Monday, July 26, 2010

Paying for Parking with your Cell Phone

I've been out of town for a couple of weeks on vacation, but saw a flyer this morning touting a new way to pay for parking at MBTA lots.

Utilizing the Parkmobile service, you can pay for parking using a credit/debit card and either call, text or use a mobile app on your iPhone or Blackberry (Droid app is coming soon) to provide the space/lot/location of your car.

I think this might be a very convenient option, especially when I don't have the correct bills or change to jam into the slot. And also when I'm running late and barely get the train on time ... I'll have the ability to pay for parking from the train itself. That seems like a win-win.

I started checking out the Parkmobile website, but I'm confused by the transaction fees. I'm curious ... has anyone tried this out yet?

One of the Worst Commutes this Year

What a wake up call! Thought I'd get on the train and go to work like nothing has changed? Thought I'd still be in vacation bliss, all relaxed and happy? Well ... not so much thanks to this morning's commute.

The p508 started off well enough ... until we came to a halt outside of West Natick. Then we were informed that the train in front of us (the p506) broke down and we had the pleasure of pushing them into Boston. So, that would likely result in a delay.

THEN, we had the pleasure of having our lights and AC shut off for 25 minutes while we tried to link up with the train in front of us.

THEN, we got the great news that we would be making all local stops, since, as you know, the p506 was a local whereas we were an express.

FINALLY, we also had to make two stops at Yawkey and Back Bay to let both the front and back train people off.

I don't think my butt has ever been so sore from sitting in one position for about three hours straight.

I think I might go back to driving!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Smash n' Grab in Grafton and Westborough

It looks like the vandals are at it again ... smashing windows on cars in the Grafton and Westborough parking lots to grab what they can like GPS units, iPods, laptops, etc. This is similar to a problem that has been persistent in these parking lots since they're quite isolated and set back from the roads.

Grafton and MBTA police have been stepping up surveillance, but unless they're sitting there 24/7, it's going to be difficult to catch these vandals in the act. In fact, it might have been two weeks ago when I stepped off the train and there were 3 Grafton police cars in the lot. I couldn't really tell what was going on, but their presence was felt.

So, this begs the question ... why aren't there video cameras at MBTA parking lots? Especially in rural ones like the Grafton lot? This might help the police do a better job of patrolling the lots and it would give us commuters peace of mind. Especially since we pay $80/month to park there.

The Greater Grafton blog has a great post with pictures regarding these break-ins. You can go here to read it.