So, I was walking from Coolidge Corner down Beacon Street, toward Boston, last night, and I heard from across the street a sudden â€śthump, thump â€¦ thump, thumpâ€ť to my side... It sounded a lot like a car would if it was driving over some train track rails... Which is what it was.
The number two item in the MBTA customer bill of rights reads: Your safety is our top priority. If we are not performing to your standards, please 'write to the top'. Top level management will respond. Given my interest in personal safety and experiences with the T, I had the opportunity to try this out.
To me, riding the T is usually painless, but getting on the "C" line "train" in Cleveland Circle can be hazardous to my health. Getting to the "T" platform in this area requires crossing Beacon Street near Reservoir Liquors or Maryann's Bar. Both locations have poorly maintained street lights and crosswalks that have faded into oblivion. For several months the green lights on the traffic light and the pedestrian walk lights were burned out leading drivers to believe they were out of service. The end result is that many drivers do not stop when the traffic lights turn red, leaving pedestrians to jump out of harms way when a driver barrels through. This problem is compounded by drivers who use the crosswalk area for parking and delivery liquor store delivery trucks who use it for unloading.
Mr. Mac describes what happened when a Red Line train, stuck in the tunnel for quite some time at rush hour, pulled into Park Street and discharged passengers this morning:
Filmgirl99 is waiting at the Fenway commuter stop when the train comes barrelling through and doesn't stop - again:
... The MBTA service is getting worse and worse these past couple of months. Usually they just try to avoid picking up passengers, by having the same bitchy conductress yell impatiently through the loudspeakers that there's another train coming right behind this one. She knows it's a lie; we know it's a lie. And yet she does it just about every day anyway.
Suggestion 7,012 for how to increase T ridership by not pissing off existing riders so much they all go out and buy SUVs: If you need to have a train stop at the wrong platform, see if there are people in the station who are waiting for it where it normally stops:
Newly arrived from California, Susan quickly gets lessons in how http://adam.rosi-kessel.org/weblog/boston/boston_v...">our fair state's insurance and mass-transit systems really work. First, she's forced to lie about where she got her car, because it was a gift from her aunt and the official form for insurance doesn't list "aunt" as a family member from whom gifts are acceptable:
Urbanoutback tries driving to work and, amazingly, discovers he actually misses taking the T. Except for the announcements:
So the T had to do some maintenance work on the Orange Line over the weekend (next weekend, too) that involved shutting down one track and stopping northbound service at Downtown Crossing. You'd think that since this was planned they could post signs at the entrances to the affected stations - and give T workers the right shuttle information to give riders, right? Hey, this is the T we're talking about. What do you think?
When I reached Downtown Crossing to take the Orange Line for Sulivan Square, the T Staff said the line was not working and there were shuttle buses at Park Street. I walked to Park Street but no signs of buses. Then I called up T. They said the same thing. Then I went to the station underground and the staff was directing everyone to take the Green Line to Haymarket station where the shuttle buses were. ...
... What bothers me is they couldn't even tell me upfront at Haymarket that the train was running oddly. They just told me to go to Park St. and pick up the train there. Also, they couldn't just put up a sign (even just a quickly scrawled one taped to the collector's booth) at the entrance to the station telling me that I couldn't take the orange line from there. ...
J.M. also ran into the Orange Line non-service:
... The worst part is that there's little to no signage at street level to tell you what's going on between Downtown Crossing and Haymarket, either. No T employees, either. And when you finally get to Downtown Crossing, you don't find out that they're using the inbound side to get people on the trains until you get down to the outbound side and see all the yellow tape. ...
It was all enough to make Pelican declare enough is enough:
... This debacle coupled with the generally shitty service, delays (I shouldn't have to allot one hour to take the T from Stony Brook to Chinatown or Downtown Crossing), messy cars, unintelligible loudspeakers, delays, busses that don't arrive and then when they do there are three one after another (nod to No. 39), poorly maintained stations, absolutely no coherent signs (why are there still those signs from the DNC still stuck to station walls?), and more delays have made me want to have a city-wide conversation about the T. I hear proposed lines are being cut (Silver), nothing is done about the mess in JP with the busses vs. Green Line extension, and no one seems happy. Is it time to talk about the elephant in the room?
Special bonus Orange Line photo bonanza: Please, be gentle.
The Transport Avenger reports on official reaction to his letter complaining about how it took MBTA police 20 minutes to respond to a report of a suspicious bag thrown on the Green Line tracks at North Station just three days after the first London bombings: He got a form letter from Mitt Romney and nothing from anybody at the MBTA:
... Why didn't the police arrive immediately, especially after the London bombings mere days ago?
Nervous Maverick wishes the T would take all the money it's spending on security-awareness pamphlets and use it for actual security:
The Night Owl service has been cancelled in Boston as of last night (Friday, 24th). My sister and I just spent an hour waiting for it in front of the Boston Common theater, before and MBTA official informed us it wouldn't be coming then, or anytime in the future.. And good luck hailing a cab down there... That took an additional hour and fifteen minutes.....