Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MBTA Retirement Benefits

My normal commute was pretty horrible today. I travel approximately 12 miles to work (round trip being a 24 mile drive). My commute is on back roads and a state high way. During the school year, my commute is slower because of school buses. But school vacation weeks and summers are typical drama free. Not today. Something happened somewhere because traffic was backed-up worse than the Mass Pike on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was eventually able to inch my way to a point where I could turn off and take even more back roads to work. All in all I wasn't that late, which is good. I just hope someone wasn't seriously hurt this morning.

The news front in train land is still pretty quiet. Today, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and the Metro all wrote about the new MBTA retirement benefits package. Here are links to each article:


Richard said...

I take the train from Worcester and I've noticed that the conductors haven't been asking for tickets prior to boarding the train as it was reported they would be doing starting July 7th. Maybe they realized the pandemonium that would create and instead decided to focus on doing a better job of collecting tickets on the train.

AJ said...

Responding to what Richard said, there was an article in the Metro saying they would only be checking in Worcester, Back Bay and South Station. The only one I can vouch for is Back Bay and they have yet to do anything on the trains I've ridden.

The other insight I'd like to offer is I overheard conductors talking about this policy last week. They were not happy about it. They made it sound like it would actually be a different crew of MBTA/MBCR employees that patrolled the platforms, asking people long before they're actually ready to board the train. Again, I have yet to see anything, but would love to hear from someone who has.

Keith said...

Apparently this is a random process. They have not pre-checked tickets on either train I've taken from South Station this week. One of my co-workers took the P519 on Monday, where they were checking tickets. She said the line was incredibly long, peoples' tempers were short, the people checking the tickets were slow, and that the conductors had no idea what was going on.

Today I took the P506 from West Natick. They made an announcement that the train set was smaller than usual and asked we make sure all seats were available. Yet no conductor ever collected tickets on my car, which was not unusually crowded - one could still walk down the aisle unimpeded.

Every time they don't collect I feel as if my fellow monthly pass holders and I are subsidizing 12-ride pass holders and those who pay on the train. Why should we be left paying the freight because the MBCR can't do their job? Are they held accountable for not collecting? Do they have to pay any penalties?

Anonymous said...

I did see them doing this on the Providence train on Monday. I think it was the Worcester conductors *spotting* the Providence train.

Something else I noticed lately, I have a pass and I always put it the seat holder so they can see the zone. But you can't see the year if you put it in that way. Suddenly, they seem to be pulling them out to check the year.

This is assuming they do check the tickets which they still don't always do.

I agree that they really have to start taking the tickets. This has been going on at least for 6 months where there is a 50-50 shot of not having tickets taken if you take a busy train.

Anonymous said...

There are penalties for MBCR when the conductors don't collect fares, amongst many other things. The conductors are also well aware of this fact.