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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Cluster fail

The inspector's words were barely audible as a Commonwealth Avenue outbound train disgorged two full cars at Kenmore. Unlike the PA announcement that permeated the ear buds, I could barely hear "switching problem. Go upstairs and take a 57 one stop."

Having just given up on the 57, I knew better than to listen. So I took the Beacon Street train and figured I would have a longer walk, but would beat the B train.

Until the C train stopped at St. Mary's, opened the doors after several minutes to the dreaded "this train is standing by" announcement. OK, an even longer walk.

Turns out the uninformative announcement masked a dead train just ahead at Carlton Street, a train they were in the process of moving to the inbound track.

At this point I was in full walk mode, through the back streets of Brookline and out Babcock at Comm. Ave., where I was greeted by smoke and a backup of outbound trains that were no doubt the "switching problem" mumbled at Kenmore. One jammed bus headed out Comm. Ave. I can only assume lots of folks did what I did and walked.

Things happen -- although with disgusting regularity on the T this winter. What should not happen is incomplete or inaccurate information. Whatever brought out the fire engines on Comm. Ave. was gone by the time I got there.

And so was what little credibility the MBTA has by not telling people there's a fire on Comm. Ave. and we are short buses but we're working on it.

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