Well, at least when it comes to rail transportation. The T&G reports today that as CSX winds down operations in its Beacon Park yard in Allston, it's planning to shift its operations to the west. And according to Transportation Secretary Jeff Mullan, the new set-up promises to "make Worcester the freight rail hub for all six New England states with east-west and north-south rail connections with access to highways."
Unfortunately, it's by blindsiding you with nearly $40 of parking violations, giving you a nearly impossible way to challenge it, and then hitting you with a ticket as I recently found out.
BYOP and youth organizers demand a year-round Youth Pass.
The Globe engages in some local community coverage! Some youth from Cape Verdean Community Unido were told by former Deputy Chief of Staff Kris Erickson not to portray the dark side of the Dudley Street community in their mural on the Fairmount bridge (owned by the MBTA) about the neighborhood's revitalization. The mural was based in large part on the youth's research of Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.
Their initial sketch depicted fires, the result of arson in the community. They were told that it was too violent, they said, and that a silhouette of a person pointing at the flames looked too much like a youth holding a gun, something many of them perceived as a hurtful stereotype.
So the youth came back with a written piece, and were told to strike over half a dozen "negative" words. Alosi has backtracked, slightly- the written version has been approved. Unfortunately, the program is essentially over for the summer, so it's a bit late, and the panel will probably remain blank.
Reading through the story, something sounds familiar:
In general, any filming, videotaping or photography that depicts the MBTA must not portray the Authority in a negative light. This includes, but is not limited to, violent content, sexual activity and assault. Furthermore, any attempt to portray public transportation as unsafe or dangerous in any way will not be permitted.
So much for my production, The Taking of Orange Line 123. Plot: TheZak hijacks an Orange Line train, demanding that the train be driven to Copley station and rambling over the radio about Boston Public Library, public records laws, and an frustrations at ordering small pizzas.
Starring protagonist boy-genius Kaz. Swrrlygrl uses a butterknife to make the Orange Line train fit on the Green Line tracks and performs open-heart surgery with a spoon on hero cop Pete Nice, who suffers a heart attack being overwhelmed with confusion trying to negotiate with TheZak. Ron Newman is the dispatcher who insists that, according to HIS systems, everything is fine. Adam works via a weak Wifi signal to collect and summarize the blog/LJ/Flickr/Twitter posts of everyone else on the train, while Steve Garfield's Nokia Wunderphone suffers a tragic death on the third rail, launched there by someone tired of being "video blogged".) Also on the train, Sam Yoon presents a ten-point proposal to extend MBTA operational hours, lower fares, decrease wait times, eliminate mechanical breakdowns, remove the T Smell, and solve world hunger. Michael Flaherty and the Dropkick Murphys play an MBTA SWAT Team, which plays "Shippin' Up To Boston", in hopes of killing hijackers who are sick to death of hearing the song.
Joseph Pesaturo stars in a brief one-line cameo: "Hijacked train? We're having signal problems."
UPDATED to reflect that the indecent involved a pedestrian, not a motor vehicle as I first thought.
The 9:30pm outbound Kingston commuter rail struck a man near the Essex Street crossing in Whitman Thursday night; the first emergency call was received at 10:06 pm, according to chatter heard on a police scanner. I cannot confirm whether or not that this incident was fatal.
Curiously, I can't find one mention of this in local media - not even the local South Shore papers. I guess T accidents after daylight hours don't give good enough photo ops to make the news.
Red line service was stopped around 1:30 AM today due to a girl jumping on the tracks, tweets Kevin Gilnack. The unknown female then proceeded to run up the tracks from Park Street and was caught at the Charles/MGH station.
Service was stopped due to officials turning off the third rail. Bus connections were apparently delayed too.
Medford Transcript poll: What do you think of the Green Line ending at Route 16?
Vote early and often!
Ouch! That's loud and early! Central Square (in Lynn, not Cambridge) is not happy this morning and the MBTA is going to hear about it.
Now that the Mass Pike & Tunnel Tolls Are About To Go Up, What Will Be Your Alternate Route Once Tolls Take Effect in 2009?By Williams35 - 11/15/08 - 12:17 am
Imagine my surprise when I go to pay my parking fee at Middleboro/Lakeville and see a "New Parking Rate $3.00/day" sign! The MBTA has heard our pleas and compromised with us! Hooray!
Imagine my utter confusion when I see a sign that contradicts this 3 feet to the right.
They might wish to have a word with the MBCR's commuter-rail conductors. From a Worcester-line rider's note to the MBCR about a late train on Aug. 14:
... It's bad enough to have your trains arrive over 30 minutes late with no signage indicating so at the station! The female conductor did not even bother to collect fares. I asked another passenger who boarded at South Station, and she said that the conductor did not collect for passengers boarding there either. ...
Since when are the MBTA Transit Police allowed to make traffic stops on Huntington Avenue? Spotted at ~10:10, between South Huntington and Mission Hill (nowhere near a bus stop or any other MBTA property, and no buses or trolleys in sight, either): male and female officers from one of the "wagon" Transit Police units, inspecting the license of a driver and speaking to her.
A little background on how complicated Chapter 90 authority can be.
For a long time, and likely longer than most would like to remember, the River Street Bridge over Mother Brook (that run down cement bridge by Kelly Field) has been in need of repair or replacement, and has long had a restriction on one side which has been outlined by "Jersey Barriers."
Sometime last night, people on e-distribution for Police District E-18 got a message from CitizenObserver.Com (the BPD's e-blast service) announcing the bridge would close to traffic in one direction starting this coming Monday, July 28 in order to perform repairs.
Another step forward for the Somerville Green Line: State transportation folks announced this afternoon proposed stops in Somerville and Medford (sort of). The Cambridge Chronicle has the list.
Every time I walk by the AT&T store in Central Square, I notice the snide, laser-printed signs in the window:
"AT&T IS NOT A PLACE TO WAIT FOR THE BUS."
And, technically, it's true. AT&T is, of course, a communications company. "A place to wait for the bus" is less of a "communications company", and more of a "location". Tougher to brand, too, though Wall's done a decent job of it.
Then again, it's wrong, on so many levels:
* The sidewalk is not AT&T property
After yesterday's crash, a Commuter Rail-riding friend (who was not on that train) got this email today from the powers that be:
Subject: Providence/Stoughton Disruption 3.25.2008
TO ALL OUR PROVIDENCE / STOUGHTON LINE CUSTOMERS
There's no way to summarize Mike Mennonno's post about getting from Somerville to Boston Medical Center by MBTA bus, so just go read it.
The T Riders Union (TRU), a public transit riders advocacy group, is holding a rally in front of the State House tomorrow to protest the T's ballooning debt that keeps shoveling the burden onto riders in the form of 3 fare hikes in 6 years.
Riders calling for the State legislature to pass MBTA debt relief legislation and will be joined by co-sponsors of the bill (Representatives Carl Sciortino, Liz Malia, and Brian Wallace.)
It'll be a fun rally complete with political theatre and a rider being "crushed" by a massive weight with "MBTA debt" written on the sides.
Sick of poor service, uneven automated fare collection machine implementation, and rising fares? Think the new fare increases (from $1.25 to $2.25 cash) are outrageous?
The T Riders Union (TRU) is going to march on the MBTA tomorrow at 12:30pm at MBTA Headquarters (10 Park Plaza, intersection of Park and Charles.) Frustrated riders who are trying to prevent increase of 29-83% to cash and Charlie Ticket fares will march to the monthly MBTA Board meeting, and present over 1,200 signatures opposing the fare increases.
Voice your frustration by joining us tomorrow.
Hmm, why do you think T ridership hasn't increased despite the recent run-up in gasoline prices? Regular T commuter Gary McGath has a possible answer:
... The MBTA offers riders inadequate parking, overcrowded trains, cars that are often freezing or broiling hot, unpredictably irregular buses and subways, Green Line trains that routinely lie about their final stop, and other frustrations. ...
If commuters do have to pay more, perhaps the T could soften the blow by giving them more amusing subway maps.
But if our favorite dysfunctional transit system has to raise fares, Jen Stewart has suggestions for what to do with the new money:
... a) hire people who aren't outright jerks to run your token booths (don't get me started on that harridan at Oak Grove...just don't), and b) fix your turnstiles and escalators? It would be lovely not to bruise myself every third morning on a turnstile that doesn't cooperate.