Mass. voters say MBTA is faring better in winter weather: Poll - Metro US

Mass. voters say MBTA is faring better in winter weather: Poll

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Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

The winter of 2015 will forever linger in Boston commuters’ minds, sparking fear whenever new flakes fall that the T will simply shut down, unable to handle the weather.

In the years since, Gov. Charlie Baker and MBTA officials have focused on improving the transit system, promising in recent years that the T is prepared for winter. 

But how do Massachusetts residents feel about the T’s winter performance since 2015?

Forty-five percent say that the MBTA is doing a better job at handling the cold and snow this year, compared to winters past, according to a new poll out by the MassINC Polling Group and Sponsored by WBUR.

The poll surveyed 504 registered voters in Massachusetts, who answered questions via telephone between Friday, Jan. 5 through Sunday, Jan. 7 on topics from Baker’s popularity, President Donald Trump’s job performance, how well voters know the politicians challenging Baker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and, of course, Baker’s role with the MBTA.

The poll was conducted in the wake of the Jan. 4 bomb cyclone that dropped more than a foot of snow on Boston, resulted in historic flooding and was accompanied by dangerously-low temperatures.

Still, after all of that, 45 percent of poll takers said the MBTA was handling the weather better than before and 30 percent said it was doing about the same as previous years.

Only 3 percent of respondents said the MBTA was doing a worse job and 22 percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer — maybe, as the Boston Globe points out, because the poll was directed as residents statewide who may not be familiar with the transit system.

In Boston and its inner suburbs specifically, 50 percent said they think the MBTA is doing better at handling winter weather. 

Concerning his role apart from the T, 74 percent of Massachusetts voters said that they approve of the job Baker is doing overall, with 66 percent saying they view him favorably.

Trump, a Republican like Baker, did not fare as well. Only 28 percent of voters said they viewed him favorably and 29 percent said they approve of how he’s doing as president. Fifty-nine percent of Massachusetts voters also think that Trump has been bad for the country, with 40 percent saying that he’s been bad for Massachusetts specifically.

As for Massachusetts’s future, 73 percent of respondents said that they still think the state is headed in the right direction overall, with 19 percent believing that the commonwealth is headed down the wrong track. Read more about the poll and its results here.  

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