Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Train Rider Receives Response from MBCR Regarding a Recent Complaint

Even though Train Rider is on a different continent, the commuter rail situation is still a major concern in Train Rider's life.

Train Rider sent along the following - a response received from the MBCR (below).

In other news, the Train Stopping blog just published its 100 post. The MBTA/MBCR commuter rail system has certainly provided a lot of different things to discuss.



From: "Commuter Rail Customer Service - Customer Service"
To: Train Rider
Subject: Concern #1971-5598989: Closed (Delays with no announcements)
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 08:55:32 -0500

Thank you for your concern.

Comment(s): Dear Train Rider

Thank you for your email. I apologize for the delay in my response.

I can certainly understand your frustrations, as our service has been anything but adequate over the past few months. Though I am fully aware that it may not seem this way, our management team is actively working to restore service to where it should be.

On the morning of January 18th, train P508 was cancelled due to a bridge strike on the Worcester Highway. Until CSX personnel could inspect the bridge and declare it safe for trains to use. Train P512 was the next train due out of Worcester, and departed 10 minutes late, which was the train you were on.

I'm not pleased to learn that the crew was not performing their assigned duties. There is no excuse for the lack of fare collection or announcements, and managers in the Transportation Department have been notified.

Please know that we are working with CSX and the MBTA to improve the service on your line, beginning with a new "revamped" schedule due out within the next month. We also participate in daily conference calls with CSX to identify problem areas in service, so as to determine how best to make improvements.

We are also continually working to improve the communication of delay and cancellation information to our website as well as station signage. On those occasions when we are experiencing service delays, our commitment is to notify the public in the most timely and accurate means possible.

I am sorry for all the frustration you have been experiencing. Thank you for writing.


Linda Dillon
MBCR Customer Service Manager

Concern Information:
Concern #:1971-5598989
Date Created: 1/18/2008 9:41 AM EDT
Date of Incident: 1/18/2008
Line: Worcester
Station: Grafton
Departure Time AM/PM: 7:19AM
Train Number: P508
Subject: Delays with no announcements

: I am a daily rider of the commuter rail on the Worcester/Framingham line. For the past 6 months, service has been terrible. I honestly can't say when the train last arrived to either Back Bay or South Station on time.

Today's delay is even more upsetting for a number of reasons:
All morning trains are delayed due to a "roadway" problem. What is that exactly?

When the P508 (scheduled to depart Grafton at 7:19 a.m.) showed up to Grafton, it was already 7:55 a.m.. I was on my way to my car to drive in, but heard the train so went back to the platform.

All of the doors were shut, so passengers had to open them to board the train. There were no conductors to be seen outside during the stop and once on the train, there were no conductors to be seen to either explain the delay or collect passes.

The biggest issue is the fact that NO ONE made any announcements the entire trip, but especially to say the train became a local, so we stopped at every station, including all of the Newton stops and Yawkey, further delaying my arrival time to Boston. No doubt the P508 turned into a local train because the P510 was delayed due to the P508 delays. But why not TELL US!!!

I am very fortunate that my boss also is a commuter rail rider and thus subject to the same delays. I would submit that not all employers are as understanding and frankly, service needs to improve so that it can be a reliable form of transportation for the 50,000 plus riders daily.

I am beyond irritated. Sure, I'll get $15.50 back in 6-8 weeks, but really, I just want to get to work on time.


Anonymous said...

Wow - congrats on getting a response. I wrote to Gov. Patrick about the Franklin line's dismal performance but only received an auto-reply. Thanks for the blog - I enjoy reading it. Further proof that misery loves company, at least as far as the MBCR is concerned! :)

Commute-a-holic said...


I know Train Rider was thrilled to receive a comment. Anyone who forwards feedback like that while working in a different time zone is someone who is excited.

I would encourage you to submit your comments to the MBCR's response line. Here is a link to the MBCR's "Submit a Concern" feature: You may have to select the "Submit a Concern" tab.

As a Massachusetts resident, I'm disappointed that Governor Patrick has (1) not cleaned house at the MBTA and (2) not done a better job of making mass transit a necessary priority.

Since state and federal elected officials from the Fitchburg area were successful in securing federal funding to enhance their commuter rail line, I would encourage you to continue vocalizing your outrage over the lack of an efficient commuter rail system in the Franklin area.

Train Rider is happy that you found this blog!