You know those bus seats near the front? The ones that seniors (like me) and disabled people are supposed to have first dibs on?
No, I'm not complaining about the apparently able-bodied youths that studiously avoid noticing us old geezers standing in obvious discomfort or pain. I have often enough been offered a seat to offset that.
It's something I've mostly noticed just lately: one or more of these seats being left in the upright position, presumably after a wheelchair passenger has left the bus. Is it not part of the driver's job to restore them to the seating position when the wheelchair passenger exits?
Today I had the pleasure of riding a bus on which three out of the four hinged seat pairs had been left folded up. Fortunately, the bus was not crowded (and how did that happen?!), so in this case it was not a problem. Of course, the bus could easily have filled up at almost any random stop along the route. I actually tried to lower the front-facing seat that was up, but couldn't figure out how the release worked (or wasn't strong enough to budge it). The releases on the side-facing seats are difficult for an old guy to reach, especially on a moving bus.
A pair of foreign companies today sued the MBTA, alleging the system it uses to notify passengers of late trains and buses violates two patents they hold for compiling information on the whereabouts of vehicles and then notifying people of their status.
The lawsuit-happy companies - they've filed dozens of similar lawsuits since 2002 against software vendors, parcel companies, online ticketing services, airlines and airports - seek unspecified oodles of money from the MBTA and an end to the T-Alert system. They sued in US District Court in Boston.
ArrivalStar, based in Luxembourg, and Melvino Technologies, of the British Virgin Islands, do not actually make anything, but own numerous U.S. patents related to the idea of notifying customers of the status of vehicles and shipments.
The patents at issue:
Base station system and method for monitoring travel of mobile vehicles and communicating notification messages
Notification system and method that informs a party of vehicle delay.
The 4:25 train to Newburyport stopped in Chelsea when smoke began rising into the passenger compartments and the train crew evacuated passengers. "This doesn't look good for getting home on time," Liz Polay-Wettengel tweeted - from the train, just before it was evacuated.
Now word comes that a T bus and a car have smashed together, also in Chelsea.
Nathan Spencer, a member of the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee, reports the T is now losing 10 to 20 drivers a month and can't replace them fast enough.
It's a hard job. Day in, day out you deal with people that hate you. Hours are tough. The money's not bad, but it's hard work.
M reports witnessing an argument this morning on the 9 bus between a woman and a man who tried using her knee as an armrest so he could read the paper:
Angry Business Man: You could have picked any other seat, but you had to sit right there when I was already sitting here.
Woman: That's how the bus works in the morning ... you fill in the bus so everyone can get on.
A.B.M.: That's just so f****in inconsiderate. You are such a b**ch. ...
Our eye in the sky passed along this photo of an MBTA tow truck about to pull away a dead bus on Huntington Avenue Wednesday morning.
Channel 25 airs video of crashing T buses.
MBTA responds, saying T buses are getting safer.
Channel 4 follows up with video of bus after bus blatantly running red lights. Its report features our own Grimlocke and her near pancakings by Route 66 buses, as well as a T bus official watching the video and going, nope, bus drivers shouldn't be running red light lights.
John Keith reports the current crop of
MBTA city of Boston bus shelters do a great job at protecting the ads built into them, but simply suck at preventing people from getting wet.
One bus driver sent back to driver's ed for nearly flattening bicylist, but others continue to ignore red lightsBy adamg - 2/4/10 - 10:01 am
I apologize for reckless driving exhibited by one of our employees. MBTA Bus operators must complete a comprehensive Defensive Drivers Course prior to being certified to operate an MBTA vehicle in passenger service. This operator has been identified and will be re-instructed on her duties and responsibilities as a professional driver
So that's one down, because she also reports watching another 66 driver blast through the very same intersection:
... As I watched the light turn red, my body exhibiting the intent to scoot out into the intersection at a moment's notice, I became aware of a growing roar from my left, west on Cambridge Street. And then a sharp honk. Route 66 Bus #2294 (or 2293, it was going over 30 MPH so it was difficult to catch the number) not only roared through the intersection against a red light, but gave me warning that it had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF SLOWING OR STOPPING. ...
Because, as Rob Bellinger explains, one of its drivers appears to be the spawn of Satan.
Cambridge and MBTA Transit Police today report the arrest of John B. Dysart, 27, of Dorchester on charges he attacked two women as they left the Central Square T stop last week and of masturbating on T buses in Dorchester and Brighton.
Dysart is formally charged with indecent assault and battery and open and gross lewdness by Cambridge Police for incidents last Wednesday night and three counts of open and gross lewdness by Transit Police.
The state Department of Transportation reports that when Dank Combs, a driver on the 77 bus (Arlington Heights to Cambridge) learned one of his riders was missing her pocketbook after a trip to the store, he stopped at a T garage and used a phone there to call the store - which found her pocketbook:
[The rider] says Combs resumed his route- right on time- and dropped her off at the market to retrieve her belongings.
T officials learned of his act in a letter of praise from the rider.
Georgy gives five reasons why, when given the chance between taking a bus or, say, the Red Line from A to B, she'll go with the bus every time:
... Sure, you can observe characters and assess people's reading material and peer at your neighbo's iPod and speculate wildly about the backstories of the people around you on any mode of transit. But the bus trumps the subway in my book mainly because you can see what's happening beyond the vessel. No matter how familiar the route, I can still lose myself in gazing at storefronts and intersections and landmarks. Dark tunnels have nothing on the outside world. ...
Also for you 111, 114, 116 and 117 riders. Catch the Bus uses recently released real-time MBTA data for those routes to let you know when your bus is going to show up.
An MBTA bus was traveling at a low rate of speed down Huntington Avenue shortly after midnight. when it hit a man now in the ICU, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.
The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports on secret meetings of an MBTA working group on possible changes to the 39 route. A T project manager told the paper the public was welcome to attend sessions, but the sessions were never publicized - even one participant says she was not told of some meetings.
Baptista, 52, was a T bus driver, out of the Charlestown garage, who died of cancer on Nov. 24 and whose memory coworkers wanted to honor. Her funeral is this morning.
According to her obituary, Baptista came to the US from Cape Verde when she was 9; she set aside her dreams of becoming a novelist to support her family by driving a T bus. Last year, she became a US citizen. One person who knew her writes:
She was legendary on the MBTA and a very good friend to all that knew her. To know her is to love her. Anna was always loved and will be loved.
H/t: Heather Marie Vitale.
And now the state loses out on $145 million in federal stimulus funds; money was to have gone to a fancy-shmancy Silver Line extension through Roxbury and Mattapan that state officials tried to foist on the neighborhoods as a fait accompli.
Lawmakers ask state to withdraw 28X proposal (from the Dorchester Reporter a couple weeks ago).
Steve Poftak is sad.
Gloria Fox, Byron Rushing objected to bus cramming.