One of the first times we met, the topic of the discussion quickly turned to MBTA's massive debt. I had just moved to Somerville, and I did not know too much about the particulars of the MBTA's financial crisis.
However, with a little online research, I was able to piece together a fairly comprehensive understanding of the history of the issue. Fortunately, at about the same time that I was doing this background research, I also happened to watch an interesting documentary about sustainable urban planning - Urbanized directed by Gary Hustwit.
This prompted me to write a series of blog posts, which offer a potential solution (or at least a partial solution) to balancing the MBTA's budget and paying off its debt...
The series can be found by following the links below:
My proposal is simply that, a proposal - a suggestion. In the first part, I offer some background on the issue as a whole and introduce the idea of a Parking Space Tax (PST). In the second and third parts, I justify my proposal and suggest some limitations regarding any attempts to implement the PST.
As I was developing this proposal, I based my reasoning on the premise that any possible solution to the MBTA debt crisis must meet three criteria: (1) effectively addressing the debt itself (rather than merely shuffling it around), (2) improving the overall commuter experience, and (3) increasing MBTA revenues without unfairly burdening individual riders through constantly increasing fares.
I hope this helps with the 'adult conversation' about the GLX and the MBTA as a whole.