Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My $250 per month buys me this level of service

The door on car 222 has been broken for at least a month, unable to close the final 9 inches.  Today was special; it was unable to be opened more than nine inches.  This will be interesting when we get to Shirley when all passengers have to exit out of one door at the front of train.

Sent from my G1...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In the private sector...

...these incompetent morons would be out on their asses.  4:24 PM and there are 7 trains leaving in the next 30 minutes.  There also happens to be 6 trains in the station. But, up until 1 minute ago, none were announced (I couldn't get out the camera out in time to snap the empty board).

I've used mass transit in DC, Chicago, Montreal and San Francisco and on average, they had their trains available for boarding at *least* 20 minutes before departure.  Here, we're lucky if we get to board 10 minutes before departure, and even luckier if we depart on time.

There has to be a way to tie compensation to performance in the public sector.

Sent from my G1...

Friday, December 05, 2008

I was wrong...

...it can get worse.  4:45 and no sign of the 4:40 express.  This the 3rd or 4th night in a row this has happened.  I predict the MBCR is going to be the next industry asking Washington for a bailout.

Sent from my G1...

I would have sworn it couldn't get any worse

Imagine my utter lack of surprise when I entered North Station this afternoon to the sound of a cat being tortured.

Apparently the elders of North Station, in their wisdom, have decided that the low bass voice of the text-to-speech PA system is too easy to understand in the cavernous space that is the waiting area for trains.  So, added to the mix is a bunch of ethnic folk song rejects caterwauling their oh-so-politically-correct holiday songs that I don't recognize.

Does anyone at the MBTA or the MBCR have even an ounce of sense?  Hell, does an ounce of sense exist in the collective body?

Sent from my G1...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This is sure to go over well


I'm not opposed to the idea in general, but the overall comfort factor of commuting is going to go down as I will now get to listen to even more complaints from my fellow commutants.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Okay, that's just weird

So I hop on to the Red Line at Porter Square, and there's this guy typing away on his Mac laptop with his hands covered by the thin sheet of packing foam that must have come with the laptop.  Sure, I can see one wanting to protect the screen when it's closed, but to leave it over one's hands while typing?  Either he's practicing touch-typing or he's paranoid about people seeing what he's typing.

Yup, coming up on Kendall and he's still doing it.

It's not the worst thing I've seen on the Red Line, but it is one of the weirdest.

Sent from my G1...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So why do we have to wait?

It is 4:23 PM, there are 7 trains sitting on the tracks, and only 2 of the 7 trains that will leave in the next 30 minutes have been announced.  This is what I call incompetence.  That or ridiculous union rules.

Sent from my G1...

Friday, October 03, 2008

A coincidence? I think not!

From the Boston Herald article:

In the five months since a horrific Green Line crash killed a trolley operator and injured several passengers, nine MBTA drivers have been slapped with suspensions for texting or talking on cell phones while operating their vehicles, the Herald has learned.

Since May 28, eight bus drivers and one subway operator have received suspensions ranging from three days to 10 days - just short of termination, statistics show.

I've noticed on at least two different commuter rail trains that the conductors/engineers have recently removed  the heavy cardboard ads from the ad display frames and duct-taped them over the door windows to keep people from seeing in to where they "drive" the train.

Far be it from me to suggest they might be trying to frustrate prying eyes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Does this make me a bad person?

Even though I stopped commuting by train several months ago, I'm still signed up for the T alerts--you know, the system they use to email you 45 minutes after your train was supposed to arrive, to tell you that it will be delayed?

Every time I get one, I thank $deity (whichever one strikes my fancy that particular day) that I'm not the MBTA's bitch anymore.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Killing time...

Smallware's Solitaire app for the iPhone/iPod touch is a slick little app for passing the time on the commute. Yesterday I beat my previous record time of 2:11 with 1:54 as shown in the screenshot. Also shown in the screenshot is what I consider to be a bug. If you put your iPhone/touch to sleep with the game as the active app, the timer doesn't stop, which is how I ended up with a longest winning time of 6:30:01.

But other than that, it's a fine way to kill time on the train.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And I pay $250 a month for this level of service?

The 4:40 Fitchburg Express is about 5 minutes out of North Station when the utility closet door starts to drift open due to the swaying of the train. Seeing as I'm sitting right next to it, I reach out and give it a good shove to close it. As it clicks shut, all the power goes out on the train. Nice.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I think I'm dying here

This 20-something chicka just sat down a few rows up, whipped out some really pungent perfume and started pumping it out the way the military did with Agent Orange back in Vietnam. Holy crap! My eyes are watering and my throat is burning.