Monday, November 13, 2006

Wherefor Lechmere?

When was the last time the MBTA surveyed their rider’s usage patterns? It’s pretty clear that they haven’t figured out how well-trafficked the Lechmere stop is, judging from how few Lechmere-bound trains there are during rush hour. In the morning, as long as you get to Lechmere before 10, you’re good. But in the evening, if you don’t get to the T by 5pm or 5:15pm at the latest, you’re out of luck. Six or seven Government Center trains—mostly empty--go by in a row before there’s any sign of a North Station train or the even rarer (and always packed to overflowing) Lechmere train. Why aren’t there more Lechmere trains when Lechmere-bound riders need them most? Not everyone is going to Government Center, and some of us need to get to Lechmere in order to catch a bus home before it gets so late that we end up waiting 25 minutes for a bus.

So when I heard about this, I was really excited. Maybe building up Lechmere means that the MBTA will put more Lechmere trains through to serve an increased Lechmere-area rider concentration. Given how perceptive the MBTA is about rider needs, though, it
will just mean more people waiting for fewer trains that can’t handle the increased capacity.

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