Why is the MBTA apparently keeping
the closure of Government Center station such a secret from the passengers? As I first mentioned some weeks ago (in a reply to another post), announcements about the closure, save for an occasional Green Line operator, are almost non existent. Further, only a handful of the line maps I've observed on Green Line streetcars have not yet been modified with the temporary "CLOSED" stickers over the Government Center stop.
But earlier, I received the ultimate proof of the MBTA's campaign to keep unwary tourists and other non-everyday users of the system in the dark about the Government Center closure. Witness this alert:
Green Line E branch experiencing minor westbound delays due to disabled train at Haymarket Station
Haymarket - Green Line Inbound
Government Center Station - Green Line Westbound
Park St Station - Green Line - E Line Berth
Boylston Station - Outbound
Arlington Station - Outbound
Copley Station - Outbound
Prudential Station - Outbound
Symphony Station - Outbound
Northeastern - Outbound
Museum of Fine Arts - Outbound
Longwood Med Area - Outbound
Brigham Circle - Outbound
Last updated: Jun 4 2014 5:44 PM
Note the bit I highlighted in bold.
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The Blue Line Inbound
Announces it, at least every time I ride it. Granted it's usually once we're pulling into or out of State, but Airport station also has some signs/stickers too.
First off I hear the announcements every morning on the train as it approaches state on the blue line. Every day. I also hear them at Haymarket (where they also have a few employees on the platform instructing folks where to go).
As far as the signage... BFD. Remember its the T, anytime there's a sticker on ANYTHING T-related, some asshat removes it. Always.
I know when it first closed a good portion of the station maps were covered with a sticker. But again, see above how that goes. I also don't expect the T to cover every single sign at every stop, and inside every subway car and bus. Sorry, I just don't.
Most regular riders know its closed by now. Between the news (TV, Print, and Internet) hoopla about it, the T itself, and just people talking about it, most know by now its closed.
(And tourists suck and don't count, so who cares if some tourist gets lost (sarcasm).. (actually most tourists WILL ask T employees where to go, expecting them to be friendly))
And as far as your alert.. I'm sure it was just overlooked or these are pre-defiled auto-messages in some software somewhere that someone just needs to edit. Again, big deal, Anyone who would get these alerts would be a daily rider, and again, most know GC is closed.
I'm not trying to dog you, roadman, but seriously what gives? This just comes off as one bitchy post about how the T sucks. And yes the T sucks, but I don't see your point as much of a big deal as you make it (nor something the T is hiding from its riders). They had countless meetings and announcements about it, and it was media blitz, how much more does the T need to do to satisfy this?
Yes I was on the Blue line yesterday
and announcements were made at Logan and beyond, inbound.
The Blue crew probably has extra incentive to prevent randoms from ending up at Bowdoin as they are particularly emphatic at State.
The Green line is probably more haphazard as it is the idiot stepchild line.
D Riverside solves it by stopping at Park but I can't speak for the others as I haven't used em lately.
And I noticed they have some new disruption in the pipe for the elevated stretch of Lechmere and Science.
I haven't checked with Orange either, but will before long and Red, of course, is its own crippled thing in its own little world and Gov Center may as well be in Sydney or Hong Kong for all it cares.
I live with its floundering and am thrilled to avoid it in rush hour.
Idiot stepchild line?
A much better way to put it is great-grandfather with Alzheimer's line!
Seriously though, the GL is the only line that the operator is in COMPLETE control of the train at all times. The last thing that a many of them are thinking about is making the announcements. They've not only got to operate the train, but they need to check the signals, read their rail to make sure they're not going the wrong way, or worse derail, they've got to keep an eye on the track ahead and their proximity to the next train.
Light rail west of Kenmore is pretty exposed and has to be fairly harrowing to run when compared with the system elements that are neatly channeled below ground or beyond traffic.
Um, you do realize a second
Um, you do realize a second operator is sitting there doing jack shit the entire time right?
The Bewildered At Bowdoin
The Blue Line train operators do make announcements about the closure of Government Center (Scollay Under), and nearly all passengers get off at State Street Station. A few of us intentionally stay on to go to Bowdoin, but I still see people who arrive there totally bewildered, often lugging a suitcase as they've just come in from the Airport.
They're easy to spot, so I'll sometimes take pity on the passenger and ask if they need directions, especially when they're elderly and/or seem particularly confused. It's easy enough to take them across to the Outbound platform and explain how to transfer via State. (well, taking them to the other platform is easy)
I realize the station attendants are usually too busy doing paperwork and can't leave their booths to help passengers, so it'd be nice if the Ⓣ put up some signs at Bowdoin to show people how to get back where they were trying to go.
Word Search And Crossword Puzzles, Reading 'The Herald', Etc. ..
Well, they could start
by making sure they provide updated information on their alerts. Then, they could acknowledge that perhaps a number of their passengers (like the tourists for one) may not know, or have forgotten, that Government Center station is closed. Now, I can't speak for the Blue Line - although, based on some of the other posts here, it sounds like they're doing a pretty good job of informing people. However,as a daily Green Line rider, I will re-assert that they are not doing a proper job of informing passengers.
And we're talking PA announcements here - no extra investment required. It's called responsive customer service.
Let's put it another way. Say MassDOT decided to close a major highway interchange - like I-93 at I-95 (nee 128) - to rebuild it. They have public hearings and meetings, a media blitz, and the like to get the word out about the closure. Then after the interchange is actually closed, they decide not to put up signs on the highway or inform the traffic reporters to give people reminder messages about the closure.
I doubt most people would consider that approach acceptable. Yet, the T is doing the exact same thing with the GC closure. And, with respect, it's unfortunate that when people like me raise these types of issues that can be easily solved at minimal or no cost, people like you react with "stop bitching about the T."
But how long do these announcements need to go on. Daily riders do not need to hear these announcements daily. They know its closed. So what a handful of riders daily get lost (and I am talking under 200, which is VERY small considering how many riders the system uses everyday), who cares? That's less than a 1/2 of a percent, which is an acceptable rate of loss when it comes to Customer Service.
Once again, you're trying to push the 'The T sucks and this is why" bitchfest you do very often roadman. We get it roadman, they suck. And yes they could always do better, but anyone doing anything could always 'do it better'. Sorry its not up to your standard, but seriously, give it up, your trying to make a mountain of a mole hill and its just not needed.
PS - Instead of whining on here, ever think of calling the T? or lodging complaints? Did you go to meetings to talk about signage and announcements and air your concerns? Ah thats right, you don't, and just want to complain about the T (as usual)
"acceptable rate of loss"
"acceptable rate of loss"
I'm sure glad you're not the T's manager of customer communications.
How long does the T need to keep making extra-loud announcements on buses telling people to email [email protected], an email address which doesn't even work?
Have never worked in Customer service. I have. I was a customer service call center manager before. It was my DUTY to come out with numbers like what I stated above
There's this thing called "loss" its incorporated to everything you do . Money loss. Time Loss. Customer Loss. Call Drop Loss. Each one has a threshold. Less than a 1/2 of a % is excellent for a loss when compared to the number of total riders.
I'll even go on to say I bet its even LESS than a 1/2 of a percent (I just did quick math). If the T has 1.2 million daily riders, 200 people getting 'lost' would be a .016667%.. so essentially less than 1/64th of a percent. That is EXCELLENT.
If you are going to try to argue that "no one should be at a loss", don't bother. You're 100% wrong and have no fucking clue. So please get a clue, a real argument, and a registered screen name and try your argument again.
PS - That address works for me (I just tried it and it did not bounce) maybe you need to call customer service.
"You're 100% wrong and have
"You're 100% wrong and have no fucking clue."
You sound like just the type of person I want interacting with my customers and managing my employees. Come on by and I'll hire you!
"200 people getting 'lost' would be a .016667%.. so essentially less than 1/64th of a percent. That is EXCELLENT."
Let's say that every day, 10 bus drivers, with 20 passengers each, decided they didn't want to follow their route, and drove to the local pub for a brew instead. Only 1/64th of a percent of T riders would be affected. Would that be ok with you?
Or should the T take reasonable efforts to prevent problems that are their fault?
I'm glad you're not the T's manager of reliability.
"PS - That address works for me (I just tried it and it did not bounce) maybe you need to call customer service."
It didn't work when I tried it a few weeks back. I told the T via the web form, but didn't get a response.
And it wasn't just me that had trouble with that address. On March 2, https://twitter.com/nickmajor79/status/440177388572659712 said, "what's the deal with the [email protected] announcements? Address is invalid"
Got detailed announcement today ...
While I don't ride the Green Line everyday, I do take it a few times a week. Today, as we were about to leave Boylston for Park, the driver mad a detailed announcement about our different options: Blue Line connection at State via the Orange Line at either Haymarket or DTX, Airport connections via Red Line to South Station and the Silver Line. He said it twice, once before leaving Boylston and once enroute to Park. I don't think that I could have asked for more information, at least in this instance. I've also had rides where almost nothing was said.
During the first few days
During the first few days/weeks of the closure, EVERY time I went through Govt Center (or even stops before or after), the conductor told the passengers the station was going to be closed for 2 years. Granted I am not a daily commuter through the station, but it was definitely common enough that you could tell that most of the people on the train had already heard the announcements enough.
I'll also confirm that every single morning on whatever inbound Blue Line train I'm on an announcement is made before State, of varying length, but all include the vital transfer info. Some operators drone on about how it's closed for 2 years because of construction, we apologize blah blah and others just say it's closed, use the OL down the ramp 1 stop to Haymarket.
Also, the T has replaced all the old system maps with the new (bastardized) Kvrivishvili map which "X"s out Gov't Center for this time frame in stations and trains.
Finally, the major bypass stations all have clear signage directing passengers for Green Line transfers (at State) and Blue Line transfers (at Haymarket).
What's going to be funny
What's going to be funny is to see how they manage the "closed for two years" announcement as the time of completion gets nearer. Are they going to say "closed for the next year and a half", "closed for the next six months", etc? My guess is that they will still be announcing "two years" a day or so before the grand re-opening.
More likely that "two years"
More likely that "two years" will always be "two years" because the end date will always be "two years" from now. Like on Money Pit.
Why did the Blue Line destination signs say Bowdoin even when Bowdoin was closed?
Why do Red Line station announcements say Ashmont or Braintree when all trains end at Broadway?
Why do Red Line train announcements say you can transfer to Amtrak at Porter?
Why don't the countdown clocks work when there's a scheduled outage, or after 2 am?
They announced this two years
They announced this two years ago. Please shut up.
Yes, they did
And that's great for people who were here two years ago, not so great for all those visitors and newcomers to Boston.
There are signs for this all
There are signs for this all over the place. In every station. Every time I've taken the Green Line, they mention it on both sides of Govt. Center. No one is trying to cover anything up.
I will reassert
I take the Green Line daily. In the morning, I take it into work during rush hour. Three days a week, I take it home in mid-afternoon, the other two days I take it home during rush hour.
SInce the start of the Government Center closure, I've heard announcements about it on trains approaching either Haymarket westbound or Park Street eastbound less than twice a week on average, and sometimes even less than that.
In that same time, I've personally witnessed at least six people on trains, upon hearing the robo-voice announcing Haymarket or Park Street, look perplexed and comment out loud "Isn't this train going to stop at Government Center?"
But, and with respect, I'll let you continue with your delusion that the T is doing a good job keeping their passengers informed about the closure.
Just admit it
Its just not up to "roadman's high standards"
Its public transit, not Uber. You keep confusing the two. One cost 2 bucks to ride, other $30+. You want good customer service, ride Uber, not the T.
Yeah, boy, you want some
Yeah, boy, you want some fancy-pants signage or announcements so people know whether they can actually get to their destination or not? Next you're going to ask for gold-plated trolleys and complementary champagne!
Please see the first few comments. This OP here is ridiculous. There are announcing it with regularity on both Green and Blue lines. Anyone who says otherwise isn't paying attention. Useless post.
The T's been asked by Homeland Security...
...to keep the station rebuild quiet. They don't want to tip off Al-Qaeda that infrastructure is being fixed:
Government Center station is CLOSED?!!?!?!?!1?!!?
One alert mentioning
One alert mentioning Government Center does not mean the MBTA is "deliberately keeping the closure a secret".
Every time I've been on the Green Line since the closure the operator has announced it. I've even gotten announcements at every downtown station by Orange Line operators, trying to help passengers connect between blue and green. Almost every map has either been replaced with one that shows an X for Government Center with a note about the closure, or has had a sticker stuck over Government Center, both in transit vehicles and on station platforms, even far out on the branches.
And the T has even modified signs like the random ones directing you to Fenway. For example, the sign at North Station on the inbound platform that tells you to go to Government Center and change to a B, D, or D train to Kenmore has now been modified to read Park St.
I think they're doing a tremendous job at notifying people of the closure. As a regular rider I even feel like they might be doing TOO much. I think the only more obvious thing they could do is have someone standing at the faregates asking each passenger if they know Government Center is closed before letting them in, which would be ridiculous.
I just took a look at http:/
I just took a look at http://mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/ .
My first thought when I saw the X was that it indicated a transfer between the two lines.
And the "closed for renovation" text is so small that it's unreadable. If you zoom in, you'll see the letters are malformed and blurred together because they're so small.
Nope, the T isn't winning any design awards for this one.
They Should Remove All References To "Government Center" Now ...
... in preparation for it being renamed "Scollay Station" when it eventually reopens.
( not Scollay Square, just Scollay Station )