Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grafton Train Rider Experiences Some Bad Commutes

Hello! Sorry for being out-of-touch the past few days. I've been tied up with a lot of work meetings/training sessions, so I haven't had time to blog about my commutes. Which have been fine.

Commute-a-holic hasn't noticed any recent news articles about the MBTA/MBCR/Commuter Rail. So that's why the blog has been quiet.

However, I would like to share some feedback from Grafton Train Rider. Special visitor Grafton Train Rider has sent us some updates on recent commutes into Boston. The first update pertained to a commute this morning:
I have an event tonight at Babson College so I decided to take P504 inbound from Wellesley Square. A sign was posted that the train was running 10 minutes late but arrived closer to 18 minutes late. The train was so tardy that we ended up picking up passengers expecting to take P506 (which was also subsequently delayed), the local train departing from Worcester. Thus, folks were standing by the time we pulled into Wellesley Hills, and no further passes were checked or fares collected. The conductor announced that the delay was caused by signal problems upon departing from Framingham. I managed to catch the #1 bus, which was also packed, across the bridge to MIT so my door-to-door commute Grafton to Cambridge via Wellesley - 2:05 - not a new record but very annoying.

The other commute took place over the weekend. Here's the saga:
Check out my Saturday outbound commute fiasco. At least the conductor announced the reason for the delay and encouraged folks to submit for the on-time service guarantee. The conductor said that CSX had to complete some "important paperwork". I also saw track crew on the tracks between Yawkey and Back Bay. I'm not certain if their presence was related to the "important paperwork", though.

--- On Mon, 4/7/08, Commuter Rail Customer Service - Customer Service wrote:

From: Commuter Rail Customer Service - Customer Service
Subject: Concern #1971-5959414: Created (no late train message, useless message on other days )
To: Grafton Train Rider
Date: Monday, April 7, 2008, 12:14 PM

Thank you for your recent communication. Your comments are important to us. A customer service representative will handle your email and respond to you shortly.
Concern Information:
Concern #: 1971-5959414
Date Created: 4/7/2008 12:14 PM EDT
Date of Incident: 4/5/2008
Line: Worcester
Station: Yawkey
Departure Time AM/PM: 1:30 PM (~40 min late!)
Train Number: P557
Subject: no late train message, useless message on other days
Details: P557 was approx 40 minutes late arriving at Yawkey. Why was the sign about the train being 40-45 minutes late not updated until 2 minutes prior to the arrival of the train? I also called SmartTraveler, which had no information about delayed trains. On some other days, why do the signs state "Most trains operating on or near schedule". Using the description "most" in this context is useless. Commuters need to know exactly which train(s) are running late. Or, on the Worcester line, is the list too long?
One other thing - Grafton Train Rider virtually swears that there were handouts for on-time performance stats for March 2008. According to the handouts, the Worcester-Framingham line's on-time performance for March came in at 92%. What's more shocking . . . that there was such a marked increase over February 2008 or that the Worcester line can't seem to hit the 95% on-time mark?

Well at least the Red Sox won yesterday's Fenway Park Home Opening. And supposedly it is nice in Central Mass. today, so I might get to experience some "spring like" weather before the day is over. Because the weather her in Boston has left a lot to be desired.

Train Rider

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