Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Train Rider is Back

Hello Train Riders!

My apologies for being offline for a few days. I had to drive to work on Friday, which proved to be fortuitous as I ended up going home early because I was sick. You will never believe this - I got sick from the E. coli bacteria in my town's water. It sure wasn't a fun way to spend the weekend.

Due to some post-work commitments, I also drove in this morning. Just think - supposedly by Friday we'll think that today's balmy temps are like a heat wave.

I did take the P508 to work yesterday. The train was on time - we arrived at South Station around 8:21 a.m. I noticed last night that the old train signs in South Station are gone. I wonder if anyone ever bought them on eBay? The new board with departure times is in its place. I'll miss the sound of the time changing - there is something very nostalgic about the clicking noise.

Commute-a-holic has been tied up with projects at work and thus unable to post articles. Here are some of the transportation related things in the news:

Before I get into the news round-up, can I just say that I'm thrilled that Jim Rice has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Woo-hoo!!

Two articles in today's Boston Metro: one about the continued increase in T ridership and the other about how parking revenue is up, even though the number of cars parked is down. AJ's comment about parking from last Friday was very observant. Here's a snippet of it:
Speaking only for the Grafton lot, the parking fare increase has definitely effected the amount of people who park their cars in the lot. Not necessarily ridership, but people who use the lot.

Almost three years ago, I regularly parked in the 2nd isle for the P508 train. As winter takes away a good number of spots, I move back to the 4th isle. This past spring, as gas prices rose, my regular spot stayed in the 4th isle. The summer saw a move back to the 6th. This was unprecedented! The week that parking fares rose, I was back to the 2nd isle. After that, I could actually find spots in the 1st isle as well.
AJ also explained why he is now not parking at the Grafton lot.

Progressive Railroading also reported on the T's increase in riders.

Today's Boston Herald reported that the Governor is serious about gas hikes as an alternative to Mass Pike toll hikes. Stop the Pike Hike is still actively campaigning and protesting toll hikes.

A press release posted on Saturday to TradingMarkets.com focuses on tonight's meeting to discuss environmental issues related to a project on the Fitchburg commuter rail line.

According to Sunday's Boston Globe, the Worcester line is not the only commuter rail line that has massive delays. The Fairmont line is also plagued by issues. Sunday's "Starts and Stops" column also reported on the Green Line extension, how much revenue the T is losing because the Pats didn't make it to post-season play, and that the Pike is now going to keep the West Newton entrance open (instead of closing it to test the traffic flow). Finally, there was an article about how the Pike may need to repay UBS $400 million due to a risky investment that went south.

Friday afternoon's Worcester line commuter rail delays were due, unfortunately, to a death on the tracks.


AJ said...

Welcome Back TR! I was really starting to worry there!

I thought I would pass this along. Now that my wife drives me, she spends time observing the people in Grafton. She told me last night she didn't know how I dealt with the Rat Race!

I've pleaded on your blog before for people to be more understanding and compassionate. We all ride together, no sense making each other miserable. That said, it's to the point where the 506 pm train is effecting the 709 in the morning. It now takes longer to park because everyone has to back into their spot because if you don't, and you take the 411 or the 506 home, no one will let you out. Your only chance is to back in and push your way into traffic. Because everyone is backing in, the traffic line into the lot spots, and everyone waits. Or people stop entering the lot to drop someone off, stopping traffic for everyone else instead of just looping around and using either the drop-off area, or dropping off on the way out.

Why does everyone feel they, or what they are doing, is more important than anyone else? Can we be civil? Alternate letting people go. Do you really need to be the first one off the train? Is it necessary to push your way on and off the train? I'm not talking about figuratively, I mean literally PUSH! I just don't get it. Is it really so much to ask?

Everybody has to rush for something at one time or another, I understand that. Such behavior still isn't warranted.

As George Costanza would say, "We live in a society people!"

Framingham Rider said...

Good call AJ. I'll throw in my two cents with one of my pet peeves at the Framingham station. When people are done stuffing their $4 into the board, often times they'll just turn around and wait for the train there, blocking other people from getting to the board to pay. It can get crowded surprisingly quickly, especially since there is a lot of other places people can stand and wait or chat. Put your money in, then move aside so the other people can pay, too, its not that difficult.

Also, I'm not a fan of the smokers nearby, but thats another issue for another time...

Richard said...

Just when I was going to say that the MBTA was doing a great job this week, they screwed up royally today. The 7:35 train from Worcester was cancelled and the next one was not leaving until 8:45 meaning that I had to drive to Alewife, pay the $7 parking fee and take the red line to work. There is no available parking where I work. This really sucks and on top of that people had to wait in the cold at some stops for a train that never showed up. At least the Worcester stop has a station. Does anyone know why they screwed up?