Friday, March 9, 2012

MBTA Budget Calc! Not just for Boston residents

MBTA Green Line D-train Credit Adam E. Moreira Wikipedia Commons
For those of you who follow this blog in the Boston Metropolitan area (ok like maybe one of you, hi dear! (dear being my wonderful girlfriend))  This is of worthy note.

Actually now that I think about it, even if you don't follow in the Boston area this is of note.  Many transit agencies around the country are dealing with budget issues, many have suggested all-or-nothing far increases and service cuts which will impact thousands of those cities workers, poor disabled, students, not to mention tourists etc.

In that light, I present the recently released (as of this morning) MBTA Budget-O-Matic (thanks Universal Hub for the title)

Fill it out!  Each option has a small description of what it means and you get to choose any combination of possibilities to help fix the issues with the T (many of which will help fix the longer term funding issue as well)  You can easily submit your proposal into the database at the end with an email address.  At which point you can see what choices every body else has been making.

I suggested something similar to my contact at the MBTA and MAPC(Metropolitan Area Planning Commission) in my position with the City of Cambridge.  I also passed my suggestion around the office.

 This was based on something I noted on some blog (maybe which showcased a tool used by Portland's TriMet agency (now closed but you can see the suggestions) to allow citizens deal with its budget issues.  The issues at TriMet were very different but the idea is the same. I would like to think that a very small part of the creation of this was as a result of my forwarding on the tool they used. (I can dream right?)

If your transit agency is dealing with issues (be you in Germany, Canada, US etc) pass this information along, get a local newspaper, popular blog, planning agency, or city to take up the issue and put together a tool like this that allows folks to make changes, rather than just complaining at a meeting.

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