Orange Line all jammed up: Another dead train, yup

The MBTA reports "residual" delays on the Orange Line from a train that chose Sullivan Square as the place to meet its maker. At 8:37, Michael F. reported:

And now after 20 minutes of being motionless we're stopped on the tracks because of "traffic ahead of us", which, how is that possible, there weren't any trains ahead of us

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I cannot stand

the "traffic ahead" or "trains ahead" crap. Unless you are the very first train of the day, there will always be, by definition, trains ahead of you. If those trains are causing "traffic" then why is that the case? Why are those trains not moving? THAT is the real reason for the delay.

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Mythical trains

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The "train ahead" is in competition with "there's a train directly behind us" for the title of most mythical train.

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new

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Maybe I'm just not remembering correctly, but it seems like the "traffic ahead" crap really only started a few years ago.

And this is pure speculation, but I believe the national transit group that grades subway systems uses a system based on when the next train is "scheduled for," and how long the train arrives from that window rather than how long someone might wait, so I wonder if the "traffic ahead" crap is really just the T trying to slow down the entire system so that they are always "on schedule," even when that schedule is terribly slow.

As someone who used to live in Davis, I was always curious why the T constantly stood by for 5-10 min in between Harvard and Porter and then between Porter and Davis when those stops are already so far apart.

The problem is that the T insists on using terms

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in their notifications and alerts that are often deliberately vague and misleading.

I follow the NYC Subway on Twitter, and I've noticed that their alerts about problems are far more to the point than the MBTA's are. For example, when a person is struck by a train (sadly, this problem is not unique to Boston), they actually say "person was struck by a train" instead of "medical emergency." AFAIK, telling the truth about such a situation hasn't resulted in mass panic among their patrons.

I've also noticed that the T seems to be increasingly overusing the "stopped X stops away " message, at least on the Green Line, and will routinely display the message when a train has not yet departed a terminal for scheduling reasons instead of due to an actual problem enroute that would create an unexpected delay.

Lastly, IMO one of the biggest fails of the "updated" MBTA alert system - which seems to be geared more to giving the T information about customers' travel patterns than it is towards actually notifying people of problems, is that there is apparently no longer a basic option to "give me all alerts for a specific line REGARDLESS of the time of day." Why is this important to have you ask? For people who have options to use different lines, and for people who travel the T daily, but at different times of day during the week.