Last night I was expecting to find a public hearing inside of Lynn Auditorium with useful facts, reasonable proposals, and intelligent debate on the merits of the scenarios presented by the MBTA. I expected to see a scenario with deep cuts to service and another scenario with extreme fare increases. I expected to not agree with either proposal but would be convinced of the necessity and figure out which side of the fence I would eventually be on. I got none of what I expected.
Instead, I got a show!!!! How fun? A complete 3 hour spectacle of absurdist theatre. I didn't even know the MBTA did shows!! I always thought they were a transportation company. The show opened with this brilliant scene where they showed these two really funny scenarios. The first scenario had insane increases in fares and 1/4 of the routes slashed. The second scenario had even more insane increase in fares and 3/4 of the routes slashed. In a surprise comedy bit, they announced that both scenarios would cut weekday service after 10PM and all weekend service. Now that's funny!!! If only they had a third scenario. Comedy is always better in threes.
There were some amazing cameos from our State Legislature, who gave very dramatic and poignant monologues (in all seriousness, I was quite impressed with Senator Tom McGee, State Rep Steve Walsh, Mayor Kennedy, and Councilor Phelan).
Since we've broken from sarcasm, let me end by saying, really? Really? You (MBTA) expect us to believe that there was any merit in what you proposed last night? You expect us to believe that all of this was not just a tactic so you can turn to the state and ask for help? Well, I hope the state does exactly that. I also hope the state takes a hard look at re-org and new management. What we have is not working. We will continue to have these useless theatrical events if we don't sit down and fix this for the long term. I urge all of you to be heard. For even if it is theatre of the absurd, I firmly believe your state legilature is listening. Call them. E-mail them. Beg them to keep Downtown Lynn alive at night and on the weekends. We can't afford these cuts and some of our neighbors and downtown businesses will suffer unimaginably by these proposals if for some reason, this mismanaged organization is allowed to do what they've put on the table.