Monday, June 23, 2008

P512 Inbound Train for a Change

Instead of the P508 train I normally take, I took the P512 train this morning. We arrived to South Station at 9:10 a.m., two minutes behind schedule.

In regards to the "new" weekend commuter rail schedule, effective today, Grafton Train Rider sent me the following comments:
I also received this message about the schedule change. My first thought was - so what is new? The commuter rail always allowed bicycles on non-rush hour trains (check out the "old schedule").

Then, I asked myself, "what has changed?" Comparing the new schedule travel times with the old schedule indicates that some trains have increased by about 25 minutes in total travel time! In my opinion, this message is a marketing ploy/diversion so that folks pay attention to the bicycle symbols rather than diminished service.

I haven't had time yet to conduct a side-by-side comparison, but offhand, P563 inbound seems to have the most additional time added to the schedule. Unfortunately, I have had first hand experience with this train, which is nearly always late. In fact, the last time that I took P563, which arrived in Grafton ~15 minutes late, the conductor had a surly (and useless) response "isn't this train always late," when I inquired as to why the train was tardy. I didn't bother submitting a complaint about the conductor and/or train, though.

Since Grafton Train Rider rides the rails on the weekends, I really appreciate this feedback. I do find it interesting that the Worcester line always seems to have something like this happen when a "new" schedule is put into place.

I would like to thank Grafton Train Rider and everyone who frequently shares their own commuter rail experiences (especially AJ, Keith, and all the Anonymous posters). I think the comments help frame the situation on the commuter rail lines.

Before I leave, I wanted to share this comment that came in over the weekend to a post I made on June 12th. I think the T and the MBCR should make a mandate that their employees need to use the system they work for. I've worked at companies that have required me to engage with our product. The same should be true for the MBTA's employees.

1 comment:

AJ said...

I also find it very interesting to read anything from Grafton Train Rider. For me, I can't imagine having to ride the rail on the weekend, so every time he says it's late I would be going ballistic! Bad enough to be stuck on the train on a Saturday or Sunday, but to have that experience even more drawn out? And the stupid, smart-ass responses from the conductors are ridiculous as well. I myself am a smart-ass, but there's a time and place for it and a public service type position like that isn't it. Nor is condoning that fact that your service sucks.

As for the end of your post, I think it's all of us who owe you a thank you. I look forward to reading this blog daily, whether it's to read one of the numerous articles you post about our line or the other lines, commentary by you or Commute-a-holic, or any of the other people who post comments. It's a great thing you've done here because we can all bitch and share war stories, but the news articles definitely give it more legitimacy. For me, it's gotten to the point where friends just ask what the blog was about for the day because they know they don't actually have to read it because I'm going to discuss it with them regardless. The tip of the cap belongs entirely to you guys.