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eeka

It's eeka, not Eeka.

You quickly lose my interest in having much of a discussion when you talk about people living in the suburbs and owning cars but somehow being economically disadvantaged. Something here doesn't add up for me.

Moving out of state would cost someone considerably more than paying a toll. Someone's not going to spend thousands of dollars to relocate in order to avoid a toll.

eeka

Might I suggest you link here: http://www.universalhub.com/user/46, which is my Universal Hub blog, rather than to my personal page of photos and things.

rascalking

eeka, you do realize that it's actually much cheaper to live and own a car in a lot of the suburbs than in boston proper, right? i was born and raised in brighton, but couldn't even consider shopping for a house in my neighborhood because of the price.

carpundit

Sorry about the capitalization. I was just following standard rules of English. eeka it is.

Many people live in the suburbs and have cars and earn under the median income. Lots of them earn much less than the median, and have a hard time getting by. The imposition of a commuter tax of 4 or 5 dollars a day could be a hardship on those just-making-it families. And it might well be the last straw for families thinking about moving to New Hampshire anyway.

Yes, of course moving has costs. But put housing costs, taxes, and tolls together and the scale may tip. If there were better, broader, more reliable mass transit in the region, the toll might be worth talking about. But with the MBTA we have, it's not.

jpdem

There are indeed a lot of people who commute in on the "T", there would be more if the state actually invested in it. Maybe just fixing the escalators would help.

eeka

Carpundit -- thanks for the edit! :o)

Rascalking -- I'm actually in the process of buying a house right now, and we're finding the burbs to be much more expensive than the city, unless we're talking way out there in the semi-rural burbs, which isn't somewhere we want to live. Prices also vary considerably in the various Boston (and nearby) neighborhoods. We can throw figures back and forth til the cows come home (er, go to their homes in the burbs!) and won't get anywhere because there are so many variables that make it impossible to say whether city living or suburban living is cheaper. My point though is that it's possible for anyone to make choices within their income range that don't involve them needing a car and that certainly don't involve them needing to drive it on a daily basis. When I made $16K a year, I did not have a car and I had a really great life in the city. I don't know of any way I would have been able to work in the city and live outside of the city on that income. I now do own a car, which I drive about 20 miles in an average week. I'm fine with paying tolls and would be fine with raising them, because there is never any reason I NEED to go over the Tobin, in the tunnels, or on the Pike. These are things I sometimes do for fun or for purposes of personal and/or career betterment. I choose to do these things, and I choose to pay for them. I'll also tell you that I've lived in countries where gas, tolls, and auto taxes are about 4x what they are here. Granted these are places with better public transportation than in the US, I realize this. But I never saw people driving to and from work right alongside a commuter line every day like I do here. Financial burdens are one of the best ways to encourage people to make responsible choices.

JPDem - Yeah, the T isn't fabulous. The state (and hell, the feds) really should invest a lot more in public transportation, since it helps the environment and helps people who are economically disadvantaged or who are elders or have disabilities to be more on par with other folks. Specifically on the issue of escalators -- I really appreciate that the T has an elevator hotline (617-222-2828), but I wish they also included escalators, since with my disability I'm able to use an escalator but not do more than a couple stairs. I'm in the process of doing a project on MBTA accessability actually. I plan to make a page that gives the actual number of stairs, type of stairs, type of railings, type of signage, type of doors, etc., for all of the MBTA stations so that people who have accessability issues other than using a wheelchair can find out what to expect in various stations.

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