Building It Doesn’t Make Them Come
Bruce Landis had an article in the Sunday Providence Journal with the telling title, “Few, but enthusiastic, riders.” The “few” are people actually taking advantage of the new length of commuter rail to Wickford. The train goes on from Providence to Boston.
Data from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority show monthly rider- ship increasing from the time the station opened, April 23, 2012, to 6,000 that June. After that, the figures become uneven, plunging by a third from June to July and then shooting up, doubling from July to August. It isn’t clear why the figures were so irregular during the summer. The DOT said it couldn’t immediately explain them.
After August, the data show ridership flattening out, with between 5,000 and 6,000 people riding per month.
This is despite “vigorous” promotion by the state and free-ticket deals. The accompanying table shows that “between 5,000 and 6,000” per month is actually a little generous. The reality is more like a steady decline since August.
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