Monday, December 22, 2008

See if You Can Locate Worcester Line MBTA Commuter Rail Holiday Schedule

Talk about a bad way to communicate. The MBTA's Holiday Schedule was released last Thursday. I have a MS in Mass Communication and I can't, for the life of me, figure out the "special" Worcester line schedule on Wednesday. Here's the lead paragraph:
The MBTA today announced its service schedule for the upcoming holiday period. To accommodate customers traveling to and from Logan Airport, Silver Line service will be enhanced on Thursday, December 18, Friday, December 19, and Monday, December 22. Logan-bound Silver Line vehicles will depart from South Station every eight (8) minutes between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. each day. The one-way fare with a CharlieCard is just $1.70. In addition, schedule adjustments to Worcester Commuter Rail service will be made to accommodate customers departing Boston early on Wednesday, December 24.

When you go to read about the Commuter Rail, you just find this:

Commuter Rail
Commuter rail trains will operate on a normal weekday schedule.

Hmm. I wonder how many people it took to approve this press release?

If anyone has any idea what the Wednesday commuter rail schedule for the Worcester line is, please feel free to email either worctrainrider AT or commuteaholic AT

Maybe the Worcester line is just the MBTA's/MBCR's "B*tch" (for lack of a better term). It was not a good morning on the Worcester line (or, really, anywhere else on the MBTA for that matter). Anonymous at 1:35 PM wrote the following in a "Reimbursement Request" about commuting on the P504 today.

Subject: I've really had it with you guys

Today's commute was a nightmare. I was willing to give you guys a little slack on account of the weather and the upcoming holidays.

However several things happened that I think were inexcusable:

  • you didn't notify passengers about a 20 minute delay (to start, we ended up being almost an hour late at South Station) until the train was already ten minutes late. If we had known we could have been waiting in our cars or at home.
  • when the train actually did arrive 25 minutes late it was smaller than usual - 6 singles rather than the usual 5 doubles, and because it arrived at the regularly scheduled time for the P506 that meant less equipment for twice the volume of people.
  • you blame the overall problem on CSX. I'm sorry but that just doesn't fly. It doesn't explain why you sent us inadequate equipment for the P504. And with the storm over yesterday evening you had plenty of time to make sure things were ready for the Monday commute. CSX's role is irrelevant. You are responsible for our safe and reliable service.
  • There was inadequate snow removal at Framingham. There was no way to get from the parking lot to the train without trudging through a foot of snow.
This all comes in the wake of major delays over the past two weeks, and a 20% back-door fare hike via the additional $2 a day on parking ostensibly to avoid having to "reduce service," though frankly this is happening anyways. Your system is broken.

You have to fix this. As fuel and environment issues are on the rise public transportation is a key issue in the coming years.

Thank you.

Meanwhile, Sarah J had this to say:

Today's commute was an absolute NIGHTMARE!!
  1. Missed my usual P502 train out of Worcester due to poor plowing. Didn't it stop snowing at 9:00 last night? Way to go city of Worcester.
  2. Went to park in my usual parking lot but the box for the money was missing. All that was left of it was it's metal legs.
  3. Drove to a different lot that was completely covered in snow (bonus because I didn't have to pay the fee since I couldn't see the number).
  4. Received text from my brother who was on the P502 out of Worcester. Said I didn't miss much because it became a local. Also, they were just inching along most of the way.
  5. Asked conductor about the P502 being a local. Response, "I don't know. The local must have broken down. We're working on getting out of here on time. I'll let you know".
  6. Still sitting at Union Station at 6:10AM, making us 5 minutes late already.
  7. Announcement that our breaks aren't working properly. "We apologize for the delay."
  8. Finally leave at around 6:17AM.
  9. Inch along.
  10. Start going backwards. The train passed the Westborough stop and had to back up.
  11. At the Natick stop, people were packing themselves in like sardines. All cars were single level.
  12. Waited a long time at each stop to pack more people in.
  13. At the Newton stop people were denied boarding because there wasn't enough room.
  14. The P504 finally reaches South Station approximately 20-25 minutes after the P502 train.
  15. Get another coffee because it's already a hell of a day.
  16. Sister-in-law calls the city of Worcester about the parking lot missing it's pay box and no one believes her.
  17. I call the city of Worcester about the pay box at 10:00AM, left a message and still haven't heard back. great.
A Disgruntled Worcester/Framingham Line Commuter.
Tomorrow is Festivus. May all commuters, but especially the embattled Worcester line commuters, have good commutes. If you feel the need, you could always air your MBTA/MBCR commuter horror stories here at "The Airing of Grievances."


Anonymous said...

which lot in Worcester is missing the honor box?

Sarah J said...

It's called "Area B". The parking lot is directly across the street from the new fire station.