More Crowding on the MBTA

1219691444We looked up from our newspaper while creeping into Boston Daily headquarters this morning and noticed that there were a lot more people cramming into our Green Line train than usual.

“MOVE INTO THE TRAIN. THE DOORS ARE CLOSING,” the conductor yelled to the throngs waiting for a train at Park Street.

As riders defied the laws of physics and found space to stand, we noticed a lot more hoodies and oversized backpacks that usual. Then it occurred to us—college students aren’t only messing with our commute only when they’re moving in, they do it all semester long.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo confirms that we’re not imagining things, and that ridership does jump in September. Numbers provided by the MBTA back this up. In the past nine years, the number of weekday unlinked passenger trips tends to rise between August and September.

The trains can usually handle the added crush, but high gas prices have kept year-round residents packing the trains. As Pesaturo tells us in an email, “[T]his year has been anything but typical. Take July for example. Ridership traditionally declines in the middle of the summer, but not this year. In fact, July 08 was the single busiest month at the T in at least ten years.”

An additional few thousand college kids in a rush to get to class combined with the public transit converts are going to make things really packed. Good thing the T is rolling out those extra-long trains on the Blue Line and increasing service across all the lines.