Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back to the Grind

After a glorious Memorial Day weekend, the work week is back in full swing ... although I do plan to sneak away on Friday as well for another long weekend. Whoever decided that a 5 day work week was the norm must have been off of their rocker!!

Onto the commuting updates:

Tuesday morning: I took the P512 which departs Grafton at 7:49. We arrived at South Station around 9:03 and I jumped on a Silver Line bus to the waterfront. All in all, a decent commute.

Tuesday evening: If you take the commuter rail from South Station, you could tell the second you walked into the station that something was wrong. As I was coming up from the Silver Line, I noticed that it was dark, rather hot and very, very crowded. As you may have heard by now, Downtown Crossing and Park Street were evacuated and Red Line service was suspended last night after an electrical fire broke out near the Downtown Crossing station.

When I got to the platform, there were a lot of people milling around. I heard announcements that some of the trains would make extra stops at JFK/UMass and Quincy due to the Red Line issues. I thought the MBTA did a good job of keeping people updated abotu what trains they could take since the Red Line was incapacitated.

I took the p529 home, which is supposed to depart at 6:15, however we didn't depart until 6:28. Apparently the issue on the Framingham/Worcester line had to do with lightning striking a signal tower and was not related to the Red Line issues. Furthermore, our train was 6 single cars, when normally we have 6 (or more) double decker cars. Needless to say, it was packed. We got to Grafton at around 7:28, about 9-10 minutes after our scheduled arrival time.

Wednesday morning: I took the P508, which departs Grafton at 7:09. I was running late this morning and had to wait to get into the parking lot because someone decided to stop and unload their passengers right in the middle of the entry lane ... um, people, please do not do this! Pull all the way in and around the first lane for drop offs!!!

Needless to say, I had to sprint all the way across the parking lot and down the stairs. (And I didn't even have a chance to pay my parking fee, oops). Lucky for me, the MBTA Transit Police were conducting a random train check with bomb sniffing dogs, so I made it onto the train with minutes to spare. We arrived at South Station around 8:23, so right on time.

In other news, it looks like the MBTA is meeting today to discuss their financial outlook. According to the Metro, the MBTA's 2009 fiscal year $1.455 billion operating budget aims to draw heavily from reserves and restructure debt to cover a $75 million shortfall. The budget calls for depleting one-third of the T’s rainy day funds to close the gap. You can read the full text of the article here.


AJ said...

That random train check this morning was pretty crazy. The conductor in my car said they are very random, and it's even a surprise to the train crew. I'm guessing with all the recent vandalism, they're out to prove that they do take care of their Western Mass stops.

Train Rider said...

I think it helps to write to MBCR as well when there are issues with the suburban lots. I've gotten quick reponses, especially when there was a snow/ice removal issue this past winter.

I still haven't heard anything about the arrest for the vandalism. I did see in the Grafton News this past week that the Grafton Police have been working with the MBTA Transit police to monitor the situation, so hopefully that has helped.