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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Why people hate the T

Finally some signs of reality from MBTA boss Smilin' Dan Grabauskas.

Commenting on an upsurge in ridership on most lines because of soaring gasoline prices, Smilin' Dan offered an honest if sobering assessment for his new (and old) captives, er, sardines, er, passengers.

Grabauskas acknowledges the problem, but said it is not a bad one to have. He said the T's dire financial situation, including more than $5 billion in debt, means he will not add trains or buses as demand grows.

"I'm just struggling as hard as I can to maintain the service I've already got," he said.

Take today as a case in point. There were about 40 people waiting in a miserable rain at Packard's Corner for a B Line inbound train. Another 10 were hedging their bets, waiting for the 57 bus.

First two-card train finally arrives -- absolutely empty. The tell-tale sign "Not in Service." I cram into the bus and cross my fingers.

A second two-car train enters the picture as the solitary train inches its way to Kenmore. Train #2 was an "express" -- meaning it would not open its doors as it inched alone behind the empty train. I think it disgorged victims at BU Central. Nothing "express" about it at all.

I got lucky on the bus -- particularly since the usual twin was not right behind. I have serious doubts the rain-soaked gaggle at Packard's Corner found quick relief.

Of course my luck ran out when I had to stand under the imposing glass "shelter" in Kenmore that offers no relief from the elements.

So why do people hate the T? If the empty two-car train was disabled, why was it running inbound, where the first place it could get out of the way as Park Street? Couldn't it have switched its way back to Boston College and not annoy hundreds of soaked riders?

What is the point of a shelterless shelter in Kenmore? And for that matter, why are we about to start a third Red Sox season with Kenmore Square in construction chaos.

Mrs. O.L. had fun with the homebound side. A mile-plus walk down Harvard from Brookline to Allston in a soaking drizzle and not one 66 bus passed in the 30 minute or so walk.

The T's new riders will eventually discover high gasoline costs and traffic jams are less of an annoyance that the overcrowded snail trail called the MBTA.

Smilin' Dan has got to go.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing that Guv Patrick has not be tarred with Dan's brush yet. But the day will come when he will be blamed for this, too.

April 05, 2008 6:44 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

If he doesn't do something about Grabauskas, he should be.

April 05, 2008 7:19 AM  

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