Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Incompetence? Or arrogance?

It is 4:15 and there are 9 trains scheduled to leave in the next 45 minutes.  There are 5 trains sitting in the station and not one has been announced.

The next train leaves in 5 minutes and it clearly has to be one of the trains sitting in the station!

Is there some union rule about not having to be on duty until 10 minutes* before scheduled departure?

I have traveled by commuter rail in San Francisco, DC, and Chicago, and their trains were always on the same track each day, ready for boarding at least 30 minutes ahead of time.

Why do we Bostonians/New Englanders put up with it?!

* 10 minutes is both the posted expected time for announcing before departure and the average time beforehand that the conductors reluctantly take their last drag and pitch their cigarettes into the ashtrays that sit just below "No Smoking" signs before meandering off to their assigned trains

Sent from my G1...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Yet another example of stellar service by the MBTA/MBCR

7:15 on the express just after leaving Ayer.

Is it a holiday?  Was the train early?  Where are all the people?

They're in the next car because there's no heat in this one.

And I'm paying $250/month for this quality of service and getting hassled by the conductors when I've forgotten my pass at the first of the month.

I wish I could see how this operation would be run if it were privately held.

Sent from my G1...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

False Analogies

Today was my first day commuting in March. However, I had forgotten to put my monthly pass in my wallet. Not the first time I have done this, but this experience was a first.

I showed the conductor last month's pass and told him I had forgotten to put this month's pass in my wallet and that I would have the pass tomorrow. He informed me that there was a spotter on the train and that he (the spotter) would give him (the conductor) a hard time if he (the conductor) didn't charge me.

I replied that I spent $250 per month to ride the train with lousy service and I wasn't paying extra because I forgot my pass one day. I would have the pass tomorrow and would gladly show it to whomever.

He replied that my not having my pass was the same as me showing up at the grocery store without money and expecting them to give me my groceries and then walked away.

When I show him my pass tomorrow, I will attempt to explain to him that his analogy is flawed. My not having my *MONTHLY* pass is more like me forgetting to pay my cable bill on-time and the cable company's first response would be to cancel my service at midnight on
the first of the month.