Monday, June 30, 2008

Crowded Commute

It was a crowded commute this morning on the P508. For some reason, I thought more people would be on vacation this week, since the Independence Day holiday is this Friday.

Overall, status quo commute, although we stopped outside of Yawkey and sat there for a few minutes before heading in, and ended up arriving at Back Bay at 8:19 a.m. and South Station at 8:26 a.m., so 3 minutes behind schedule. I am glad that the AC was in full working order today...on steamy days like today, I wish I took a commuter boat so I could take advantage of the cool ocean air!

Over the weekend I received the following email from Grafton Train Rider:
Dear Train Rider,

I returned from a business trip and took P513 home this afternoon (Friday). While awaiting my ride home, I noticed that at least 2 cars had tickets issued by the MBTA police. I peeked at one, and the notice was for $15 unpaid parking along with the "standard" fine envelope. I wonder if this person had accumulated unpaid parking fines? The envelopes have some vague warning "repeat unpaid violations are subject to ticketing and towing by MBTA police." Of course the warning does not provide guidelines about frequency and timeframe.

An update on the weekend trains/new bicycle schedule: the additional time added to the schedule seems to be 10 minutes, maximum rather than my original feared guessimate of 25 minutes. Also, I noticed that P513 from Framingham (first "rush hour" train) allows bicycles, which would not have been allowed under the previous policy. However, a train departing at 5:40 AM stretches the limits of "rush hour," doesn't it?
I guess if you're getting parking tickets at the T station, you probably should consider paying them.


Richard said...

It's a shame the 5pm train to Worcester wasn't as good as the 6:55am morning train to Boston this morning. We waited until 5:15 for the train to arrive and then waited until 5:25 for the train to depart the station. After Back Bay, the train crawled to West Natick, arriving at around 6:15. About halfway through the crawl, the conductor announced that we were crawling due to a local train ahead of us. The train picked up speed after Framingham and arrived (finally) at Worcester at 7:05, 45 minutes late.

I have no idea why the train was so late, but it's the third time in two weeks that I submitted a late refund. It's just very frustrating and I don't know where to turn. I've written to the MBTA, but that goes nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Yes, things were a bit backed up at South Station this evening. When I arrived at about 5:25 the station was very crowded, not only inside, but outside as well. Boarding the 5:20 to Needham Heights was delayed about 15 minutes. The call for the 5:40 to Providence (my train) and the 5:40 to Franklin/Forge Park was delayed about 5 minutes. And I think the call for the 5:35 to Worcester was somewhat delayed. So really a surge of people when those trains were called on tracks 1,2 and 3!

And, yes, train rider, I too thought traffic would be a bit lighter this week, but not so on the 5:40 to Providence tonight. Hey, maybe we were short a car.

bam in ri

Anonymous said...

I feel richard's pain, though the person I was picking up today got smart and got on the 5:15 local, which got to Framingham 6 minutes *early* and as richard notes, beat the 5pm express. Why, when just the Worcester train seemed to be late, was South Station crazy-packed, platforms all full of waiting people?

The P504 was on time this morning but all single-decker cars, crowded, and the front car seemed to have the heat on rather than the a/c.

"Free Wireless" was non-existent on the 5:15 local just as it is on the 5pm express. We've decided that the T must have ended the program and simply cannot be bothered to remove those signs. Of course, we check every time, just in case. Stoopid monkey.

I now mark my Google Calendar to remind myself 6 weeks after I submit a late refund. Otherwise, I never get the refund and never remember to check. (guy on the complaint line said it takes "4-6 weeks," just enough time for you to forget). We've claimed four times over the past 6 months or so and never got any of them.

Oh, I think I have finally run out of things to say!

Charlie on the MTA said...

the parkign lot operator routinely notifies the MBTA Transit Police of repeat non-payment violators. Accrue enough unpaid "envelopes" and you will be issued a REAL ticket that will affect your registration and/or license

Anonymous said...

It turns out I haven't run out of things to say :-).

The morning Worcester train I refer to above wasn't crowded because it was all single deckers, it was crowded because at least one of the cars was missing the 3-person seats. MISSING!!! Augh.

Keith said...

Regarding parking tickets on cars at T lots...last summer I had parked in a fire zone space at West Natick; I was running late and decided to park there since I had seen other cars parked there previously and no tickets at the end of the day, not even the $2.75 late parking fee envelope.

Well, when I got off the train, my car and three others had been towed.

I called the Natick Police, who told me it was a "private lot" and that I should call the MBTA Police.

I called MBTA Police, who then said my car had been towed because it was in a fire zone, and it was at a towing service in Southborough.

I got a ride to get my car and had to pay the towing company $150 plus a $50 fee just to get my car back, and then there was a $50 MBTA parking ticket on my windshield along with the $2.75 late parking fee envelope.

So, a word of caution. If you decide to park in the Fire Zones at West Natick, it could cost you $250. Think about it.

Of course, if all the spaces are filled, that leaves you nowhere to go, and with the increased commuter rail ridership, the lot fills up even earlier.