Residents worried their vote didn’t mean much in yesterday’s elections can take solace in the fact that the MBTA seems to be more democratic than ever. After years of running what at times seemed like a dictatorship, the T is polling riders in online surveys before taking immediate action.
“We decided a month or so ago that we would try to find policy decisions that cost little or no money and solicit customer feedback on them and improve them immediately,” Davey said.
More than 1,200 people recently weighed in on keeping the seatless Red Line cars known as Big Red. In the last week, about 5,000 customers have voted for or against implementing quiet commuter rail cars, with another week of voting to go.
“Quiet car” customers are asked to refrain from using cell phones, disable sound features on electronic devices and speak softly.
Stuart Spina of the T Rider’s Union said the T has a long history of force-feeding changes.
“This is the first time in a long time the T has a survey or outreach program where people actually feel like, ‘There’s a chance they’ll listen to me.’”
But like any election there will always be those who doubt the results — as was the case with Big Red.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Davey said. “There are no hanging chads.”
Other potential polls include a stroller policy and an eating-and-drinking ban.