Editorial, Opinion

Life is better when the T is running | Editorial

The Green Line B branch was out of service between North Station and Babcock Street from Jan. 16 through Jan. 28 — just as Boston University was kicking off its spring semester.

Of course, the Green Line B branch runs straight through Boston University’s campus, so students living on and off campus were directly affected by the closure.

What else is new? The Green Line was down from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 during the Fall 2023 semester, and dealing with T issues is as Boston as is drinking Dunkin’.

Annika Morris | Senior Graphic Artist

This recent closure revives a seemingly universal sentiment among BU students: Life is just easier when the T is running.

This notion has grown especially evident as the bitter Boston cold — which reached as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit in January — greeted students back to campus for the second semester, only compounded by BU’s numerous wind tunnels. 

The difficulty of using transportation only gets more severe for students living or working off campus. Students may have to take buses, switch to another, working MBTA line or simply walk, which could add at least 30 minutes to their commutes.

Furthermore, students are troubled by the inability to escape the “BU Bubble”: the idea that BU students tend to get stuck on campus and don’t venture out into greater Boston.

The lack of accessibility to the Green Line — arguably the farthest-reaching MBTA line, as it can easily connect to all of the other lines — isolates us to our strip of Commonwealth Avenue.

Ridiculous rideshare prices only further discourage us from popping that bubble.

Sure, Boston provided extra MBTA buses to follow the Green Line route and accommodate students and citizens in the train’s absence, but these buses aren’t the most efficient either.

It takes a long time for those who board at either end of the route. At the Babcock Street bus stop, for example, students have to wait as attendants count passengers onto each bus, assuring that they are full before sending them on their way. 

This can further delay commutes and, once again, make walking the more reliable option.

Certainly, the T isn’t always the most efficient and reliable in its own right. Long wait times and frequent stops along Commonwealth Avenue can discourage students from saving their steps because getting there on foot is still the most trustworthy option.

Only with the T down, students no longer had to debate whether waiting for it to arrive or walking was better — they just started walking.

Plus, buses can also make for speedier commutes than the T when you aren’t stuck in an underground tunnel waiting for another train ahead of you to get a move on.

We understand that it’s a privilege to live in a city and on a campus that has prime access to public transportation at all. That’s undeniable.

However, it’s irrevocably frustrating when this transportation is consistently down, throwing off any consistency we may have or need in our busy, day-to-day lives as students.

Public transportation is supposed to make your life easier, not bring about stress. Thus, the T has not been serving its purpose.

The Green Line B branch is set to suspend service again from Copley to Babcock Street starting Feb. 20 through March 8. Enjoy the T while you can.

This Editorial was written by Opinion Co-Editor Lauren Albano.

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