Friday, September 23, 2005

People Are Stupid

Got off the packed train last night around 6.45. When I say packed, I mean PACKED. I've never seen it that full that late in the commute.
I was on the last car, so I'd be closest to the doors to leave the station.
The platform has FOUR doors, set in 2 pairs.
The right pair leads primarily to the escalator, the left to the stairs.
As I said before, the train was packed, and there are FOUR doors to exit the platform area.
Of course, the idiots in front of me tried to squeeze through one of the two opened doors.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Quality Control

Check out this sign at Oak Grove.

A few things:

1) There is also a bus stop out there, which is not noted on the sign.
2) There is also taxi pick-up, passenger drop-off and pick-up, and a bus stop on the opposite side of the station, but there is no sign telling you that.

But the best part is the fact that while making this very amateur looking sign, they apparently forgot to proof it.

What is "pick" meant to convey to us?

Guitar pick?
Afro pick?
Oscar pick?
Are the curbs there good for skateboarding, and you could do a nosepick grind?

I mean, what is on their minds?

As an aside, there is also a bus stop "sign" on that side of the station that is written very professionally in sharpie, but i forgot to get a photo.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Victorious Once Again!

TA helped out his buddy Mr. Mac by sending his letter (see post below under Red Line Rudeness) to the GM and Red Line chiefs. I signed it with my name so Mr. Mac could remain anonymous. Now, I'm sure the T people cringe when an email with my domain shows up in the mailbox, but I'm happy to have gotten a very quick, positive response from a certain Ms. Shirkus. Carry on....


Dear Mr. C,

Thank you for your email regarding Red Line service.

The behavior you describe is very disturbing, and completely
unacceptable. I am embarrassed by your encounter with this employee,
and offer my apologies for your mistreatment.

This mornings rush hour was adversely impacted by signal problems
between Park Street and Kendall. The signal system is designed to "fail
safe" when there is a problem, causing all trains in the area to stop.
When this occurs, trains must be manually blocked through the location
one at a time, at a restricted speed, maintaining safe braking distances
in the process. This unfortunately causes a residual "snowball" effect,
impacting a larger portion of the line.

I have taken the liberty of forwarding your email, along with this
response to the Red Line Superintendent's office for further review and
action. In the future if you witness a situation while onboard a
vehicle, please note the train number as it will assist us in our

Again, please accept my apologies for our failure to properly serve you
and if you have any questions or concerns regarding Red Line service,
please contact me at


Maureen Shirkus
Chief, Red Line Operations
45 High St. 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Red Line Rudeness

It seems that Mr. Mac had a BAD commute today, which shouldn't really be a surprise, right kids?
Here's his tale...

I was on the Red Line today during 9:00AM rush hour, and it appears that the
T is not only completely incompetent (the train sat in the tunnel between
Charles and Park Street for quite a while with no A/C and no explanation of
the delay, only to repetitiously jerk to a start and then jerk to a stop
after about 10 feet of travel), but it appears that the T has also become
quite malicious. After the train finally pulled into Park Street, the doors
opened to let everyone off. Because the train was so packed with people by
virtue of the aforementioned delays, a good amount of people that did not
intend to get off of the train at Park Street had to get off of the train to
let people out. Once the Park Street destination riders were fully out of
the train, a significant amount of people were filing back into the now
relatively empty train along with people who had been waiting for the train
on the platform. Instead of letting people on the train, the conductor kept
closing and opening the doors in a chopping fashion, striking the passengers
entering the train with no warning. This went on for a full minute. I saw an
old woman get violently knocked in the head a few times while she was
trapped in the doorway- enough to disorient her, as well as some other
sturdier people get knocked off balance as they were trying to get on the
train. I expected, at the very least, to hear an announcement that the doors
would be closing and then re-opening, or that this train is out of service-
but no. The conductor kept saying "Use all of the cars, use all of the cars,
use all of the cars, use all of the cars" (?) in a mocking fashion as the
"chopping" was in full effect. What an absolute embarrassment.

Monday, September 19, 2005

How Will the Hipsters Get to Lansdowne?

Today we've got quite a story. This is a guest column from E-lo.

From Haymarket to Kenmore:
The ride on the Orange line to Haymarket was quite smooth, though I did almost punch an old man in the face for littering.

I had to switch to the Green, and Haymarket Station is retarded because you have to walk up and down about five flights of stairs to get to the track. I decided to ride to Haymarket, rather than switching at North Station, solely because I didn't want to wait on the platform with the littering old man. Yes, my OCD got me into a rut, but the point is: while I may be stupid for not just switching where it was easy, the T f'ed up.

---Note: the transfer to the Green at Haymarket is indeed the most retarded ever. Plus, when you get to what you THINK is the Green, it's really the Orange, going the opposite direction, and once you're on that platform, the signs to the Green stop.
For those of you interested in transfer between Orange and Green Inbound, switch at North Station, where both lines share a single platform---TA

In the span of 35 minutes about 4 trains came, and I'd say three were E's and the other was a C. I had a book, so I didn't mind waiting and holding out for a B but after the 4th train, I decided that I'd just jump on the next C or D that came through (I haven't been taking the T for too long, but up until now, the Green Line has never failed me. This trust, apparently, got me into trouble.)
Unfortunately, the next train had lost power and was being pushed from behind by another. These two pulled through and stopped at the red light, leaving just enough room for a C train to come out of the tunnel and open its doors. I'd say about 30 people got on that train, including several groups that were on their way to BC for the football game and had also been holding out for a B. Well, we stood around inside that train for about 10 minutes before they told us it was being taken out of service.
Behind this train, in the tunnel, was yet another train. FOUR TRAINS backed up in ONE STATION. And who knows what was going on west of us? Saturday night (and a Red Sox game) and the Green line was basically completely out of service? I waited around for another 10 minutes before spitting in the general direction of the train and running out of the station and into the rain. It was quite cinematic.

I'll take this opportunity to mention that Sovereign Bank's lone ATM near Faneuil Hall was playing with my head and my creepy taxi driver screwed me over. And now he knows where I live.

Thanks a lot MBTA!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Next Stop, Landfill Station

Man, does the Downtown Crossing Red Line platform STINK!
It's like they've set up a garbage transfer station right in the tunnel, and it's been like that for weeks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Different Perspective

Just got back from Paris, where I took the Metro a few times.
Clean stations, nice tiling, vs. the typical soviet style concrete - not cement, mr. mac - behemoths the T likes to build.
Who does the T hire as architects, do you think?
Anyway, the Metro was nice, but my god, is it HOT.
What is it with London and Paris? Don't they believe in A/C?
The other nice thing about the Metro is the price.
Only 1.40 Euros for a ride anywhere (except on the RER). When I was there the conversion rate meant that each ride was about $1.70, or 45 cents more than the T.
The Metro is also much, much larger than the T, and has digital signs in every station telling you when the next train is coming.
So, when the T tries to tell you that $1.25 is a good rate for a ride, remember this:


Thursday, September 01, 2005

And An Idiot Shall Lead Them

There is bustitution going on right now between Haymarket and Oak Grove on the Orange line, after 9pm, weekdays.
You would think that this wouldn't be that big of a deal, unless you were trying to get home from a Red Sox game at night.
There were 2 trainloads of people at Haymarket, and NO buses.
When I asked the lone T guy when the bus was coming, he said, "We've got 8 buses, they can't all be here at the same time."


What idiots. You would think that they would have 20 buses, considering they only hold about 50 people each.
Here's a tip, when you bus people from downtown to the suburbs, how about having several buses making short loops from Haymarket to Community College, and express buses going from Haymarket to Wellington and beyond?
Almost nobody got off the bus until Wellington anyway.

Can't I have anything nice?