When it comes to the idea of hosting the Olympics and Boston’s public transportation, there are a few lines of thought.
The joke that has proven easy to make ever since Boston’s Olympic ambitions came to light is that the T—fairly or unfairly—has a reputation for this sort of thing, so how on earth could it serve an event as major as the Olympics?
The recent issues inspired plenty of that kind of chatter:
the MBTA can't even handle a snow day and Boston thinks it can handle the Olympics. #getreal— Robby Hoffman (@RLopez617) February 3, 2015
Then again, Olympic organizing committee Boston 2024 has argued the Olympics will provide the catalyst the state needs to finally spend the money to improve the T. The state’s plans already called for spending on infrastructure improvement before the bid, but Boston 2024 says the Olympics would put a hard deadline on completing them. That seemed to have some allure to a few commuters Tuesday:
I s this a good time to mention that the Olympics in Boston would probably mean an influx of federal money to modernize the @MBTA?— Tom Griffiths (@FlashTheGap) February 3, 2015
Of those two positions, the former—that the T can’t handle the Olympics—seemed to be the majority opinion on Twitter.
There is a place between those two arguments, of course, and it’s one that has been floated by the Olympics opposition group No Boston Olympics: If we want to improve the T, just improve the T—no Olympics necessary. That position also had its tweeting representatives as Tuesday commuting hours dragged on:
2/ The @MBTA is breaking under the pressure of all this snow, ice, and cold weather.— Paul Pennelli (@paulpennelli) February 3, 2015
4/ Olympics would improve the @mbta. But it's not the only path to those improvements - political will & investment would also do the job.— Paul Pennelli (@paulpennelli) February 3, 2015