To the editor:
While I’m happy to see further investment in the transit sector, particularly investment in reducing congestion, I’m disappointed by the lack of urgency on investing in public transit (“Growing traffic rekindles debate on transit needs,” July 5).
Cars account for almost one third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing overall car usage has value beyond reducing congestion. Raising tolls during peak hours is one effective way to get people off of highways during rush hour; improving public transit is an even more effective way to get them off the road altogether. Rather than hiking tolls, why not decrease fares? Eliminating fares altogether in other cities has led to increases in ridership of between 20% to 60%, according to The New York Times. Investing in better, more frequent service that covers more of the Greater Boston area could also get people to start embracing public transportation again post-COVID.
“Transit” is more than highways and cars, and we need to think about it in those terms. With climate change fueling wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves, it’s past time to invest in eco-friendly transportation infrastructure.