Jeremiah reports from a C train on the Green Line:
If I die suddenly, it might be because some bum was spraying an aerosol can on the Green C-line. There was no paint coming out, but I could smell the fumes. Also peculiar is that he was spraying the heating vents. ...
... The brutal visual of commuters riding the subway and reading the Boston Herald does not phase me today.
To my surprise, my neighbor pulls out The Souls of Black Folk from his backpack (Dover edition). His bookmark rests on the chapter, "Of the Training of Black Men."
He looks like an urban hipster whose literary sensibilities would be more in tune with the likes of McSweeney's and The Believer. I can't resist.
"Are you reading Du Bois for a class?" I ask.
"No," he says. "I'm reading it on my own." ...
A.K.A. the E train on the Green Line.
Auto describes a ride on the Red Line:
... As we stood, hand on pole, back aching under a week's worth of books, we stared at what passes for faces on a weekday afternoon T. Then, from to our left: "Fuck you, motherfucker!" We spun toward the expletives. Six inches away stood a man, slightly hunched over, with his hands on another's collar. The standing man was in his mid-twenties, with a face that seemed to demand a mullet. His body obscured the object of his rage. Was this a fight among friends? A pocket-picking gone wrong? Should we intervene? We slid left to see the sitting man's face and found a silver-haired, red-faced sixty-five-year-old grandfather. Right at that moment the standing man jerked his elderly prey, adding an "I'll fucking kill you." Without thought, our right hand went up and onto the back of the youngster's shoulder. With a pull, we ripped the man's hands from the collar and sent him two feet back. As we stepped in front of the old man and did our best Clint Eastwood stare, a 6'5" man of approximately 45 years rushed over and yelled at the twenty-something. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" he demanded to know. We all demanded to know. ...
Keep reading to see how there's always more than one side to a story.
Who says the Metro's just good for messing up the T? Erin's ripping through the Metro crossword on the Red Line this morning when another passenger notices how fast she's going. Before she gets off the train, she has his business card and a request to send in her resume.
Sure, it's shiny and gleaming, but when you get right down to it, the Silver Line through Roxbury and the South End is still just a bunch of buses, one subject to all the whims of Boston drivers, John writes:
The Silver Line never really sounded like a real transit line, and it's proved to be the fraud that many predicted.
He points to this Herald article, in which a T spokesman blames delays over the past month on the Jan. 23 blizzard:
"We had 2 feet of snow. It was the most significant snowstorm since the blizzard of '78," T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. "With each passing day, the situation gets better."
With each passing day? The blizzard was A MONTH ago, and they still haven't figured out how to work with the city to clear away the snow - much of which had since melted? Throw in yesterday's snow, and maybe things will be back to normal by, what, June?
There's a new website http://www.mbtamap.com, it's a boston business directory based on the mbta subway map. Comments are welcomed and can be sent to admin(at)mbtamap.com.
Cynthia proves riding the T isn't all drudgery and sardine-can packing:
Yesterday I was in the Harvard subway station slightly after 4pm and a woman offered me tea. High tea, I suppose. She had a table set up and tea and cookies laid out out and she was wearing a taffeta gown and hat and affecting a British accent. ...
Charley on the MTA relays a report from Mrs. Charley, who tried to board a Red Line train in Central Square this morning:
[H]uge, angry crowds of people; waits of much longer than an hour; fights nearly breaking out; trains stuffed full, moving slowly; dozens of trains going outbound, while only three or four were going inbound over the course of more than an hour.
This is pathetic. The blizzard was weeks ago, and it's been like this way too much lately. It costs individuals and businesses too much to put up with this. We deserve better. Call your reps: If they can fix potholes, they should weigh in on this.
I take the T home from Kendall Sq. most days, inbound across the Charles. Quite often when one gets on the the train around 5, it rockets out of Kendall, only to stop on the bridge, because the driver hasn't bothered to call ahead to see if Charles/MGH is clear.
I'm not surprised that that happened last week after the storms and the big power outage at JFK/UMass. What was absolutely stupendous was the train pulled into Charles/MGH, stopping... six feet from the where it needed to. For five minutes! Didn'tÂ open the doors.Â No possible explanation as to what possibly was in the way of that final distance. No, I didn't get the car#.
Ron reports the Burger King at Alewife station has been replaced with a Dunkin' Donuts.
Carpundit puts a token in the slot at his favorite Back Bay stop on the Green Line this morning. The turnstile doesn't work. The always surly token-booth person is busy. So he jumps the turnstile. AndÂ is promptly turned in by the token clerk as a fare jumper:
I turned and saw an angry, red-faced, thirty-something, MBTA cop striding through the gate toward me. ... The turnstile was sticking, people were jumping it, and the token clerk was calling them in as fare evaders. I learned all that from the shouting match the MBTA cop got into with a businessman who had witnessed not only my encounter, but apparently the token clerk's encounters with people as well, and was not happy about the MBTA's efficiency or customer service. So the MBTA cop should have known, or did know, that the problem was an MBTA one, not one of rampant miscreancy....
Growing indications are that Friday was just not a day to take the T. In addition to earlier reports, this just in from Mats: 17 minutes after he got to the inbound platform at Kenmore, a two-car trolley shows up, only to be unloaded:
A brusque T-guy yelled at people to get out of the car to get out - almost as if they were at Park Street, in a car marked Government Center - but that there's another trolley right behind the broken down one. Well, yes, there was, only it, too, was chockful with passengers. To top it off, it had only one car. You do the math: One car load plus two car loads plus one quarter car-load equals ... more than one car can hold. ...
Nothing like some snow and sub-freezing temperatures to make your commute on the T extra special. Karl reports what happens when no Red Line train shows up and then, finally, one slowly appears, already crammed with people:
... Imagine buying some toothpicks in those see-thru plastic containers. You can jossle that thing around but the toothpicks don't budge. THAT was the subway this morning. ...
Wendy reports on the trackless trolley in Watertown this morning:
... Today, we were heading along the bus route as normal, after a tough but timely walk from my home, when the electricity along the entire route stopped. ... Luckily, it was only about fifteen minutes before the juice came back on, but people were looking about ready to riot. "I'm going to be late again," people whined into their cell phones. People were considering just walking back home and starting their weekends early. I was considering weeping, because sitting on a bus makes me incredibly nauseated. ...
Chris, who has seen his commute increase by 45 minutes or so this week, is amazed that Boston can't handle snow, but says he was saddened to read about a T worker killed in a snow-related accident on the tracks of the Orange Line:
... There seems to be perpetual conflict and suspicion between the MBTA and its riders, but it's moments like this that should make riders realize that delays are often despite the best efforts of MBTA employees ...
Cynthia goes "ick:"
This morning I can report that I actually saw a real-life man take a real-life piss in the Davis Square subway station. During morning rush hour no less. I always wondered how the subway stations manage to smell like urine when I've never seen anyone taking a leak in any stations. ...
Michy has her eye on this tall guy who rides the C line through Brookline every day just like her - and has decided to do something about it:
Tonight I am going to wait at the station he gets on at night to make sure I get on the same train. ... [O]nce I am in a good enough position I will ask him if he has a girlfriend and something along those lines, introduce myself, and ask him about the book he is reading etc. I don't want to be messing up my commute every morning for some guy. So, my rationale is in life you or I need to make things happen, we need to take action. ...
David takes the T today and is repeatedly reminded why he doesn't like taking the T:
... Then, before we could pull out of Park Street, the T driver got up suddenly, came out from behind her curtain like the Wizard of Oz, looked at the car full of people, said something unintelligible and then walked off - only to be replaced by 2 MBTA cops. They surveyed the crowd, talked to a few people and stayed on board until the hysterical driver returned 3 or 4 minutes later. Did she think she'd spotted a suspected terrorist in her rear view? ...
You know when you exchange phone numbers with someone and then neither of you ever call? CindyLou discusses what happens when you then run into that person on the T:
... I jostled my way into a crowded C-line train at Copley. It was cold out, the wind had been blowing me, I'm halfway sure my nose was running, and I was carrying loads of bags like a pack mule. In short, I look like a frazzled mess. At the next stop, people start filing on and I'm pressed against the windows trying to let them scoot by my massive load of stuff, when I catch someone's eye...could that be...ummm.... "Hey, I know you, don't I?" ...
Leslie and friends ride around on the new Silver Line waterfront extension, checking out all the new stations, like the one at the federal courthouse:
...It was quite elaborate with embossed metal panels, and a huge upper concourse with violet UFO-style lighting. The escalators go up to a bright, glass-enclosed entry kiosk. Since it was a holiday, there hadn't been much traffic on the further reaches of the line, but quite a few people actually got on at the Courthouse Station for the trip under the channel to South Station. ...
Charley on the MTA explains why it would make all sorts of sense for the T to raise bus fares to an even dollar (especially if they added a transfer system).