Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MBTA/MBCR - Late Trains are not a Joke

It feels like I just finished writing this post. No sooner had I published the post, when a comment by Kidney Stones appeared.

Unfortunately, the train was delayed. What the T doesn't seem to understand, but what we have been blogging about over the past few weeks, in today's economy a missed train could mean lost job. If you live in MetroWest or Central Mass, with the lower prices in gas, you could almost rationalize about driving to Boston. If that happens, while the T will generate funds from the gas tax, they lose out on ridership.

I guess Dan Grabauskas never really has to worry about his job. If he gets canned, he gets a parachute. What an American way, huh? And even better - he gets a state-supplied car to drive to work.

Kidney Stones isn't as lucky. This is a horrible scenario, but it is articulated very well. I do hope that employers who have employees who rely on Mass Transit understand that this is not a result of a lazy employee, leaving for work at the last minute. These late arrivals are beyond a person's control.

I really have no words to describe this morning's commute. So, rather than use words which would require me to wash my mouth out with soap, I'll just give the details.

The P508 never came, and was eventually cancelled. Worcester commuters like myself waited from approximately 6:45 AM until roughly 7:43 AM, when the train finally arrived. In addition to being nearly an hour late, the train then turned into a local, as it was really the 7:35 train and not the 6:55.

I would like to personally thank the MBTA for ruining my Christmas. I was supposed to set up and decorate my tree last night, but I got home too late (had to work late
because I arrived late). So I was going to do the tree tonight. Clearly, that won't be happening either.

I'd also like to thank the MBTA for increasing my chances of being fired. Being 30 mins late yesterday, and an HOUR late today really bodes well for my end of the year review. Had I not arrived this morning by 10 AM (thankfully arrived at 9:46ish), the company I work for would have lost 1.4 million dollars.

Think I could have sued Danny boy? Oh, that's right. They have no money anyway.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Words are hard to come by-- Just a shame? What a joke? How sad? Pathetic? Morons? Clueless?

Stop me when you have heard enough Danny Boy. The parking lots are half empty as no one wants to pay $4 to park. Then, for us who are dumn enough to pay the $4 to park, we stand and wait. Soemtimes, homeless and drunks join us in downtown Framingham-- such a nice touch. Sometimes we leave and drive--oh ya-- the $4 bucks can't be retrieved.

Happy holidays MBTA

Roxanne said...

I would like to say thank you to the MBTA. Thanks for making the decision to leave my Boston-based job to take a job out in the suburbs where I don't have to rely on the MBTA to get to work a no-brainer. I will miss working in Boston but I will not miss having to use the MBTA to get into Boston. Even at the same rate of pay, and even if gas were to go back to $4 a gallon and stay there, I'm getting an automatic pay raise for not having to schlep into Boston each day on the commuter rail.

Richard said...

This is terrible that we've had two days in a row with horrendous service. Can you imagine having two days in a row with mechanical problems. I think this is directly involved with the addition of the earlier trains. Leave it to the lieutenant governor and his cronies to ruin service by adding local trains. It just seems that the MBTA and the state expects us to grin and bear it. We should schedule a no MBTA day where all the Worcester riders carpool or something like that. It's just terrible how this service is upsetting people who pay for their tickets and show up on time for the train. Does the MBTA realize how they're messing up the economy and making people who are already concerned about their jobs more worried. I hope kidney stones has a much better week!

Anonymous said...

And then because the train was so packed, they didn't collect tickets.... again!
So glad that I bought a monthly pass... I will go back to buying 12 rides because so often they don't collect tickets

Two days in a row is completely unacceptable

Anonymous said...

the T is a disgrace...the decline in service all around and on my line, Redline, is beyond words. I cannot fathom how this department has fallen into such a disgusting state. There is no such thing as rapid transit here anymore, why not just take the Pony Express these days to work, it would probably be much faster and much more efficient. I cannot wait until the day I do not depend upon this mode of transportation run by such incompetents...they should be ashamed....

Anonymous said...

Why take the abuse of the mbta train when there's a great bus service from peter pan from worcester/framingham? Always on time, friendly service and free parking. I haven't been late to work since I took the train.

Anonymous said...

Try taking the Providence line some time. I've had many a plan ruined because of late trains. Add in Amtrak pulling down wires, switch problems, signal problems, and mechanical problems, and factor in runaway box cars and suicides, and you get a good idea. I don't mean to dimish your pain, I feel it,you are not alone. Those "clockwork" posters they print show how pathetic they are--Providence is barely 80% on time for the year to date. The only lines that are on time 90%+ are Greenbush (low ridership) and Plymouth, which isn't a separate line, has 5 non-rush hour trains a day.

Red said...

Just as bad as yesterday. Granted it was 10 degrees warmer, we waited twice as long. I can guarantee my phalanges will ever be the same.

And to add insult to injury, they send a train of only single decker cars.

It's very obvious that the money spent from the MBTA has not been applied to the communter service of the Worcester/Framingham line. Those cars are older than I am. Piss poor quality, no better than a school bus. And even the school buses have evolved over the years while the train remains the same POS year after year.

Low cost solutions. I got'em.

Get a plywood board, paste on the rail map, hook it up with cheap LED lights that illuminate the location of the train(s) at that very momment. The information could ride on the same cables that display on those useless scrolling signs.

Another alternative project would be to create a waiting area that shields people from the frigid cold blowing winter winds. Regarding the Grafton stop, boxing in the area underneath the ramp would be the right place for this. It would be similar, if not more thought out, to the long covered benches of the West Newton and Auburndale stops.

And the $4 parking is outrageous. That's a 100% increase, double of what we're used to paying. Like paying for two cars and only allowed one stop. And for what? They don't even clean up the lots or have any type of securty. The town doesn't feel it's they're responsibility, smae goes for the MBTA and Central Parking themselves. Glass piles from broken windows will sit in the spots for weeks before anyone will pick it up.

Ethan said...

Until I saw the commuter rail reference, I thought that I was unconsciously writing this blog. Yesterday, I was a half-hour late for a meeting because of the Green Line. What really frosts me is that I've signed up for the e-mail notifications, and they said that the problems were limited to between Riverside and Reservoir - I get on after Reservoir. Not true. They were the entire length of the D Line. And then they repeated the lie today in Metro. Earlier this year, they were stopping all service at Copley. Yet they claimed that the only affected line was the E line. What's wrong with simply telling the truth?

Anonymous said...

MBTA means Massively Broken Transport Anus. The T is for suckers. Of course if you take the T will you'll be late, possibly hours late and late again the next day after staying late at night to make up time.

I know of at least one person who was fired due to not owning a car and relying on the T to get to work. I was nearly fired from two different jobs for taking the T; I finally wised up, said "Never Again" and now I drive any time I actually want to get somewhere.

Notice that the T president himself gets state car to *drive* to work? In the words of a previous T president: "I need a car. I have to go places."

Anonymous said...

I too waited 27 minutes for a green line train the other day. The driver seemed absolutely shocked to hear my news. He even radio'd in to find out if there was a problem. There wasn't. Just general incompetence yet again. I long for the days when I lived in Germany!

Anonymous said...

I would hate to add up all the time the MBTA has cost me over the years. Think I can bill the MBTA for this wasted time?

Anonymous said...

The Red Line is getting worse and worse too. Evening rush hour on Monday the train sat in the Central Sq. station for almost 15 minutes. The conductor occasionally intoned that Central Command had not released the train. No indication of how long we would have to wait. Some of us need to catch buses at Alewife and miss them when the train is delayed. Delays are becoming more and more frequent.

That morning the Red Line was so crowded that people could not even cram their way onto the train at Harvard and had to wait for another train. Same with the Orange Line when I transferred at Downtown Crossing.

Now the T wants to turn some Red Line cars into cattle cars: no seats; well just two seats per car for the disabled. Does lack of amenities equal good transit? I say it does not.

Anonymous said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head. MBTA loses money on every rider, so their incentive is to have just enough riders to justify themselves to the public. But when ridership is up they bleed money. The real income for the MBTA is on the gas tax subsidy. Maybe if the T riders actually paid a full fare then the MBTA would respond to their needs. Let the poor get subsidized transportation from the states general funds to use towards the transportation they need and keep the gas tax for just the roads.

Anonymous said...

I used to take this line when my husband (then boyfriend) was going to Babson College, it was terrible then, I would freeze waiting for the train, I was late for class in Boston on multiple occasions, and almost missed a final exam once, even though I was taking the absurdly early train to be on the safe side. It's awful for those of you who have to take it, I'm sorry.

Train Rider said...

I can't say I'm upset that I missed today's commute ... but I commiserate with you all who had to endure yet another crappy day on the Worcester-Framingham line. I don't know whether to even laugh about it anymore, it's such a joke.

Another thing that is a joke is the MBTA Q&A in yesterday's metro. In it, Danny G. gives the same old spiel about the increase in parking fees and how they're working on automating collection. Oh, and did you know you could write a check and stick in the slot? Ever try this Dan? You can't. You still get the envelope and the surcharge.

It all just sucks right now.

Anonymous said...

some suggestions for those who need to be to work at a certain time: take a bus from 146 park-and-ride (with free parking), or Flutie Pass(with free parking), Shoppers world or Riverside. Take a caravan for commuters van from Millbury park and ride. Drive to Franklin, take the Franklin line. Drive to Riverside take the green line, drive to Alewife take the red line. Drive to Sullivan Square, take the Orange Line. Car pool with your fellow riders. Take responsibility for your commute instead of blaming a broken (and broke)apparatus like the T.

Framingham Rider said...

And, once again, a train on the Worcester/Framingham line is cancelled this morning. This time the honor goes to the P502 (5:40 am Worcester express). I dont know if there is a word that describes a situation beyond "ridiculous", although I am tempted to coin the phrase "this is grabauskas" to describe just that situation...

AJ said...

I was going to post just to be a part of this great string of comments, but as I got to the end, I found my reason to speak up.

It really chaps my ass when people like Anonymous (12/10 at 626) chime in on something they either know nothing about, or are pointed in the complete wrong direction. People are finding alternate ways in, and discussing it. The grip is that we pay (good money at that) for a service which is not provided, and there's no accountability. The response is always the same, and the indifference is always there. The fact is, some people have to take the Commuter Rail. They don't have options. And even if they did, they pay for something which is withheld with no sort of recourse. That's the problem. Terrible service that continues to get worse. A lack of communication that the GM refuses to acknowledge exists. Old trains that continually break down while we wait 2 more years for cars that we need today.

It's not on us to take responsibility for our commute. It's on the T to take responsibility for their deplorable service.

Beth said...

Just wanted to chime in and say that his:

"Drive to Franklin, take the Franklin line."

is ridiculous. While the Franklin line might be better than the Worcester line, it still has its delays, breakdowns and cancellations. AJ said it best. It's time for the MBTA/MBCR to take responsibility for their crapy crappy service.

Anonymous said...

Late again...and again...and again.

A time this week being only 25 mins late. Just under the 30 min marker so you can't claim for the free tickets. Shady.

As a contract employee I get paid for only the hours I work. Last week when we were 2 hours late on the Worc/Fram train, I got docked for 2 hours. Granted I made the effort to wait an hour for the train, then sit an extra hour for the freights to go by...for nothing. No 'A' for effort where I work.

The MBTA is late on days where there is no reasonable event that would hinder it's trip. Then when they are late due to weather conditions and such it only adds frustration cause you may have already been late that week and it does reflect badly on your employers.

It really bites that my only other option is to drive into the city and pay $40 for the day to park at my building. Plus tolls.

What got me laughing yesterday, while being late, was passing what looked like 3(yes,3) broken down commuter trains with no passengers. One of the cars hooked to the engine had an advertisement wrapped on it promoting the T with the message, "no brainer".

I hope someone else caught that too.

Anonymous said...

Late again...and again...and again.

A time this week being only 25 mins late. Just under the 30 min marker so you can't claim for the free tickets. Shady.

As a contract employee I get paid for only the hours I work. Last week when we were 2 hours late on the Worc/Fram train, I got docked for 2 hours. Granted I made the effort to wait an hour for the train, then sit an extra hour for the freights to go by...for nothing. No 'A' for effort where I work.

The MBTA is late on days where there is no reasonable event that would hinder it's trip. Then when they are late due to weather conditions and such it only adds frustration cause you may have already been late that week and it does reflect badly on your employers.

It really bites that my only other option is to drive into the city and pay $40 for the day to park at my building. Plus tolls.

What got me laughing yesterday, while being late, was passing what looked like 3(yes,3) broken down commuter trains with no passengers. One of the cars hooked to the engine had an advertisement wrapped on it promoting the T with the message, "no brainer".

I hope someone else caught that too.

Anonymous said...

The MBTA makes me feel very much at "home", thank you! People, goats and chickens on the coaches roofs' will really complete the picture. Why pretend that you run a modern commuter rail system when it is no better than a 3rd world system.

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