Greetings from San Francisco where the Commuter Rail info signs work ( and they are from the same company that made the T’s )
Catching up on reader email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn from Cambridge is fed up with Davis Station
Are we powerless to deal with the MBTA – a truly underperforming public transit system? Is it because, here in the “regulation and punishment” capital of America, things can’t be made too convenient for the sinning public?
I’m fed up with the MBTA and Davis Square especially. It’s not only the average of 1-2 dysfunctional escalators on any given day at Davis; it’s not even the function of problemmatic gates that don’t always open – again, at Davis; it isn’t even my anger that the $50 I put into a paper Charlie Card can’t be converted to my plastic card except at one station – and how does one get a plastic card if you weren’t lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time to obtain one; it isn’t even that apparently smoking is allowed on the platforms in the morning as long as you’re at the extreme end of the platform (at least at Davis and Downtown Crossing).
It’s the MBTA attitude – you have a problem and mention it to the maitre ‘d at the station (formerly the toll booth monitor) and you get an explanation of “Here’s why it’s not my fault.” or even better “Call your state legislator.” Or, it’s made clear that you should mind your own business while “I’ll look into it” is the blah reply.
Why in hell can’t we have a decent subway system where the escalators work, the stations are well built and maintained and don’t reek of some stench, and people actually look like they’re working?
By the way, my daily commute includes the Red Line to Downtown Crossing, Orange Line to State, and Blue Line from there. On average, during any given day, there’s an average of two broken escalators. Who the hell maintains these things? Who makes sure they deliver? And what’s with the Orange Line timetables. Are trains on this line much fewer than on other lines for a particular reason: like why should the MBTA care about Roxbury? Could it be more obvious?
My work takes me to Washington where the stations are clean and the trains are well maintained (and, so, the riders respect them). We can go right to the National Airport terminal quickly instead of lengthy subway rides to Logan. Trains run on time and predictably, including electronic notices of how far away the train is. Staff are courteous.
If only the Romney people had gone after the MBTA employee unions the way they persecuted teachers, and held the MBTA to 14 layers of regulation and oversight like they do with schools, we might have seen improvements.
And, finally, can’t someone a) fix the train and station sound systems so people can hear what’s being currently mumbled to them, and b) give some public speaking lessons to whomever broadcasts the stuff so they’re polite, clear, and helpful?
And it’s $1.70 to $2.00 for a ride depending on whether you’re lucky enough to have a card? Enjoy Canada.
Actually it is California where I am and I won’t tell you how warm it is in San Francisco today . The escalators systemwide are a mess and have been for a few years and yet the T gave the new contract to the same Illinois company that couldn’t do it right in the first place. Real time train announcements is an issue I have harped on and the T has refused to answer any requests I have made for updates.
I’ll have a report on San Francisco transit in a couple of days.
Daniel like many was very cold waiting on the D Line Tuesday morning
Making passengers wait 30-plus minutes in single-digit weather, only to then subject many of them to trains too full to board, is absolutely inexcusable, yet that was my experience this morning on the D line inbound at Beaconsfield. When I arrived at the platform at approximately 8:20, there were 30 or so people waiting, which I took to be a good sign. It meant that I didn’t just miss the train.
By 8:35 the platform had probably accumulated 75 very cold people, and by 8:45 the number was easily over 100, not counting the many who gave up and walked to the C-line.
We watched three outbound trains come and go before an inbound train arrived at around 8:55, already very full. I was one of the fortunate ones, able to board the second car. As we pulled out of the station there were still a couple dozen people who were not as lucky, and I can only hope that another train was close behind.
At each subsequent station, the story was the same. The train arrived and sometimes fewer than half the wating passengers were able to squeeze on.
I have no doubt that the same cold that made waiting unbearable was also responsible for the delay. But leaving people waiting in dangerously cold weather with no word on the status of the delay is irresponsible. It would have been more than simple for one of the outbound conductors to yell to the platform that inbound service had been delayed, and then we could have all walked to the C line or made other arrangements.
Doing nothing should not have been an option.
I also had reports that riders were waiting 20 minutes at Newton Center.
Brad comments on Sunday’s Globe column by Mac Daniel
Mac Daniel caves into the T again with his report on Kenmore being 10 months behind. This is unbelievable! Of course, he allows Joe Pesaturo to place blame on the city for permit problems. Why did it take 10 months to figure out that this project is clearly behind? I guarantee it won’t be done on time for the new completion date. It was also mentioned in the article that the contractor would recieve more $$$ to get the project done. Not shocking at all that another project goes overbudget and more friends of the T (contractors) get more money.
Kenmore is going to be a mess on Red Sox Opening Day and it will only get worse when the D Line has the shutdown later in the summer. I would love to know why the City of Boston and the T seem to have problems with subway projects as permit problems have also delayed construction at State Street on the Blue Line.
Frank has a question about his Senior smartcard
My wife and I have updated our senior passes. On an on-going basis how can we determine how much money is left on each card?
Frank you can always check the remaining value at any fare vending machine and the amount remaining on the card will display on the upper right hand corner of the screen after you tap your card. To check on a monthly pass simply hit the card information button from the menu.