Like you, the T didn't want to get out of bed this morning

Dead Green Line trainDead Green Line train at Newton Highlands. Photo by Jenny Mackintosh.

Update, 8:10 a.m.: There's a dead train at Wollaston on the Red Line now.

Dead trains mean lengthy delays on the Green, Blue and Orange lines this morning; well, except the T is urging Orange Line riders to just forget it exists and seek alternate routes. Delays on the Silver Line to Design Center, too, due to a dead bus. Jennifer Musso tweeted from Oak Grove on the Orange Line:

Hundreds of people waiting for shuttle buses at OkGrv sub0 weather! Station worker says he's not answering "any more questions"

Commuter rail? How 'bout those 30-40 minute delays on the Worcester line? Erin Bowles checked in:

At Framingham, there was a woman on platform nearly in tears. Hoping she'll be OK, but there's no way she doesn't have frostbite.

Not that North Station lines were immune from problems. Matt Hrono tweeted:

T alerts failed. Haverhill 208 cancelled, people waiting in record cold for 45 mins, no alert. What gives? Safety issue much?



    Free tagging: 


    This is outrageous!

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    People's health is being put at risk by the MBTA/MBCR's failure to keep people informed about these delays.

    This time, heads should roll over their gross mismanagement and incompetence.

    Child please

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    I was getting emails and texts from the T since 6 am about all these delays. Stick it in the complaint box.

    I dare you...

    By on say that to all the people in Newton (among others) who've been waiting nearly an hour for replacement buses, with no word on when they'll show up.

    Texts and emails are a

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    Texts and emails are a bullshit answer. They're great for the hard-core "power-user" commuter, but what about tourists? Old ppl? Morons who don't know how to work the device their kid told them to buy?

    The lack of communication from management to the field workers is well-documented. And the lack of communication to the fare-paying public from station attendants, drivers, the line chiefs who cruise around in their SUVs is, quite simply, non-existent.

    People who also don't have

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    People who also don't have texts and email: Poorer people who can't afford extras on their phones or who can't afford internet access in their homes.

    I am not claiming to be poor, but I don't have texting or internet on my phone because I need that money for other things like rent and heat. I do have internet access at home and I get email alerts, but since I have a long commute that requires several transfers, I often don't get the alerts I need until after I make it to work, where they do me no good.

    So, there are many reasons why email and text alerts might not get to someone in time for them to alter their commute. I applaud the T for using these tools to keep people informed, but they still have to keep people in the stations and on the trains informed of what is going on.


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    So it's the T's fault you don't have "texting" on your phone?

    No, it just means that

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    No, it just means that Texting and Email announcements are not the be all and end all of comunication.


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    -sir, should go be a speech writer.
    If your reply is to say 'ha!' to all those
    people standing in the cold because the T
    isn't responsible for you having no text messaging
    and if you truly believe, through your asinine
    responses to these completely rational arguments against
    a failure at the corporate level, that it isn't
    the T's responsibility to keep riders aware of what's happening
    on EVERY level, then there truly is no hope for
    having an engaged, insightful commentary with you.
    There should be copious amounts of 'back-and-forth' between
    the T and its riders at EVERY LEVEL in the structure, from phone texting to face-to-face contact.
    When you're ready to discuss this as an adult, we will be
    more than happy to oblige you.

    It is the T's principal responsibility

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    to get their passengers to their destinations in a consistent, timely, and reliable manner. That is the point of providing a transportation service.

    And, despite all the apparent virtues of technology, text messages, smartphone applications, and all the Johnny Science wizardry that MBTA management has become so enamored with of lately accomplishes none of those goals.


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    What you call "completely rational arguments" boil down to some people demanding a personal MBTA communications liaison. Guess what, it's not going to happen. I don't know how anyone could be a regular T rider and expect the T to satisfy everyone's personal preference for notification of delays. They put it up on the, in emails, in texts, in LED messages, and through T employees. How do you not anticipate delays on the coldest day of the year? I mean seriously, be realistic.

    But then again, you're an adult that calls people asinine and then demands that they "engage, insightful commentary" with people who will find fault with everything. Kudos.

    They put it up on the

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    They put it up on the, in emails, in texts, in LED messages, and through T employees.

    Again, the electronic avenues are fine ... for some.

    But nny claim that there's communication "through T employees" line is utter fallacy. Most T employees don't know a thing when asked.

    invisible employees?

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    That is, of course, assuming that said delays are noted on any of the above.

    But what's a person to do who is, as a hypothetical example, waiting for the 66 bus at Riverway and doesn't have a phone? There are no LEDs or T employees at the bus stops.


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    I am NOT demanding a "personal MBTA communications liaison".

    I AM demanding that the MBTA make sure its website, message boards, and text alerts provide ACCURATE information in a TIMELY manner.

    When I'm standing in -20 degree wind chill waiting for a train that is 15 minutes overdue and MBTA says service on my line is "normal", then there is OBVIOUSLY something seriously WRONG.

    It is NOT unrealistic to expect the T to warn us about delays of 15 or more minutes through means they ALREADY have at their disposal.

    Child please

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    What do you want them to do call your home phone in the morning? Hire sky writers? Smoke signals?

    Aren't the LED displays enough for the idiots?


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    LEDs would be great, if they consistently displayed useful information, such as delays. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

    LED displays would also be

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    LED displays would also be great ... if they were everywhere. Which, they're not.


    Girl, get over yourself!

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    In case you haven't been paying attention, the problem isn't just people not having the means to get information about delays--the information isn't there for people to get.
    The T-Alerts system is only as useful as the data going into it, and there is obviously some sort of IT-related breakdown or human error which is causing announcements to be made late or not at all.

    Given the extraordinary nature of the situation, don't you suppose the T could have mobilized more of its people--at least to get out to stops that don't have message boards and let people know what was going on?

    Instead of being a condescending a--hole, try having a bit of empathy for the folks who were stuck out there this morning suffering in subzero cold, waiting for trains that never arrived or buses that never showed up. What if one of them was your 90-year-old grandmother?


    Now I feel bad that my red line commute was free of major delays...

    Consistant Service

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    The MBTA website currently lists delays on the Red, Orange, Blue, B, C, D, and Silver Lines. Only Mattapan and the E Line seem spared, but I suspect some service interruptions are considered too common to report, so I don't buy it. At least they are consistent.

    Commuter rail having problems too

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    Every commuter rail line leaving North Station (except for Fitchburg/South Acton) was running 20+ minute delays this morning... when we crossed the bridge leaving the station, I saw three guys with acetylene torches working on the tracks; looks like switches are freezing in the cold. I've also received 15 separate T alerts about the orange line today, so apparently that bit is still working.

    Two hours

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    I was on the Green Line for 2 hours this morning. We sat at Woodland for 1 hour. Somehow they got the cars running and I got to work at 10:15. I'll give them credit for getting the train running without us having to get off and onto busses. I saw a lot of empty dead cars headed back outbound. The MBTA has to figure out a way to keep the Green Line from dying every time a cold snap hits.

    In reply to myself

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    The MBTA sends text messages to my cell phone, so I was better informed. But, I was still on the Riverside Line for two hours and there was no faster alternative to getting in.

    I guess I had a premonition!!

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    I guess I had a premonition!! I decided to log on and work from home a bit to avoid the crowds. I got to Newton Center train at 9:40 and had no problem

    What a fun morning

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    As I was crossing the street to the Summit Ave stop, I was happy to see a train at the stop before it. Then I realized that there were lots of people waiting, and people were starting to take cabs. That train wasn't moving. I walked to Coolidge Corner to take the bus, and it was packed. Caught the E line, and we ended up sitting at Brigham Circle for the longest time. I wasn't cold because I was mad. Thanks, MBTA!

    Crossing gates in Wakefield

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    at Albion Street/North Ave, and Prospect Street/North Ave were stuck down. Affected not only the Reading/Haverhill trains, but was making a total cluster of traffic on North Ave as well.

    And of course, the Transit Police officers on scene couldn't be bothered to actually direct traffic.

    I moved out of the city to

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    I moved out of the city to Framingham on Sunday, and enjoyed my first commute to work riding a train that was 60 minutes late when it got to Framingham and took a leisurely two hours to get to Back Bay. There were no lights and NO HEAT anywhere on the train.

    You're gonna love the commute back

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    Word of advise: Take the train from South Station when you head back home. You'd get the chance to pick your seat and less likely to be put into a human sandwich. Also, you can wait inside the building, which is significantly warmer than standing around at BB.

    Also, this would be a good time to find out which of the trains heading westbound will be the express trains. Look up the worcester line schedule on the T's website. The express trains pickup at SS and BB, then zoom right to W.Natick. It'll cut your commute down by 20-25min.

    Don't know if you're willing to learn this, but also start learning who are the current conductors on your train look like. They never announce which train is which until 10min before they depart, and by then you got a mad cow rush to the doors when they do. If you know who your conductors are, you'd more likely get to the train cars and your pick of seats before the others.

    Up to you if you want to bother. In either case, Worcester line is a tough commute any time of year.

    I keep hearing about the commuter trains . . .

    . . . being bad. No heat and no lights? I wonder if that is par for the course and not a one time thing though? I was a rail commuter for a few years back in the 90's. I always thought the service was good and reliable. But nowadays- all I hear from people is that the trains are A) expensive b) the trains themselves are becoming dilapidated and C) delays delays and delays. Any long time train commuters want to comment on how they have seen the service change for the better or worse over the years?

    Taking the burden off the

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    Taking the burden off the MBTA to pay off big dig debt would be a great place to start. How are they expected to run reliable service when they are paying off almost $2 Billion in debt the state forced on them?

    Red Line was delayed too

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    Sat at Porter square while 7 trains went by in the opposite direction. 3 inbound trains had to load up before I could even squeeze on.

    All part of the impeccable

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    All part of the impeccable public infrastructure that helps make Boston a truly world-class city. Remember when they were talking about having a winter carnival, a la Montreal? (this was late 80s, IIRC). What a joke.

    If my business can ever

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    If my business can ever afford to hire new employees, and I have to bring some from out of town for interviews (because qualified talent tends to leave Boston when they graduate MIT, and we have to get them back), I'm going to arrange for them to ride the T a few times before I make an offer.

    I couldn't in good conscience settle them here without letting them know that they're looking at third-rate infrastructure. I'd also have them try to find decent yet affordable housing. Perhaps I should start now, since finding someone could take years.

    40 Minute Wait To Board Red Line

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    I got to the station about 8:40, about 15 minutes earlier than usual, because I was anticipating weather-related delays. I have to say that at my station, we did get announcements about a disabled train, but no idea of a timeframe. Two packed inbound trains came in and I bypassed those. I then took an outbound train to Quincy Center, figuring I'd have a better chance of getting onto a train there. Waited 25 minutes at QC before any inbound trains came, but at least that station has more shelter from the elements.

    Customer Service 101

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    Actually, my commute on the Green Line this morning was amazingly smooth. Both trains I ride arrvied at the same time I got to the station. Clearly an act of God was involved (and I'm an atheist!)

    However, the MBTA does a crappy job and communicating with its customers. At Arlington there was the oh-so-useful announcement "We're experiencing delays due to a disabled train." Full stop. No indication as to which direction, which line, or for how long. In otherwords "We're the MBTA, what do you expect?"

    And what makes this so frustrating is that communications is both the MOST important part of any organizations interaction with customers and the EASIEST! Just let people know what to expect, and be honest about it. Offer them multiple ways of getting the information, and push, push push that info. Riders know that it is frigging cold out, and that mechanical issues happen when it is frigging cold. Are they going to be happy that it'll take 3/4s of an hour to get a bus to them? No, but they'll been even less happy if they have no idea how long they'll be standing out there begging for information from a surly MBTA employee.

    Okay, /rant

    We're less happy still

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    ...knowing that, in part, our fare is supposed to go toward maintaining systems that are supposed to be keeping us informed--and the MBTA either can't or won't do what it takes to make sure those systems work consistently.

    Some people on some lines/routes this morning got specific warnings, while others got only vague ones or even none at all.
    One of my coworkers had to stand on an open, elevated Orange Line platform for 45 minutes waiting for a train. The only advisory she got said the delay would be "15 to 20 minutes".
    Another coworker was left standing at a Green Line stop in Newton for over 30 minutes with no word about why there were no trains. Someone else finally called and was told to expect a replacement bus which was en route and "minutes away". Forty-five minutes after that, with no bus in sight, a good samaritan offered her a ride into town.

    Under normal conditions the MBTA's negligence constitutes an inconvenience at best, often an infuritating one.
    This morning, however, they contributed to a dangerous situation for some passengers, one which put the health of a lot of people in jeapordy.

    They owe us a very big apology.

    The GM did this morning

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    The MBTA GM this morning publically apologized for the delays and the breakdown of service. He even acknowledged that there's no excuse for them not being prepared, esp. since we all know Boston is freaking cold this time of year(my summary, not his).

    Considering the man himself rides the T every day, I'm assuming he had a pretty annoying commute too. If Patrick really wants to show how he's good for this State, he better find some way to improve our public infrastructure b/c the GM can only do so much. He needs more resources and less obligation to pay back a debt that is not the T's fault.

    So tempting...

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    The news mentioned that frostbite, in weather such as we were having this morning, can occur in as little as 15 minutes.

    Making people stand around for 30-plus minutes with no indication on how long they were in for (or should that be "out for"?) is starting to boarder on negligence. I'd have been sorely tempted to call the MBTA police and note that they were going to start having to send out ambulances shortly...

    No kidding

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    I usually walk from Kendall to the Galleria to get to work, but today I took the long way around and went to Park street to take the E line into Lechmere. Standing temps are bearable, but the moment the wind kicks in, my fingers would fall off.

    We apologize

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    "We apologize for any inconvenience this might possibly have caused you. "

    What more communication do you need?

    And just in time for the

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    And just in time for the evening commute ... Red Line AND Green Line have sharted themselves at Park Street.


    crying at ruggles

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    I waited at Ruggles this morning for my usual morning commute.. after waiting in below zero temps for over an hour (continually being reassured that a bus was on its way) I was finally told that no bus would come because they had to use them to shuttle the misplaced T riders. I dressed very warm, but was already crying from the frostbite on my hands and toes.