Students weary about fallout from transit cuts
February 17, 2012
By Zachary Romano, Brandeis Hoot
In preparation for a March 1 Waltham hearing on MBTA cuts, Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 and Vice President Gloria Park ’13 organized a Town Hall Forum on Monday night for members of the Brandeis community to voice their concerns and hear the university’s response to the recent MBTA plans.
Brandeis University’s Senior Vice President of Communications and External Affairs Andrew Gully spoke on behalf of the administration. “There is a temptation to say that we want action now,” he said, “but there is a long period of comment. This issue is a political process just as much as a budget process.”
While a handful of students attended the Town Hall meeting, others rallied at Occupy the MBTA, an extension of the overall Occupy movement. On Monday evening, protesters organized by the T-Riders Union took to the rail lines as a means of retaliating against proposed service reductions and fare increases.
“The atmosphere in the demo was incredible. Many familiar faces from the Occupy Boston community, standing strong with the T workers union,” Noam Lekach, organizer of the Brandeis protest, said.
According to Brandeis Sustainability Coordinator Janna Cohen-Rosenthal, Brandeis makes full use of current MBTA offerings.
“Twenty-five percent of all the trips applicable commuters make that we reported to DEP were in public transit. Applicable commuters are those who work and/or study more than 17 hours per week; don’t use their car for work; and don’t live on campus. When just employees are taken out, it’s about 13 percent of employees who take public transportation and 18 percent of students for commuting purposes.”