Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to the Swing of Things

Welcome to September. The summer seemed to zip by and now we're into Labor Day. At least there weren't too many steamy days riding the rails this summer. Remember how hot and sticky it was a few summers back, well at least hot and sticky on the Worcester line?

The weather the last few weeks has been gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Although, I guess we'll get more humidity if the hurricanes/tropical depressions out there come up the coast.

Take a super fast Friday evening commute home add in the beautiful weather combined with a holiday plus the hoopla over McCain's VP selection (I'm scratching my head over that one) and you have one super fast holiday weekend. Well, this morning brought me back to riding the rails.

My commute on the P508 was fine. We seemed ahead of schedule at the stops and waited a minute or two to depart (once the passengers had loaded). We were at Back Bay at around 8:16 a.m., but waited outside of South Station for about 10 minutes for a track to open. From my window, it looked like other trains were in the same boat, so I'm putting the arrival to South Station at 8:28 a.m.

While the commuter rail was fine, the Silver Line was a cluster this morning. The platform was already packed when I got there and the buses were bunched up on the other side. I didn't get on a bus until about 8:42 a.m. Eeecks! Not a great way to start a Tuesday morning.

Today's Boston Metro reported that the T will be holding public meetings beginning next week for proposed bus route changes. This is part of the MBTA's 2008 Service Plan. Every two years the T evaluates the bus routes and makes changes based on rider demand and comments. I went to the T's website but didn't see anything about this program.

Also from today, The Eagle-Tribune wrote about repairs that will be made to a bridge that runs over the Merrimack River. This will benefit the Haverhill commuter rail line.

In other news, Boston.com ran a story the other day about poor air quality at the Back Bay T station. Yuck! This is a known problem - the T doesn't have the money to fix it.

Yesterday's Daily News Tribune published an editorial on merging the MBTA Transit Police with the State Police.


AJ said...

I really wish they would just bulldoze Back Bay and put something else there instead. Even an outdoor platform. I don't care. Yes, the commuter rail platform is sheltered, but it's steaming hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. When you walk onto the platform, it's a cloud of blue diesel smoke, which sometimes prevents you from seeing to the other end of the platform.

I was in the South Station area last Thursday and boarded there for a change. It is so discouraging to see what that place looks like and then have to return to my armpit of a station, knowing it's also giving me cancer. I hate that place. Nothing about it looks clean, let alone "nice." They scream the announcements, there's usually smoke in the lobby, it leaks like a sieve and it just looks outdated. Everything about it is old, dingy and covered in slime. Most of the time the doors to the platform are cracked or broken, and unlike South Station, you can't walk in or out without being swarmed by someone wanting to sell you something, or give you a Metro or whatever.

I can't stress enough, I hate that place.

Ron Newman said...

The MBTA service plan is here (warning: long PDF document). And here's the schedule of public meetings.