TRANSPORT TALK: Why can’t they?
By Jim Cameron
Simple problems require simple solutions. And when it comes to solving our transportation problems, we consumers always wonder why “they” can’t solve problems quickly by doing what seems obvious and simple.
Consider the following questions that I am often asked…
Why can’t they make train toilets less stinky?
Why can’t we have heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, instead of the other way around?
Why can’t drivers enforce MTA mask rules instead of hiding from passengers?
Why can’t they collect all the tickets on the trains?
Why can’t the railroad treat us like valued customers instead of cattle?
Why is there no competition between private carriers on commuter trains?
Why can’t we collect the cars from the bar?
Why can’t we have Wi-Fi on our trains like Amtrak’s Acela?
Why can’t we get discounts on our tickets when trains are late, service is interrupted, or we can’t get a seat?
Why can’t they build more parking spaces at stations to reduce the multi-year wait for annual parking permits?
Why can’t they put a map at each station showing local businesses and how to get there without taking a taxi?
Why can’t Metro-North enforce its “quiet cars” like Amtrak does?
Why can’t Hartford lawmakers all be required to take Metro-North to rush hour for a week to find out what their constituents endure all year?
Why can’t cities leave station waiting rooms open in the evenings and on weekends, especially in cold weather?
Why can’t they make our trains safer instead of making us do their job with “If you see something, say something”?
Why can’t they get broken down vehicles off the road faster, avoiding reinforcements?
Why can’t city police direct traffic when reinforcements on I-95 send cars pouring down Post Road?
Why can’t they fix the overhead lights on I-95 so our highway is lit up at night?
Why can’t they stop the trucks from using the Merritt Parkway?
Why can’t they ticket the trucks for using “Jake brakes”, downshifting loudly?
Why can’t they keep the truck inspection stations open 24/7?
Why can’t we get reasonably priced petrol at service bays instead of having to pull off the road and into local traffic?
Why can’t they give us a human sized seat with leg room at a fair price?
Why can’t the FAA improve safety by ensuring pilots and air traffic controllers are properly trained, rested, and supervised?
Why can’t the airlines be honest with us about the delays instead of always saying “it’ll be another 20 minutes” as the hours go by?
Why can’t they seat families with crying babies in their own section, away from me?
Why can’t I get a car service at the airport for less than the cost of my flight?
What questions would you add to our “Why can’t they” list? Send them to me and I’ll try to get the answers and share them in future columns: [email protected]JIM CAMERON has lived in Darien for over 25 years. He is a member of Darien RTM and program director of Darien TV79. He served for 19 years on the CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council, including four as President. In 2014, he founded a new advocacy group, The Commuter Action Group, which speaks on behalf of Metro-North commuters. The archive of his journal column “Talking Transportation” can be viewed at http://talkingtransportation.blogspot.com/