Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7/28 Boston Metro Q&A with MBTA GM Danny G

We forgot to add this yesterday and this morning.

The Boston Metro published yet another Q& A with MBTA GM Dan Grabauskas. I could start to use some adjectives to describe my own personal feelings about "Danny G," but in the interest of good karma, I'll just skip over that.

Inal Olmez submitted the latest question. Inal is a commuter rail rider and the question is most pertinent to those of us who ride the rails to and fro the 'burbs.
I am curious why the same system for collecting fares on the T system has not been implemented for the commuter train. It seems at least twice a week I am on a train that is so crowded that the conductors are not able to walk the aisles. As a result none of the fares are collected. As a person who purchases a monthly pass it is frustrating to know that many people are getting a free ride while I pay regardless of the situation.
What's Danny boy's answer. I won't go into the boring details. Dan seems to pontificate instead of just answering Inal's question. Danny G. proceeded to talk about the stupid new program, "Buy Before You Board," which many people don't think too highly of (and apparently neither do the conductors).

Maybe Dan knows that people don't love "Buy Before You Board." Instead of attributing the campaign to the T, he made sure that readers know the MBCR came up with the new program. Nice way to continue passing the buck, Mr. MBTA GM.

I know some people may come back and comment that "Buy Before You Board" is perhaps the best transit marketing campaign of 2008. Or that Danny G. is great at his job. If so, that's great. That's the spirit of this blog - personal opinion. My opinion of Dan Grabausakas happens to be pretty low. It's hard to respect someone who doesn't even attempt to use the services of the agency he's the head of. And its even harder to respect someone who just seems to pass the buck.


I'll be the MBTA GM said...

Train Rider,

I'm a frequent luker. This is my first post.

Here, here. I'm in full agreement of this:
My opinion of Dan Grabausakas happens to be pretty low. It's hard to respect someone who doesn't even attempt to use the services of the agency he's the head of. And its even harder to respect someone who just seems to pass the buck.

I actually am not polite. I think Dan Grabauskas is a tool.

Inal Olmez said...

Thanks for crediting me on your blog and I have to agree that most of the time Mr. Grabausakas uses the Metro column as a pure PR spin. He tends to not answer questions but rather talk about possible programs they are planning. It is disappointing that you either ask for answers or give suggestions for improvement to only get the status quo, "we're doing great", answers.

Commute-a-holic said...


No problem! Thanks for visiting. We agree - it is the PR spin that we get tired of listening to. It would be nice if the T could insert some honest answers into the Metro's Q&A.

You asked a really great question!



Anonymous said...

This is a bit of a rant. Here's one thing I wish the MBTA (or MBCR or whatever agency is responsible for it this week) would do with their present resources: schedule trains with the appropriate number and type of cars. Many of the rush hour express and local trains are usually one car short or they do not have enough double-deckers. Lately, I've noticed more single than double-decker cars. What's frustrating is that I also notice that the reverse traffic trains are ALL double-deckers and not missing any cars. Next time you get off the train in the evening, hang around a few minutes for the next inbound train and count the number of double-deckers. I usually wait in the parking lot until all of the demolition derby drivers have left the lot (yes, I've seen accidents and hit-and-runs at the Southborough and Westborough stations in the last year, but I digress).

If the appropriate type and number of train cars were properly scheduled, then overcrowding can be alleviated. Here's the rant: imagine sitting next to the window in a three-seater and having a 300 pound man sit in the middle seat, profusely sweating and transferring it to you and your neighbor at the other end of the seat. My outer-seat neighbor and I were both soaked in this man's sweat by the time he got up! Hard to tell which one of us wanted to strangle him more. While I realize it's not this man's fault that he's so big, he should realize that not every seat is going to fit. I see this every day and it's quite a show to see the big person wedge himself/herself into the middle seat and the outer passengers either crushed against the windor or leaning out of the seat.

Joe said...

One thing that I think is inexcusable mentioned here -- the management doesn't use the service. Eating one's own dog food is truly required to understand how well any service delivery does or does not work.