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The new normal on the T: 90 minutes from Dorchester home to Back Bay office

Ed. note: Google Maps says it would take 99 minutes to walk from Ashmont to the Pru.

That girl that likes planez chronicled her commute this morning, starting at 7:51 a.m., when, she reported, she was sitting on a Red Line train at Ashmont six minutes after she boarded it:

8:02. 17 minutes in, doors closed and we're moving.

8:12. Now sitting at Fields Corner for 5 minutes so far with no announcements.

8:13. After 4 false starts (train starts, then immediately stops) we're moving again.

8:17. Now at Savin Hill.

8:22. Time for the stop at JFK/UMass

8:34. And departing South Station

8:40. After 55 minutes, I have arrived at... Park. Time to transfer to the Green Line E branch

8:44. I would like to point out that at no time while on the Red Line did I hear a single announcement. MBTA this is a serious accessibility concern for the blind.

8:52. Now on my E train leaving Park.

8:55. Boylston. We are standing room only, in a Type 8 car with automated synthetic voice announcements.

8:58. Arlington, 2 more stops

9:00. Copley.

9:05. And finally at Prudential, an hour and a half after leaving home, an hour and 18 minutes after arriving at Ashmont. Now for a quick stop at @cloverfoodlab for breakfast before my scheduled 9:30am clock in.

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Comments

The ironically termed "rush hour" is the slowest and worst service the T has to offer.

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Who wants to put up with this madness? Even with all the traffic a car is still a more desirable option. And the T is at least a decade or two from even coming close. People need to start accepting cars are never going away, and traffic will continue to increase as population grows. We can't ignore this nor ignore the infrastructure for cars. All modes can and should coexist.

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Failure to provide a meaningful alternative doesn't make the status quo acceptable. The fact that transit is failing isn't incidental to car infrastructure transit is failing because in this country we invest at least 4 times as much in car infrastructure by law. If we continue to treat the car as king it is a self fulfilling prophecy that all other modes will be inferior. The only way to make transit a viable alternative is to make transit better, including crucially (something we don't seem to ever want to do here) when it might make car travel less convenient. The "coexistence" you advocate is the continued dominance of the automobile over all other modes, which is a disaster in terms of urban land use and the environment.

First things we could do to make transit a more viable alternative without spending very much: Get the transit out of traffic by giving busses and green line trains priority at all intersections and adding bus lanes for all major lines (especially at choke points), Make sure there are blue bikes available at every train station on the system and at key bus hubs/transfer points (it is shocking how many stations don't have them), and eliminate transfer fees between modes.

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Sad but true - if this city is going to save transit they're going to do it with busses, which are more agile and in better shape than the trains are now and will be for the next decade or so. The city NEEDS to get serious about bus lanes and fixing areas where busses get stuck. And unlike the general state of the MBTA this is something the city can go ahead and do without statewide buy in. The mayor of Everett just went out with cones and make himself bus lanes one morning. This is DOABLE.

Absolutely nobody is going to make the self sacrifice of an hour and a half on a train for a trip that takes maybe half an hour by car. They just aren't. There's no reasonable way to ask them to. So until the trains are actually fixed transit advocates should pivot to making the busses as convenient, fast, clean, pleasant, etc, etc, as possible.

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They do not have much of one in cities.

If you are willing to pay for the externalities, then maybe ... but kissing ass on a failed experiment isn't going to solve the region's transport issues and may stall actual progress ... HAS stalled actual progress.

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I've been using the T since I was a kid in the 1960s. I used the Ashmont Line almost every day in the 1970s through the 90s. I still use the Ashmont Line a few times every week.

The service is worse than ever. And our politicians don't give a shit, because in part, almost none of the them actually use the T. This city and region are broken, and there is no plan that I am aware of to actually fix it.

To paraphrase Dante's Inferno, "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter the T"

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Ask them how often they use it to get to the State House.

Go from there.

I can't stand Mike Connolly's politics but at least he makes a good faith effort to take the T.

PS - The Great and General Court of Massachusetts i.e. The legislature just expanded their parking spaces on Derne Street behind the State House.

If that doesn't tell you something, nothing will.

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n/t

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We did have a rep who could do something about it but we chose to trade him for some sick twitter burns.

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he is very right.

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I remember in the late 70s and early 80s when they had the blue-colored red line trains that flew at 40-50 miles per hour between stations. When we left Ashmont for downtown Boston, we got there in about 14 minutes.

As John Costello mentioned, they're expanding parking spaces for the legislature while T riders are growing increasingly upset about slow trains, blocks, shutdowns and other things. The inflection point will occur when fed-up residents shut down access to the area around the State House in protest. I predict that tinder box being lit and blowing up sooner than later.

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And here I thought I was being silly leaving myself two hours to get from the Longwood Medical Area to North Quincy tonight. Maybe not so much.

(Also, from Saturday: running single car trains on the Green line when there's a Red Sox game? What the hell?)

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Time for a paradigm shift.

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That doesn't always work if you don't have safe roadways between point A and B. Ebikes can help pace traffic for some segments but that's not a beginner move.

25 mph headwinds in freezing temps aren't for everyone, either (aka my homebound commute on Thursday).

TL/DR: Biking is great but we need both a functioning transit system and bike facilities to encourage multimodal and replacement trips.

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I didn't mean that everybody today can simply switch modes. E-bikes will help with the wind, but my vision here, would involve reconfiguring lanes on all of our arterials for bike use. Dot Ave. might be overwhelming to most riders right now, but not if it had good bike facilities. Even a functioning T doesn't beat the bike on this particular route. The primary options should be transit and bike, then car.

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i have a strong wish to pave over the MBTA tracks and turn them into isolated bike highways.
it would be much faster, predictable and safer. Not to mention the billions saved.

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It’s a good thing you are literally the only person with that desire because this would be terrible.

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I'd rather fix the T for everyone than give politicians more reasons to let it rot

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are going to start getting ugly. I was on a crowded rush hour platform at Sullivan, a crowded train came by, the next train in 20+ minutes.

MBTA employees are going to be in danger. The atmosphere was *hostile*.

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At Fields Corner. Message Board and announcement say “Next Alewife train is 1 stop away.”
A few minutes later “Next Alewife train is 2 stops away.

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Yes, I am much aggravated by this as well. For the outbound train that very few people board in Fields Corner, the announcements is always showing up on my Transit app, and yet there is never a reliable announcement announcement about the inbound trains -which is the way 95% of people are going. I suspect that's the same for the other stations on the Ashmont branch?

Now that trains routinely run 20+ minutes apart, knowing when the next one is coming would make a big difference so one doesn't have to budget an hour time to travel 5 or 6 miles by "fast transit". I have reported to the T but have zero expectation that anyone cares to fix this.

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It took me an hour and forty min. to get to Quincy Center from Airport in "rush hour" last week.

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Why did this lady absolutely, positively have to be at the Pru at 9:30 this morning? What factory is in there? What widgets was she assembling on-site?

Is whether or not this woman eats and/or has a roof entirely dependent upon her performing a service for money at a wealthier person/entity's command? The train is not as relevant as it's made out to be.

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Per the article, her shift started at 9:30. There's dozens of various businesses in the Pru, are you saying you have expert knowledge of every single one of them?

For example there is a Wayfair and a Law Firm in there. You know the requirements for showing up to work at either of those places? Maybe they had meetings. Maybe they had something that needed to be hammered out before 11. What a wild assumption you are making.

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She works retail where being on time is of paramount importance to your continued employment.

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Is whether or not this woman eats and/or has a roof entirely dependent upon her performing a service for money at a wealthier person/entity's command?

Yeah, that would be pretty much my assumption. First day in a capitalist society?

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a product of systemically dysfunctional government.

It's a regional public system that does not have any substantiative functional regional planning and governance. The funding reflects the dysfunction. The MBTA is a bandaid on an aortic dissection.

The sad part is that smart systemic investments in public transit reliability and public transit expansion, particularly rail based, strongly correlate to improved economic activity.

As my grandmother would say, we're biting off our noses to save our faces.

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