T ridership up for 13th straight month; just in time to decrease with fare hikes

Latest stats from the T show continued growth in ridership - February's numbers are up 8.1% over last February's. The T credits overall employment growth in the region, higher gas prices, better real-time bus and subway arrival info and increased service reliability - which might be news to people who got stuck on the Red Line this morning due to yet another dead train, this time at Harvard. LC reports:

Stuck w/ no air for 45 minutes. 3 people in my car passed out. There was a pregnant woman who fainted. We had to pick her up from the floor. Thank god there was a doctor in our car.

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Yep

We're all in this together, buses tell trains, or something (or maybe they pulled some buses off those routes to serve as shuttles?)

In the big picture

Yes, it sucks for the people who were delayed 45 minutes on the red line, but how often are hundreds of people delayed 30, 45 or more minutes stuck in traffic because they drive to work instead of take the T? It happens practically every day, and we call it rush hour. People just don't think about it because it's expected and predictable- they just build it into their schedules. At least on the train you can read.

I would guess that a major unpredicted delay (breakdown or accident on the pike/93/95) happens about as frequently and has about the same impact as a delay on the commuter rail or the T.

It's just part of the hassles of commuting no matter what your mode, and obviously a lot of people are choosing to take the T. They feel that the risk of delay on the train is a fair tradeoff for the risk of delay by other mode.

If your train is delayed in the city if you're at a station, you can always get out and walk or take a hubway to your destination. Good luck doing that if you're stuck in a traffic jam.

I would go further than that

The vast majority of commuters are not delayed by an incident like this. Hundreds of thousands of people rode the 'T today without any delay at all. One accident on '93 on the other hand, can cause delays for hundreds of thousands of people. It would be interesting to see data on this, but I suspect that the average annual delays per rider are significantly lower than the average annual delays per driver.

True!

One accident on 93 this morning at the entrance to the tunnel, in the center lane, going south into the city DID tie up traffic for at least hundreds of people.
It took me almost 45 minutes to get from Medford Square to the entrance of the tunnel.

I'd rather be on the red line, where at least I could have read a book!

you make me sad

I'm terribly jealous of your stuck in traffic commute!

working in the 'burbs is lame.

I never thought I'd miss the days when I could send an email saying "stuck on T - will be 45 minutes late"

As someone who always takes

As someone who always takes the T and rarely drives I do have a slight disagreement. At least if I'm stuck in traffic in my car I'm either by myself or with someone I want to be with. Also I can listen to the music I want to listen to. Contrast that to being stuck on a train with someone listening to hip-hop through their crappy cellphone speaker, someone at the other end of the car whom you can hear every word of his or her phone conversation because they're so loud, being sandwiched between two metabolically challenged people, the creepy guy murmuring to himself.

Music noise from cheap

Music noise from cheap headphones, or from a phone with no headphones at all, is my number one behavior complaint on the T.

The vast majority of people who listen to music don't cause this problem. But it only takes 1 per bus or train car to disturb everyone.

I now carry wax earplugs with me.

Talk about missing the point!

The issue here is not public transpo vs. car driving. The issue is more likely that it got so hot and airless on a train which has no provisions for air in an emergency that people passed out and fainted. Did you folks flunk your reading comprehension on the SAT's?

Perhaps the T needs to investigate instances such as this which pose a health threat to its riders. Maybe there's a way they can install a window at each end of the train that is capable of opening in such situations so that people don't pass out and pregnant women don't faint when cars get stuck for 45 minutes.

The headline of the article

Is all about T ridership being up and the point of the main article is about mode share and the effect of fare hikes. It was to this main body of the article that I addressed my comment.

As (semi) related news, Adam threw in an anecdote about a problem with a specific train today. And I'll agree it was no fun, and possibly dangerous to the people on that specific train. Being stuck in a traffic jam might be marginally less gross (the mess you're in is your own, and although you have air, it's polluted by all the tail-pipes in your vicinity) but has similar consequences if you have a medical emergency- i.e. how to get help to you quickly.

This has got to stop and it probably won't until someone dies.

Or more likely, several people die.

If this poor lady had to be pulled up off the floor, I hope it was at least the case that she had previously been in a seat, and then passed out and slipped from the seat to the floor.

If she went from standing to floor, then I've lost another chunk of respect for the population at large (I lost a substantial part of that when my friend, who was pregnant with twins (conspicuously) and felt like she was going to pass out, asked someone for a seat on the Green Line and that person refused)

Also, while I think that I understand the general notion of the comment on delays on roads vs. delays on transit, I think that a lot of people see it exactly the other way.

You have options (e.g., the mentioned walking or hubway) when you are commmuting on transit within the urban core and your ride breaks down. That presumes at least three things - that your origin and/or destination are in the urban core, you are mobile enough to be able to use either of those alternatives, and most importantly, that you can get out of the broken down transit vehicle.

You do not have those options on a longer commute where either origin or destination is outside the urban core. It might be nice if most of us lived merrily together inside our Rue Peripherique and we had a first class transit system, but the reality is that neither of those things is the case here. Lots of people who could take transit still drive becuase they have taken the decision that they in fact have more options by doing so (e.g., lots of side roads), not fewer. This might not be great for us on a societal level, but it's what we've got.

Awful lot of trust in one twitterer

Not saying it (3 people fainting including a pregnant woman) didn't happen, but people (including adam) seem to be putting a large amount of faith in a single twitter msg. Are there any other sources that back up this <150 character account?

Judging from LC's profile "Up for tomfoolery and shenanigans" and her other tweets, she's a pretty typical 20-something, prone to hyperbole and perhaps not the deepest of analysis - eg this one just minutes ago - "this happens at least once a week and they want to increase fares!?"

I very much doubt anyone wants to increase fares.

One of my co-workers reported

One of my co-workers reported that when he was waiting for a Harvard train this morning, one pulled up after 20+ minutes, disabled, with everyone getting off, and the windows were steamed and people had sweat dripping from their faces. That at least partly corroborates the tweet.