Earlier today, I hand delivered the petition to the Governor's office at the State House. I also e-mailed the petition to all of the politicians listed on the blog post. While at the State House, I stopped by to drop off copies of the petition with the press corps there - hopefully we can get a little publicity and some added pressure from that angle. For a copy of the actual final petition as it was delivered, click here. The package that I delivered included all of the comments collected on the blog, the change.org petition site, and on the SurveyMonkey web survey.
The first news story has been posted with coverage of the petition:
I'm not going to close down the petition, since it can't hurt to gather more signatures while we wait for action on the proposal.
Many commuters provided great comments and it was difficult to choose which to highlight in the cover letter that went in with the petition. In addition to the great comments, the SurveyMonkey web survey got 111 responses.
Some of the interesting statistics from those 111 SurveyMonkey respondents:
Responses were well distributed from the stations between Worcester and West Natick (with a few from Natick Center and none from east of that):
The possible answers were:
- Yes, I would consider switching to Dave's new proposed P506
- Yes, I would consider switching to Dave's new proposed P510
- Yes, I would consider switching to a local train (that starts in Framingham)
- Not applicable - I'm not a P508 commuter
Only 13 people (of 111) said they would not consider switching. 87 people said they would consider switching (the remaining 13 responded with "not applicable - I'm not a P508 commuter").
Of the 87 who would consider switching to a different train, 54 chose only 1 alternate train, 28 chose 2 alternates, and 5 people chose all three alternates.
These results indicate that there might be some validity to the idea that my proposed schedule will help to alleviate overcrowding on P508. It is impossible to completely model ridership choices - and what people answer in a web survey is not necessarily an accurate estimation of what they will do in real life - but this does show some willingness to change trains. It is also NOT statistically valid to examine the ratio of 87 out of 111 respondents (nor to extrapolate that ratio to the entire 1400-1600 passenger load of P508) since the respondents self-selected to answer the survey - but if all 87 of these people actually DID switch to another train, that clears out one entire level of a double level coach. Even moving 40-50 people off of P508 is not insignificant.