War on Cars Watch Massachusetts: Rush Hour Is Over – So What Comes Next?

he dramatic collapse of transit ridership during the pandemic is forcing the MBTA to be much more adaptable – adding more bus trips on routes where buses are full, and making efforts to shift more trips to empty commuter rail trains, for instance.

But the emergency has made clear that the transit system we have – designed to move large numbers of office commuters in and out of downtown Boston every rush hour – is not the system we need right now, or for the foreseeable future.

This is a scary prospect for those of us who want to see transit ridership rebound. But transit recovery – indeed urban recovery – will require new ways of thinking from everyone – employers, employees, transit riders generally and public transportation officials and advocates.