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An unhealthy relationship with the MBTA

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  August 24, 2012 04:06 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

All of these people would leave the MBTA if it didn't have such a powerful hold on them.

An unhealthy relationship with the MBTA

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox · Fri, Aug 24 2012 13:30:40

People who use the MBTA daily have a special relationship with the transit system -- one that some might consider comparable to a relationship with a bad boyfriend or girlfriend.

Day after day, the T tells us one thing and does another. It's inconsiderate and seems only to think about its own needs, never mind that it's making us late for work or taking our last $5 before payday. Our mothers tell us to get out of it, but we keep coming back for more.

Reading riders' #MBTAannoy tweets over the past seven days is almost like reading the diary of someone who knows he or she is in an unhealthy relationship. These people want to end it, but where else can they go? They stay with the T despite the hurt feelings.
Ugh stranded in Coolidge Corner. Why you gotta play me like that C line? Just when I was starting to really like you. #MBTAannoyTamara Glass
They put up with the broken promises.
If a train says it's going to North Station, common sense dictates that it should go to North Station. Not stop at Govt Center. #mbtaannoyAlyssa Biggs
Sometimes it's enough to make them lash out in frustration.
Superly annoyed with you, @mbtaGM. I don't think honestly you can tell your p's and q's about running a competent train system. #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
Rob became so vexed, he started tweeting in a British accent.
Seriously, stupid is as stupid does. I'm gobsmacked about the Orange Line. What a palava and what a fine kettle of fish! #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
Just like an inconsiderate date, the MBTA can leave you waiting around for hours, making you late to important events.
@mbtaGM Monday as usual: The #redline is running late & completely off of schedule. #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
Of course I don't mind there being ANOTHER delay on the rail, I was hoping for a long, scenic drive, not to get somewhere on time #MBTAannoyChris Auld
Late train Tuesday #mbtaannoy #WorcesterframinghamSara F.
other day I waited for the silver line at South Station for at least 20 minutes! there must have been 50 people #MBTAannoyKyle MP
Standby for daaaayyyyyssss #mbtaAnnoy #orangelineKrista Marie
That's why it's good to have a flexible schedule.
The #mbta is lucky I do not have a set time I am supposed to be into work. #mbtaannoySean Fahey
Of course, the bright side of running late is this: if you're behind schedule, there's always a chance your train (or your date) is, too.
5 minutes late for the train, Commuter Rail's 5 minutes late for departing. #MBTAbragCarey Mercier
But sometimes your date isn't just late -- sometimes your plans are completely disrupted, like when a train is disabled or abruptly taken out of service.
Disabled train on the Green line. I still have no idea what that means. @mbtaGM, educating the public would go a long way. #mbtaannoyShane Dunn
@mbtaGM Why take a train out of service at Harvard station during rush hour? Extremely inconvenient. #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
And just like trying to make plans for an outing with both an inconsiderate date and an unreliable friend, the problem is compounded when you have to rely on additional aspects of the system.
Kingston C Rail 7:30 train never came, Red line is experiencing delays, and so is the green line, this will be fun commute #MBTA #MBTAannoyChris Auld
Though one rider found using two different parts of the system was a source of joy as well as consternation, like when your friend consoles you when your date stands you up.
Not collecting tickets on Commuter Rail #MBTAannoy. E-Line driver holding door open, resulting in me catching express train home #MBTAbragCarey Mercier
Sometimes the problem with the T is a physical discomfort, like summer heat. (It's just possible there's no appropriate way to keep the strained metaphor going on this one. We'll try again in a minute.)
Great. Walked in the red line T. No A/C. #mbtaannoy.... lionel andre
No AC or ventilation except when the doors open This train will be fun when it gets hotter today #mbtaannoy #mbtaannoyrev8056
But even that can have a bright side, maybe?
“@HyphenateMe: Some idiots pay to use a sauna. I just ride the B line. #MBTAbrag #fb”MBTA Problems
And alternatively, there's always a chance the T will cool you down. Never mind that it usually does that by making a train go express past your stop.
At least the green line train that flew right past my stop made a nice breeze. #MBTAbragHP
On some trips, the heat is compounded by bad smells or other unpleasant conditions. It's like having a partner who refuses to shower regularly!
Not only is the AC barely working but there is a funny smell Last couple times I smelled that train was on fire #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Burning smell is gone but it is really getting hot as we crawl through the tunnelsI love the Dread Line #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
And just about every bad boyfriend or girlfriend has one thing in common: bad, bad manners.
Lady is all clipping her finger nails & dumping the clippings into her backpack... On the B line. Least she isn't chewing them. #mbtaAnnoyHP
Lady control your kids People who have worked for 12 hrs don't want to be kicked or bounced off of #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Watching this right now: When someone listens to music on the T without headphones http://gifhuboftheuniverse.tumblr.com/post/25850194951/when-someone-listens-to-music-on-the-t-without-any #mbtaannoyHub o' the Universe
Sometimes they'll just treat you like a piece of meat.
I prolly get more feelskis involuntarily when I commute to work. My behind and body deserve some respect when I'm in the train. #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
And lots of women (and some men) can relate to a partner who makes them suffer every time their team is playing.
If @RedSox games are going to make the #mbta ride home that awful, the least they could do is win. #mbtaannoyJess Infante
One thing the T can do, though, that even the worst partner (probably) can't, is force children to spend 45 minutes trapped in an elevator.
Elevator at south station got stuck.. Saw the frightened face of one of the girls inside .. Hopefully they get them out soon and safelyMaritza
Significant delays at south station. Children stuck in an elevator. So far EMS has pulled 5 kids freeEsteid
RT @N42_21_W71_04: most of them are out, it looks like it was 14! http://pic.twitter.com/p6KliTGk // Stuck South Station elevator #MBTAannoySteve
Response at 4:25 pm to South Station for a report of people stuck in an elevator.Rescue 1 found 25 people stuck.Boston Fire Dept.
Naturally, just as in a bad relationship, it doesn't take much to make us happy. Sometimes it's as simple as following through on a promise; sometimes it's a little special treat. 

Sometimes it's a matter of telling yourself something is charming when others might find it disturbing.
The MBTA Red line and bus system has been on time for me all day! Proud of you, MBTA. Keep it up. #MBTAbrag #surprisedJeannie Rodriguez
Express to Cleveland Circle. That's what I like to hear. #MBTAbragTamara Glass
I love trying to find the cute little mice running all over the red line. #MBTAbragHP
Is the MBTA making you wish you could just break up and start seeing other transit systems? Don't just complain to your friends -- tweet using #MBTAannoy. But if the T surprises you with flowers (or an on-time arrival), don't you think that's worth an #MBTAbrag?

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @YTDowntown.

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