T brass examine bad copper

Scott examines a wirePhoto by MBTA.

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott and Assistant General Manager Michael Turcotte examine the shorted out cable that stopped the Green Line in its tracks during yesterday's morning rush hour (not to be confused with the other cable in the same location that shorted out service last night).

The date on the table presumably refers to the year subway service started in Boston, not the year the cable was installed, but one never knows.



Free tagging: 


How about the signals on the

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How about the signals on the Fitchburg Line, what year were they installed?

Fitch/SoActon 434 07:30 PM IB experiencing over 60 min delays due to signal problem 1/24/2013 8:12 PM

Fitch/SoActon 433 06:25 PM OB experiencing 30-45 min delays due to signal problem 1/24/2013 8:11 PM

Fitch/SoActon 431 05:40 PM OB experiencing 45-60 min delays due to signal problem 1/24/2013 8:11 PM

Fitch/SoActon 426 06:40 PM IB experiencing over 60 min delays due to signal problem 1/24/2013 7:31 PM

Fitch/SoActon 431 05:40 PM OB experiencing 30-45 min delays from Ayer due to signal problem 1/24/2013 7:29 PM

Fitch/SoActon 429 05:20 PM OB experiencing 45-60 min delays due to mechanical failure 1/24/2013 7:29 PM

I support the budget plan that funds trans and education

Out public transit system is old, in disrepair and under chronically funded. It breaks frequently, we patch it, and it breaks again. The legislature came up with a one year fix to fund the T but that was just basic operations funding and for one year only, not a investment in upgrading the system.

The guv has a budget plan for trans and education. He heard the people who stood at the steps of the Statehouse and said, fix public transportation! It means we'll pay +1% more in income tax and 1.75% less in sales tax -- a family of 4 making $60,000 would pay $91 a year more net of income tax and sales tax.

Without fixing the current forward-funding formula for public transportation, we'll continue to have an MTBA that's held together with chewing gum, and we'll continue to have a public transportation budget crisis.


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They look like they are trying to determine whether it is a twelve inch sub from Subway. I will give them credit for examining it in a warm office instead of going down to the polar caves of the green line

A lot of the MBTA's power

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A lot of the MBTA's power infrastructure was replaced in the late 1980s/early 1990s, so much of it is not as old as you might think. I wouldn't be surprised though to find out that it had also last been inspected in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

At least they took the effort!

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I'm pleased to see the new management at least attempting to be looking into the problem, and I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she really is. More than we've seen from previous administrations!

"Hey, is that a piece of corn?"

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Archaeologists analyze fossilized dinosaur poop, lightly toasted, possibly from a Bostonosaur. This highly conductive natural history specimen brought to you by Saran Wrap.

Photo of a GM

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I have to admit, whenever I read a story about the T like this, my only reaction is "oh, so that's the name of the new General Manager."

Part of the problem

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I've been riding the T my whole life. I remember when it was the crown jewel among public transportation systems. The only knock was not running 24/7 like other cities. Not it seems like the state is just ready to let it die a slow, creaky death.

The lack of funding has probably led to less maintenance. Of course, this leads to more problems like constant breakdowns. And, the new general manager is the final indication they are ready to let the T go down in flames.

While I've never been one for privatization, I think the best solution in the short term is to let the T sell naming rights to stations, agressively seeking advertising dollars by allowing something like "T-tv" or some variation of that name, where clips of shows and commercials cycle through on monitors in the stations and stops. Get money from some of these Hollywood productions coming to town. If a movie needs a fleet of buses or old trolleys because it's a period piece, rent them at a premium.

I only suggest these solutions because it's clear, the Legislature is going to kick the can up the road. No one has the stomach to argue for taxes. I know the Governor made the proposal, but the response on Beacon Hill has been cool or guarded, at best.

As a long-time rider, I would hate to see a great system collapse due to neglect, but if immediate action isn't taken, that is the inevitable result.

They tried in-station televison

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several years ago (it was called Commuter TV). Like the original naming rights program, it was considered to be a failure by the private marketing types and was not renewed.

Plus, I pay good money to use the MBTA as it is. I think I speak for the majority of riders when I say we prefer not to be assaulted with cheezy messages hawking overpriced @rap we don't need anyway (I find the current "Blue Man Tunnel" in the North Station subway concourse to be particularly offensive). Not to mention the fact that we all end up paying for that increased advertising (have you taken a good look at the percentage of time devoted to advertising on TV lately?), even if we don't directly use the T or buy the products that are being forced down our throats.

More advertising revenue is not the solution to the MBTA's problems. Reforming the funding structure that is currently in place so the T is enouraged to spend money on basic maintenance isntead of these "innovations" like smartphone apps the majority of riders can't use or "real-time" information systems that tell us how late the trains will be is the only realistic way to address these problems.

Re: Assaulted by ads?

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I pay pretty good money to use the T as well. You know what I see when I ride? Headphones or earbuds. So, you don't have to be subjected to anything. The naming rights program was not implemented correctly.

You don't think the T could get good money for the "TD Garden" stop on the Green Line or the "Apple at Copley Sq" stop? Yeah, it's obnoxious, but the state is not going to change the funding model anytime soon. They're the ones who loaded the T with debt in the first place.

Advertising can be innovative. For example, Jet Blue is expanding to Worcester. Why couldn't they take over a station like Prudential (high end shopping district nearby) for a week or a month and outfit it like one of their planes? Seating, snacks, flight attendants, the whole deal. You could even have them announce arrivals and departures into the station like they would at the airport. What do you think a company like JetBlue would pay for the opportunity to make such a memorable impression on T commuters in that Prudential Center demographic?

I would love to have the T funded correctly by the state. But, I just don't see it happening. And, its problems are immediate. Not to be an alarmist, but we have been very lucky that reduced maintenance hasn't led to injuries or fatalities yet. This is about more than getting to work on time.

With respect, when I walk into

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a subway station and see ads on the walls, on the floor, and even on the faregates - I don't think "innovation", I think visual pollution. I also think, geez what a waste of money and resources that could be put to much better things (then again, you could also say that about most of the @rap that's being shilled with this advertising).

George Orwell was extremely concerned about excessive government intrusion into our private lives. Well, he got it wrong, it's excessive intrusion by the marketing executives that society should be concerned about. Sadly, we are already losing that war (as a current example, how many billon dollars are being extorted from companies this year for ad spots on the Super Bowl.

And, as I noted, cheapening ourselves by selling MBTA space to the highest bidder won't put a dent into solving the basic funding problems the MBTA is facing.

Funding solutions

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I'm not a fan of the visual onslaught approach like the Blue Man Group deal, but I like the idea of marketing an experience. Marketing and/or advertising isn't evil. I understand what it is and its purpose. So why not harness it for the public good and potential safety?

Actual art exhibited at the Museum Stop

Blood pressure screenings at the Longwood and Brigham Circle stops sponsored by CVS or Walgreens

Food tastings at Haymarket by various North End restaurants

Mini-concerts at the Symphony stop via the BSO

Marketing doesn't have to be obnoxious.

The T is in collapse at this point. Raising taxes like the Governor has proposed or making changes to the funding model like directing a portion of property taxes isn't palatable to the majority of taxpayers in this state, the bulk of whom continue to drive to work. I take the T every day. I'm not just worried about being late to work or school at this point. I'm worried about something much more serious.

I'm not saying my ideas are perfect, but they're something to consider at the very least.

This far

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let's stick it this far up the commuter's ass today. Tomrrow we'll see if the whole thing fits.