TRU Rider's Rights Guide now online

July 18, 2008

Bus 116

In its efforts to improve customer service, the T encourages riders to “Write to the Top” to report any service that is not courteous, clean, accessible, or dependable. Yet these customer service improvements have not been adequately focused on bus riders. It took the T until April to start displaying bus operator numbers on buses’ LED information screens, and information to contact bus superintendents is buried in the T’s website. So we put together our own guide to submit complaints (or commendations) for specific bus routes. Click here to view TRU’s Rider’s Rights Guide. Read more…

SEPTA, the T, and Mattapan AC

Mattapan Trolley

So the Mattapan Trolley AC broke on its opening day.  Though through personal correspondance with the Lone Rider, I learned that some passengers got to ride the air conditioned car during its testing the day before.  I’m not sure who this post at SEPTA Watch disses more, the MBTA or SEPTA:

This week the air conditioned trolleys were set to debut.

But the unveiling was put on hold, after the trolley’s air conditioning unit stopped working as the trolley approached from Mattapan…

And another transit agency learns the hard way about relying on SEPTA as your inspiration.

Writing to the Top

Red Line Harvard

The MBTA encourages riders to “Write to the Top,”

Simply put – you deserve the best. If you find out service less than adequate, please “Write to the Top.” Top level management will respond.

So I submitted a version of the following to the MBTA’s Charlestown Superintendent Carrie Dubose and Red Line Chief Joseph Casey (not to be confused with John Casey, SEPTA’s General Manager):

Last Sunday, I needed to travel from Kendall Square to Medford Square and arrive by 9:00 AM. The MBTA’s online trip planner suggested that I board a Red Line train at Kendall at 8:16, arrive at Davis Square at 8:27, board a 94 bus at 8:35, and arrive in Medford Square at 8:47. This seemed like an ideal schedule: eight minutes to make the transfer at Davis and a thirteen minute cushion at Medford Square. It should have been a hassle-free trip.

Continue reading ‘Writing to the Top’

Bus Backup

Walking home tonight, a Transit Police truck blocked a 44 bus from turning right from Ruggles onto Tremont.  The resulting chaos was fun to observe.  I think this was the first time I’ve seen an MBTA bus have to drive in reverse.

Fishy Business

I had oyster and lobster for the first time tonight, at the Union Oyster House. It was kind of funky, but my aunt, uncle, and cousin can testify that I avoided making the faces my sister made in the Tokyo fish market. I like the Oyster House, especially more than Legal Sea Foods.

I absolutely hate Legal Sea Foods. I got sick after eating some of their clam chowder back in 2006. Their advertising campaigns are stupid. And now they’re threatening legal action against the MBTA for not running some disrespectful ads. I don’t think it is acceptable for Legal to run ads that say “This conductor has a face like a halibut.” It undermines riders’ respect of the system, it’s not funny, it’s not “fresh,” and I certainly agree with the T that it is a “demeaning and disparaging” advertisement. What’s really egregious is that Legal Sea Foods is trying to make this such a big issue. With interest, the T has $8.1 billion in debt. They certainly shouldn’t be using their strapped resources to deal with Legal’s legal threats.

So I will definitely not be visiting Legal Sea Foods in the event I ever want to try lobster or oysters again. I can only (spitefully) hope that the fish truck that flipped on the Masspike was theirs.

Last Update of the Night

T experiencing delays, dispatchers asking operators to hold connections and apologize to passengers for delays.

Route 8 is being diverted due to Boston Celtic Championship Celebrations. Boston Police have closed Brookline Ave. from Park Dr. to Beacon St.
Inbound Connections
can be made Brookine Ave and Park Dr..
Outbound Connections can be made at Kenmore Station.
6/18/2008 12:20 AM

[From mbta.com]

EMS called for man who lacerated his arm by punching through vehicle window.

Officer yelling: “Foot pursuit!” [Dispatcher and other officers confused]

Outside fire, 1263 Tremont [police verify, report mostly boxes being burned in middle of street]

Possible Missing person, last seen in Waltham, reported at 267 Waverley in Belmont

Fire alarm, Broad and Water

Central Square (closest bars to me) has just been reported clear.  I’m going to sleep, though I’m sure the fun will continue…

Red Line: Longfellow Bridge Work

For the past couple of weeks, Red Line trains have been ordered to slow to a crawl while crossing the Charles River, due to concerns over railroad tie deterioration on the bridge. I’m a bit nervous about this, especially since the T has decided to make emergency repairs (without calling them that).

Pesaturo said the ties were scheduled to be replaced during the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge, “but MBTA staff has decided to accelerate the schedule.”

[From the Somerville Journal.]

I’ve seen how slowly the trains have been running from the Harvard Bridge (Mass Ave), but hadn’t actually ridden one until yesterday.  They really are crawling.  The “accelerated schedule” means the Red Line will be shut down on June 14-15 and 21-22.

Operator 65891

Tonight, I met my favorite bus driver ever.