Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Proposed MBTA Cuts Will Affect 31 Million Riders - Please Give Your Input!

I've been reading about it for months, and now the time is actually here. The MBTA has finally decided to do something about it's huge deficit: and guess what? It's solution is to pass the burden to the riders (shocker). My bus is currently on the chopping block, as if my commute on this hardly reliable, infrequent bus wasn't hard enough. The following list represents all buses that will be TOTALLY ELIMINATED if this scenario is enacted:

Bye, bye 62 - guess I'll just 
start sleeping at my desk.
Scenario 2: Route Eliminations (31.0 million annual trips):
Eliminate Routes (all days): 4, 5, 14, 18, 27, 29, 33, 37, 38, 40, 43, 45, 48, 50, 51, 52, 55, 59, 60,
62, 64, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 85, 90, 92, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 105, 106, 108, 112, 119, 120,
121, 131, 132, 136, 137, 170, 171, 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 215, 217, 230, 236, 238, 240, 245, 275,
276, 277, 325, 326, 350, 351, 352, 354, 355, 411, 424, 428, 429, 430, 431, 434, 435, 436, 439, 441,
448, 449, 451, 456, 459, 465, 468, 500, 501, 502, 503, 505, 553, 554, 555, 556, 558, CT3, and all
Private Carrier and Suburban Bus Routes
Route Revisions:
- Cut 34E back to Walpole
- Cut 70A segment
- Cut 134 back to West Medford
- Combine 214 and 216
- Cut 220, 221, and 222 back to Bicknell Sq.
- Cut 225 back to Weymouth Landing
- Cut 426, 442, 450, and 455 to Wonderland



So I sent the following email to the MBTA, and urge you to do the same if you are a commuter dependent on public transportation.


As we near the MBTA's proposals being implemented into reality, I need to send you my input in regards to Scenario 2. 


Alewife Busway: Where the bus may or may not 
be there in the AM. Also great hangouts for smokers 
and the homeless! 
I am a recent college graduate who has secured a job in Lexington, MA - right off of the 62 Bus Route. Because of my student loans, rent, and low income, I cannot afford a car - and up until now, haven't needed one, as public transportation is a huge part of my daily life. I've ridden the T every day since moving to Boston in '06 to go to college - from the Green Line, the 47 Bus, and now the Red Line from Davis Square. As if it's not hard enough trying to save for my future, implementing these cuts with such great impact on me and nearly 31 million other riders on their daily route - to me - is unacceptable.

In enacting scenario 2, you are in essence saying that you don't care about what will happen to these 31 million people. How will they get to work every day? Are you going to find them new jobs when they are replaced with more well-off people who have cars by their employers? What about when your massive deficit is closed after this scenario has passed: who will now ride your buses? No one. They'll be out of work, at home, and somehow adjusting to a limited mobility life. Some of us simply cannot afford an average $600 monthly cost of owning a vehicle.

Cut back service to morning and evening buses only so that people can at least get to work and get home at night. For the economy's sake, for the sake of my already difficult daily commute and financial struggle, DO NOT pass these "cost saving measures" - because I can assure you, you'll ultimately be the one paying the price when your deficit has closed. 

Ashley Osgood, 
#62 Bus Rider and Monthly Pass Holder

RESPONSE: 

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for your comments on the proposed fare and service changes for the MBTA.

We have reviewed your comments regarding Route 62 bus service. Due to lower ridership and a relatively high cost per passenger trip, Scenario 2 has proposed to eliminate Route 62 service entirely, as you are aware. We recognize the impact of these proposed service changes.  

Photo Credit: MBTA Jonathan R. Davis, Left
Your comments will be considered as we determine the final proposal for fare and service changes. We also welcome you to attend one of the numerous upcoming public meetings on fare and service changes. For meeting times, locations, and updates on proposed fare and service changes, please visit mbta.com/jointhediscussion.

Sincerely,
Jonathan R. Davis
General Manager

There's only one month left to give them your input. Here is the contact information to contact the MBTA directly and tell them what you think - don't let them force us out of our lives!

Phone: 617-222-3200

Monday, February 6, 2012

11 Tips for Wedding Dresses

I received the following guest post on wedding dress tips, and thought it would be great for my bride wedding calligraphy clients and readers that are looking for some fun (and budget-saving!) wedding-dress reading before their big day. Enjoy!

1) Wedding dresses should be purchased at least a few months before the ceremony. It takes about a month for the gown to arrive. Once it arrives, you will need to take it to an expert seamstress to have the gown fitted and altered.

2) Never use foundation on your d├ęcolletage. The powder can stain wedding dresses an unattractive yellow or tan color.

Little Mermaid Inspired Wedding Dress, Alfred Angelo
3) Trunk shows are planned well in advance, so bridal stores should be able to give you a list of dates. Trunk season is from January to May and each show lasts from one to three days. Appointments fill up quickly so call early!

4) "Normal" alterations include shortening straps, adding a bustle, adding a bra cup to the bust, and adjusting a hem. If the gown is too tight and bunching, no amount of alterations will make it comfortable and will fail to show your figure in its best light.

5) Bridal shops often have sales right after high school dances. Check out your local high schools’ websites to get a calendar of school events. If you’re able to shop during a weekday, you will usually get better service.

A-Line Wedding Dress, Simply Bridal
6) When deciding the dress budget, factor in the cost of accessories and alterations. Be aware that sleeve, bodice, and hemline alterations all have different costs. If you plan to lose weight, you will want to discuss it with your seamstress.

7) Create a log of likes and dislikes about various wedding dresses. You can start immediately by buying wedding magazines, ripping out pictures, and circling your favorite parts. You can also do this with accessories.

8) Most trunk shows offer a discount for placing your order on the spot, up to 20%. Even if the salon doesn't offer a discount, the designer may throw in a few extras (buttons down the back, additional length on the train) without charging you more.

9) Before buying a dress online, be aware of the shipping and restocking costs. If the dress seems too good to resist, call up your credit card company before you buy to see how you can protect yourself from unscrupulous sellers.

10) Details like beading and lace are often done by hand. It is often more economical to choose a simple and classic gown and dress it up with well-chosen accessories. You can wear the jewelry again, but not the dress.

11) Keep in mind that most of your guests will be staring at the back of your dress for most of the ceremony. Make sure the dress looks fantastic from all angles.

About the Author: Molly Warner is a writer for SimplyBridal.com, a well known retailer of high quality online wedding dresses. She's been planning her own wedding since she was a seven-year old flower girl and has written for various publications before deciding that her passion is in the bridal industry, especially wedding dresses. 

Want to write a wedding themed guest post for The Ash Tree? Contact me to get started!

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