WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

The MBTA Arrives ... on Stage

By Michelle Liu   |   Thursday, June 14, 2012
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June 14, 2012

mbta musical
What, the T doesn't make you want to sing and dance? (Courtesy)

 
BOSTON — Bostonians may curse the many troubles of the MBTA, but they love to hate it. Now there’s a musical that many of us (well, those who ride the MBTA) can relate to — from the Boston sports fans who crowd the T after games, to the tourists trying to make sense of subway maps, to the college students out for a night of partying. Born out of ImprovBoston, “T: An MBTA Musical” has moved to the Club Oberon stage in Cambridge through July 13.

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House Passes MBTA Bailout Bill

By Sarah Birnbaum   |   Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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June 13, 2012


STATE HOUSE, BOSTON —  The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill June 13 giving the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority the money it needs to avoid drastic cuts … for now.
 
House lawmakers agreed to bail out the struggling MBTA with state funds. The bill would transfer nearly $50 million to the transit agency from a fund that had been intended to help reduce air pollution.

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MBTA: The Musical

By WGBH News   |   Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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We can imagine the reviews now: The theatrical ride of a lifetime! The creators of "T: An MBTA Musical" joined Callie Crossley on June 12 to explain the creative inspiration of mass transit. Listen to the segment:

Politicians Demand Transportation Funding

By Sarah Birnbaum   |   Monday, June 11, 2012
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June 11, 2012

south station
Politicians rally at South Station on June 11, 2012. (Phillip Martin/WGBH)


BOSTON — Massachusetts officials, local mayors and advocates rallied on June 11 in Boston’s South Station for a solution to the state's transportation funding crisis.
 
State transportation secretary Richard Davey headlined the rally, saying that bridges, roads and transit systems across the state were crumbling and in need of updates and repair. “The current transportation system we have today we cannot afford and the kind of improved system we all want we cannot afford,” he said.

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MBTA One Stop: Wood Island

By Danielle Dreilinger   |   Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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The week of June 4, attention was on the Suffolk Downs stop of the Blue Line where developers want to build a casino. But what happens at the places on the map you might not know as much about? This is the start of our new web feature MBTA One Stop, where we find one place near an MBTA station that epitomizes the community. Have ideas for our next stop? Let us know.
 
EAST BOSTON — Almost no one gets off at the Wood Island Blue Line stop at 7 a.m. on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Bennington Street — triple-deckers, cemetery and ocean air — is so quiet you could walk right by about the only place that's open.
 
Inside, Betty Ann Food Shop, est. 1931, seems strangely vacant. There are no chairs or tables and nearly nothing in the glass display case. The walls are mint green.
 
But back in the kitchen, three people are working: owner Bill Scantlebury, Patricia Luyo and a woman in a pink shirt who readily gives her age (63) but insists on being identified only as "L." — "I'm a retired schoolteacher. I don't want my kids to find me."
 
Nearly all the equipment comes from an earlier time, though the GE fridge finally gave out last year after over seven decades.
 
"That's when products were made in America and they lasted," says L. She slices off a strip of dough, cuts it into sections, rolls one into a ball under her palm and places it on a tray. The slab of dough looks like it might creep over and swallow up the table.
 
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Highlights from Yelp Reviews of MBTA Stations

By Danielle Dreilinger   |   Friday, May 18, 2012
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Second in a series

red line

South Station. (ockam/Flickr)

 
May 18, 2012
 
BOSTON — Yelp isn't just for retail establishments and restaurants: Some people use the open review site as a home for their musings and warnings about Greater Boston's public transit.  First we looked at bus routes you might never have heard of. Now we turn to six stations you almost definitely know.

N.B.: Opinions are those of the Yelper and do not necessarily reflect the views of WGBH, WGBH News or anyone who isn't running late and fed up.
 


1. Porter Square

(35 reviews, 4 stars)
 
Brian D., Roxbury: You know that scene from "28 Days Later" when the army lady and those 2 kids have to get down the broken escalator to escape certain death by starving zombies? Yeah, they could have filmed that at the Porter Square T Station. ...

Wow. 

Vertigo. (3 stars)
 
Leighann F., Astoria, N.Y.: Things I can accomplish while riding the escalators down into the depths of the Porter Square T Station:

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About WGBH News Focus: The MBTA

Love it, like it or lump it, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority touches nearly everyone's lives in eastern Mass. And it's in financial crisis, with newly announced fare hikes not enough to cover next year's projected $100 million budget deficit. WGBH News features special focus coverage of the tracks and troubles of our public transit system.

About the Authors
Sarah Birnbaum
Sarah Birnbaum is WGBH News' State House reporter. Send her a news tip.
WGBH News
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 
Danielle Dreilinger Danielle Dreilinger
Danielle Dreilinger is an author and news producer for WGBH.org.



"If I Ran the T ..."

Everyone who's ever rode on the T has an opinion about what problem they'd change first. If you were in charge, where would you start? Let us know.

The Fare and Service Plan

On July 1, the T will introduce fare increases and service cuts to cover a $159 million budget gap for the next fiscal year. Read the plan on mbta.com.




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Vehicle donation (June 2012) 89.7

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