Friday, July 25, 2008

This Morning's P500 Never Showed Up

Thanks to Gary for sharing the following! The P500 originates in Framingham and normally departs each weekday morning at 5:40 a.m.

Below please find the email sent MBTA/MBCR Commuter Rail Customer Comment forum.
This morning's P500 train out of Framingham never showed up. I understand that delays and breakdowns happen, what I fail to grasp is why the MBTA continues to struggle with letting passengers know what is going on.

I arrived at the Framingham station just after 5:30 this morning and immediately knew something was up when the train wasn't sitting there waiting for us, however, the lovely scrolling red signs was promising "all trains on or near schedule" as usual - unfortunately, it applied to yesterday's trains.

I waited a few minutes and then used my Blackberry to check the MBTA website for any service alerts or advisories. Framingham was listed with nothing. No alerts, no advisories. As it was now just a few minutes past our scheduled departure, it didn't bother me too much... yet.

To cut to the end of the ordeal - as you know, the 5:40am P500 train never showed up. We were never given any indication of the problem either by the signs at the station or by the MBTA website. In fact, the first (and only) notice we were given of the problem was when we boarded the next train into Boston (the P502) at around 6:30. The funny part is, the announcement that was given was not even intended for those of us that had been sitting at the Framingham station for an hour - it was instead directed at the regular passengers of the usually express P502 explaining to them why we needed now to make all the local stops on our way into Boston. Apparently the P500 had broken down - who knew?

Again - I understand that mechanical failures happen from time to time and I can accept that. What I cannot accept is the repeated failure of the MBTA to make even rudimentary attempts at notifying its passengers of delays and cancellations. I have written in the past about these frustrations and the inability of the MBTA to not only update, but coordinate the information available on the signs at the stations and on the website only the receive back responses that boil down to "well CSX controls this and we control that, etc. etc. etc" but seriously - I cannot believe that in the hour that we were standing at that station that not even one of the outlets available to us as passengers could have been updated to fill us in.

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