Just before 8 this morning, I passed MBTA bus 0435 on southbound Main Street in Wakefield. The bus was sitting on the side of the road with the engine compartment open. There were two T mechanics and a supervisor on scene.
Assuming the bus had been in service when it broke down, it was apparent that whatever riders were on it had already been transferred to another bus, as there were no other people milling around.
UPDATE - Bus was in service when it broke down. From the T Web page:
Route 137 experiencing 15-20 min delays due to disabled bus 10/2/2009 7:31 AM
Eric Kilby reports:
I was given a hard time last night by an inspector at the Haymarket bus platform, as I was trying to get a shot of the Government Center garage. The light was interesting. He said that he was instructed to tell people to get a permit or go away. I told him that there was a memo, but I didn't have a copy, and he said he hadn't heard of it. I thanked him for looking out for our safety and left, because it really wasn't worth the trouble to argue. He said it would be ok if I took like 5 steps back so I was on the public sidewalk and not the MBTA sidewalk (the texture was different), which seems kind of odd.
This comes a couple days after another T worker harassed some poor tourist for daring to take a photo inside Back Bay station.
Jenny S tweets from aboard the 503 express bus (Brighton Center to Copley Square):
Kudos to whoever is driving 503 bus #0564 right now - just asked passengers to give up a seat for the very pregnant lady.
The T says it will add extra Red Line trains for the JFK/UMass stop and will increase the number of buses running between the station and the JFK Library between 5:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Thursday and 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Also, all Old Colony commuter-rail trains will stop at JFK/UMass, and the T says it may even add Red Line trains after the normal 12:30 a.m. shutdown time if warranted.
On Saturday, the T will stop E trolleys at Brigham Circle, but will compensate with extra 39 buses along Huntington Avenue, while the Orange Line will add extra service to Roxbury Crossing. Route 66 buses, which normally go past Mission Church on Tremont Street, will be diverted until after Kennedy's funeral Mass. The Mission Hill Link bus won't operate at all.
The MBTA says it's shutting down its GPS-based arrival system along Washington Street tomorrow to comply with a federal mandate to change the frequencies used by the system.
The T says it expects to have the system up and running by Sept. 24. The FCC is forcing the T to change frequencies to keep the system from possibly interfering with public-safety services. The T adds:
In addition, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology will be unavailable to dispatchers in the MBTA's Bus Operations Control Center. As a result, bus dispatchers will not have the capability of making real time schedule adjustments. As the MBTA’s mobile radios are reprogrammed, they will begin to migrate over to the new frequency set and begin to populate the data system. Completion is slated for September 24th, but communications personnel are determined to complete the transition before that date.
Robert LeBlanc forwards a copy of some e-mail he sent to the MBTA bus superintendent about an incident around 4:20 p.m. on Saturday:
I had the pleasure of interacting with one of your bus drivers( bus # 0617, )either route 86 or 87 headed west on Somerville Ave between the Somerville Ave & union Square and Somerville Ave & Prospect stops. As I was crossing the street the bus approached and slowed at the last second with the driver looking upset that he had to slow down, the driver then stopped the bus in the middle of the street, opened the doors and proceeded to yell at me and taunt me trying to provoke me. I'm sure the passengers aboard appreciated the bus being stopped like that. Wow...you can't buy that kind of great publicity. Where do they find these people?
For cellphone possession, natch. Where it gets interesting: The photo he took showed the driver using what turned out to be a legitimate MBTA radio unit - but when T officials looked at their surveillance video from the bus, they discovered he'd boarded with a cellphone in his possession.
... Aloisi and Chang-Diaz getting breakfast @ Brother's...
Ed. question: Is there any station in all of T-land with a better name than Ruggles? I'd rank it even higher than Wonderland.
No power on the 71, 72 and 73 lines in Cambridge. The T says it's replacing them with diesel buses for the nonce, but in the meantime, Mt. Auburn Street is a mess, Victoria Welch tweets:
big traffic snares and road rage.
The general mess there is probably affecting other bus routes through Harvard Square, such as the 77; Marcy tweeted at 6:39 p.m.:
Been waiting 21 mins. for the Evil77 that's supposed to come every 5 or less & a crowd was waiting when I arrived.
She later updates us that a bus finally came after 39 minutes - and naturally didn't have enough room for everybody who was waiting to get home.
It's a short list, Lynne tweets: someone PULLING A KNIFE ON THE BUS DRIVER ON THE SILVER LINE AND THREATENING HER.
Said person was off the bus with her toddler when this all went down; situation resolved by driving away from inbound Herald St stop.
They have lots of gravel roads in the country. Bill Daras posts some photos showing that the Silver Line tunnel past South Station is becoming a gravel road as well:
... If someone paved your driveway so that it felt like a dirt road, was flooded 24/7 and started to turn back to gravel after five years you would have the contractor rip it up and start again. In Boston you just let it go, and ask for over a billion dollars to do it all over again.
It seems state transportation officials have dropped the idea of building a tunnel under the Longwood Medical Area for the fabled Urban Ring bus route, saying the streets are good enough, while wrangling continues between Harvard, BU and CSX over exactly how the buses would cross the Charles River between Cambridge and Allston.
Looks like the extra revenue from the increase in the sales tax won't cut it for T officials, who have scheduled hearings on possible fare hikes of nearly 20%. Basic CharlieCard fares would go from $1.70 to $2.00, while bus fares would rise from $1.25 to $1.50. Commuter-rail riders would also see increases.
Without the increases, the T says it will have to cut service, including a reduction in bus service of 50% after 8 p.m. and on weekends, elimination of all weekend Mattapan line service, elimination of several "redundant" Green Line stops and the entire E line past Brigham Circle, reducing all midday and post-8 p.m. subway service by 50% and cancellation of all ferry service. Also: the last commuter rail trains out of Boston would leave by 7 p.m. and there would be no weekend service at all on commuter lines.
The first "workshop" on the T budget is Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. at the State House, followed by meetings on Aug. 11 in Revere, Aug. 12 in Braintree, and Aug. 13 in Somerville. The last three sessions all start at 5:30 p.m., which, of course, gives many working people little time to get to them.
More details from the MBTA (PDF document).
Superintendent, Cabot Bus Garage
Dear Mr. Houghton,
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If so, then I must be insane to rely on the T.
It’s not so much that many of the 5xx express buses were horrendously delayed for hours this morning. I understand that was caused by a problem outside the T’s control, in particular, a stuck railroad crossing gate out in Waltham.
Missed my appt! MBTA 47 bus MIA for an hour. The 5:20 and 5:40 did not come. At 6 pm bus arr but shift change and no driver.
Called MBTA cust service from bus stop. Asked why bus was so late. Put on hold, rep did not pick up again. Others reported same.
Coin toss, MBTA style, as captured by a bus surveillance camera.
A Dorchester woman faces assault and battery charges after allegedly throwing a bunch of coins at a driver on a Route 66 bus who wouldn't let her board because the amount of coins wasn't enough for one fare.