Most memorable MBTA moments
Slow service. Cancelled trains. No space. Some argue it’s par for the MBTA ride.
Here’s a countdown of some of the most frustrating moments on the MBTA in 2012.
There have been no shortages of unruly passengers in 2012 — everything from distracting apparel (or, in some cases, no apparel at all), to seemingly random actions that have impeded normal T operations.
1. You can find a special group of riders donning their underwear and not much else in an annual “no pants day.” However, some riders don’t really need a special day to do that.
2. In July, a 56-year-old South Boston woman fell after trying to ride her motorized wheelchair up the escalator at a subway station. She was was not seriously injured.
3. In October, a bus rider punched the operator in the head after he refused to stop the bus at an unauthorized stop. The rider pushed the emergency exit button, jumped out of the window, and fled.
4. In the same month, “Stroller Cat” both infuriated and fascinated commuters on the Red Line.
5. Earlier in May, a man offered a puff of marijuana to an undercover officer at the Andrew T station.
MBTA ticket price hikes
Public outcry was overwhelming when the MBTA announced that the public transit system needed to close a $161 million budget deficit with fare hikes and service cuts.
The transportation agency published proposed changes and held dozens of forums to take input from the community.
6. After getting public feedback, the MBTA made minor adjustments to their proposals, but ultimately, the changes went into effect in the fall.
7. The cost of a one-way fare on The Ride, the door-to-door service for the disabled, rose from $2 to $4 for most riders. Right before the final vote, activists in chained-together-wheelchairs blocked the street in front of the State House, chanting, “We can’t ride, you can’t drive.”
8. Some protesters got creative and dressed up in spandex before crashing MBTA budgetary meetings.
9. Some long-running MBTA routes were eliminated following the service cuts such as Jamaica Plain’s Route 48 bus loop, which was discontinued after 39 years.
10. Many ferry service lines were cut, as well as commuter rail service.
11. To make up for lost revenue, officials floated the idea of selling station naming rights.
So many delays
Nothing puts a delay in your commute than someone or something right in the way of the T.
12. In August, police cited a South Attleboro woman who allegedly drove her car onto the MBTA Green Line tracks in Coolidge Corner. She told MBTA Transit Police that she turned onto the tracks near Beacon and Harvard streets because her GPS told her to do so.
13. A shirtless man walking the Red Line tracks in South Boston delayed a morning commute in September.
14. The day before, a runaway horse delayed a commuter train in Weston.
15. Then, at the end of November, thousands of Cantabrigians were plunged into darkness when power went out across the city. Rumors swirled initially that the outage was caused when an MBTA Red Line train collided with a deer at Kendall Square. A spokesman quickly dismissed the rumor as the MBTA continued to run on backup power and reminded everyone that Kendall Square train line was underground.
The oldest subway system in the United States made technological progress in 2012.
17. In a stealthy project, LED countdown time displays were slowly unveiled in Red Line and Sliver Line stations.
Pictured: Sam Hickey, a member of the MBTA Real Time Data Team, sat at a workstation inside the MBTA Operations Center on High Street.
Assorted MBTA headaches
After a national search, Beverly Scott was selected to be the next director of the MBTA. She previously ran the mass transit system in Atlanta and will be paid $220,000 a year as the MBTA general manager.
18. However, an investigation revealed that Scott’s relationship with her Atlanta board of directors had deteriorated to the point that $144,000 was spent on a business psychologist to help improve management styles. The spokesperson for MassDOT said there was no reason to rethink Scott’s hiring.
19. In September, the acting general manager of the MBTA flew to South Korea to get answers on why 75 ordered commuter trains were two years behind schedule. The $190 million contract has a revised schedule for the trains to begin arriving in the spring of 2013 through July 2014. The manufacturer, Hyundai, could face up to $18 million in penalties if it falls behind schedule again.
20. When Bostonians think of the power of a scent, they may think of the holidays or of candles. Or they may think of the MBTA. We let the riders explain here.
Pictured: Derek Bass, of Boston, jumped over a turnstyle at the Park Street T Station in July but was quickly caught by by an undercover MBTA officer. Bass was given a ticket for fare evasion.
21. Whether it’s work done to repair a trolley, track replacements, parking garage closures, or shutting down an entire station, ongoing MBTA construction projects in 2012 left my riders with delayed commutes and on the hunt for alternative routes when stations were shut down on multiple weekends.
22. The Quincy Center MBTA parking garage was closed indefinitely after studies found the structure was unsafe.
23. Also, the Salem MBTA parking lot lost 225 spaces and officials only notified commuters one business day in advance by putting flyers on windshields.
24. Officials also recently announced that the Government Center T stop will shut down for two years starting in 2013 for a $90 million overhaul.
Pictured: Escalator access closed for renovations at Davis Square T stop.
25. More than two dozen people were injured on Nov. 29 when a sleep-deprived trolley driver smashed into another train on Boylston Street Station.
26. Many other injuries and fatalities from collisions with buses or trains.
Pictured: Surveillance of the scene immediately after the crash.
Life is beautiful on the MBTA
It’s easy to pile on a service that people depend on every day but there are plenty of reasons to appreciate the city’s transit service.
27. Even after the fare increase, the MBTA is still much cheaper than most cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.
28. Massport temporarily suspended fares to board the Silver Line at Logan Airport, reducing congestion from confused out-of-towners.
29. There are many chances to bear witness to some great acts of humanity. In May, a pair of men in suits chased down a purse snatcher in an MBTA station.
30. The next month, T workers rescued a little girl’s stuffed bunny from the tracks of the Orange Line.
31. Officials also recently announced that passenger rail service between Boston and Cape Cod in 2013 for the first time in more than two decades.
32. The MBTA is notable for the many opportunity to become infatuated with a stranger, based on the “Missed connections” section of Craigslist. Millions of passengers pass through the public transportation system in the greater Boston area. People are falling briefly in love on the MBTA.
Pictured: Charlie, the mascot for the MBTA, greeted T passengers and handed out Charlie Cards at South Station. The decades-old mascot came to life in the form of a costumed mascot in August to promote Charlie Cards.
Submit your MBTA moment
That’s 33 of some of the most frustrating, interesting, and inspiring developments on the MBTA in 2012.
Let us know if we left anything out of our MBTA overview.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below