usage conducts 1.3 million rides per day. This is not the same thing as 1.3 million riders.
Immediately you can cut this in half assuming that most people ride the T to work/school/whatever and then home the same day. Some people use more than one mode of transit. So the person who takes the bus to the subway and then subway and bus on the ride home counts for four rides. Some people, low and behold, go places in the middle of the day to before going home. So alright, we cleared that up now, right?
On this point, it was stated along the lines that hundreds of thousands of commuters will be go back to their cars if these service cuts/ fare raises go through. First off, are these the same people that don't have cars as stated previously? No, this will not cause 100,000 cars to magically appear on the expressway on the Monday morning following the implementation. That being said, the impact will be noticeable.
Also, it was said that only 3000 people ride the boats each day? Is that really just 1500 roundtrips? I thought it was higher than that.
OK Scott, I'm not here to bash your video. I wish that the T fares would be lower if anything and service quality increased. But the video needs a lot of work. Besides, 23 minutes? This could have been much more effective in 5 minutes tops. We're all from here and know Boston had the first subway yaddda yadda yadda. Maybe cut the whole b+w spiel at the start of the video for starters...
First, and I do mean this, thank you for taking the time to watch the video and provide your opinions on it. That being said, I'd like to respond to a few pieces of your post.
For starters, and this is a little nit-picky, but I don't appreciate me and my colleagues being called "kids". It takes the work we've done and writes it off simply as the work "those children did". I know you didn't mean to be offensive by saying it, I just don't appreciate it.
The claim of 1.3 million riders is something I believe is perfectly valid. While it is true that most riders take the service at least twice a day and are therefore counted twice, their use of the service inbound and outbound (or connecting to different bus/subway routes) makes them a 'rider' more than once. For example when I go to work I take the D Riverside Line to Reservoir and then the 51 to West Roxbury. I believe, and you can feel free to disagree, that I count as two different riders. Once as a Green Line rider, another as a bus rider. I then count as another bus rider and Green Line rider on the way home. Cutting route 51 slashes 2 riders (from this example alone) from the system - even though both riders are technically me. I get where you're coming from in regards to that criticism but I think it's as nit-picky as me being upset over being called a kid.
Never in the video does it say that all MBTA riders do not own/drive cars, or that all riders will avoid the system to use their cars. What it does say, or at least aims to say, is that many of the T's riders (be they bus, rail, or ferry riders) use the service as an alternative option to driving. This is true particularly in regards to Commuter Rail and suburban bus riders. If service is cut and fares are increased it is undeniable that people will give up using the 'option' of public transit and simply use their automobiles. Cutting 76% of the bus routes, the 5 ferry routes, and all night and weekend Commuter Rail service will absolutely contribute to increased congestion on Bay State highways and Boston streets. Maybe not exactly on July 1st, but definitely shortly after. I think the best illustrator of this is the old cartoon that says "What's the best way to transport 50 people?" which has a picture of 50 cars and one trolley.
The video says that a few thousand people will be affected by the cuts to the ferry - the MBTA's Blue Book places that number at 4,137 (or to play to the numbers you like 2,068).
Lastly, in regards to the length and format of the video, I made the call to keep it the length it is because I believe that content is more important than form. I think the beginning (both 'that was then' and 'this is now') do a good job of explaining that this transit system has an amazing history. Previous generations of Bostonians worked to provide all of us with a world class transit system. That system is now struggling to survive. It is our job (MBTA management, the MA Legislature, MassDOT, and we the riding public) to ensure that this system is here for future generations of Bostonians and that the system will continue to be as large a part of driving the economy of Eastern Massachusetts as it has been for the last 114+ years.
Again, I thank you taking the time out of your day to watch the movie and provide such a thoughtful response to the video my colleagues and I worked. I'm most especially grateful that you appreciated the main argument put forth of "get involved". I hope that you, and everyone else who reads this forum, will become active in trying to solve/fix the T's budgetary crisis.