December 3 2003
Let's say, just for sake of argument, that
tonight was my 50th time flying into Boston with a destination in Cambridge
(Lotus bldg, a hotel, etc). This was probably the 30th time I had
to explicitly tell the driver "don't take the Ted Williams tunnel,
take the Sumner tunnel" (ok, that also includes the three or four
times I haven't been paying attention and have been halfway to South Boston
before I realized it). And it was probably the 20th time I was told
that the driver usually takes the Williams tunnel "due to traffic".
Hello!??!?! It's 11 o'clock at night! What kind of traffic
is there likely to be at this hour, especially since they opened the big
dig tunnels northbound? Of course, there was absolutely no traffic,
and we were at the hotel in about 10 minutes.
The cabbies all prefer to take the Williams tunnel because it's a guaranteed extra $5 or more on the meter, and there are indeed occasions where it can be faster. But it's like taking three lefts to make a right turn -- doesn't make it the correct approach.
The city should be ashamed that the very first experience many tourists have with the Boston area is a scam.