Herald scooped by CommonWealth

As you may have noticed, today's Herald cover story whacks MBTA general manager Dan Grabauskas for commuting to work in an SUV--one that's T-owned!--even as the T urges people to ditch their cars for public transit:




Now, I understand that there's an enticing hypocrisy angle here--especially for a scrappy tabloid. Still, Grabauskas's decision to commute via SUV really isn't much of a scoop. Here, for example, is a quote from a January '06 Globe magazine story on the commuter-rail system:

Even Grabauskas, the MBTA's general manager who lives in Ipswich, a town served by commuter rail, usually drives to work. "Where I live in town is right off the highway," he says, "and my schedule is erratic enough that it tends not to be convenient for me."

 And here's a description of Grabauskas's commuting habits from a '06 CommonWealth magazine profile of Grabauskas:

Grabauskas rides the T to get around town for meetings and events, but it’s not how he gets to work. He drives every morning to the Transportation Building, in Park Square, from the home in Ipswich he shares with his partner, Paul Keenan, a Harvard University associate dean. “I live about as far from the Ipswich [commuter rail] station as you can get,” Grabauskas says. In addition, his 12-to-13-hour workdays don’t fit well with a train schedule, he says. But before moving to the North Shore in 1997, he says, he commuted to Boston from Arlington by bus and Red Line for about 10 years.

The question then becomes: is Grabauskas's continued use of the T noteworthy? Maybe a little, since the T has ramped up its ditch-your-car rhetoric of late. But putting it on the cover seems excessive. Also, while I admire the hustle displayed by Herald reporter Hillary Chabot and Herald photographer Mike Adaskaveg--who've apparently been staking out Grabauskas for seven weeks (!) to document his T non-ridership--I'm guessing that a simple phone call to Grabauskas's office would have sufficed.


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