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Hot, late, and crowded: the MBTA

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  August 3, 2012 03:05 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

A Green Line train arrives at the Boston University West stop on the B Line. It’s probably running late.

Hot, late, and crowded: the MBTA

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox · Fri, Aug 03 2012 09:41:50

For hundreds of thousands of Greater Boston residents, another week means another 10 or more rides on the MBTA. Which often means at least a couple of instances of riding in a train that is overheated, perilously overcrowded, or running way behind schedule. 

This week's review of #MBTAannoy tweets begins with a few complaints about the classic problem of public transportation: it gets you where you need to go, just far later than you planned.
@cesarmorales: @MBCR_info @boston_to_a_t @mbtagm Why is the 5:35pm Worcester Express going so.... So.... Slow? #MBTAannoyCesar Morales
@mbtaGM Train is stopped btwn Central & Kendall due too heavy traffic. Come on MBTA that is plain ridiculous! #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
@mbtaGM Now we are stopped btw MGH & Park St Get it together, MBTA! #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
@CourtneyJBurns Good thing the 66 runs "every 10 minutes" #WhenTheyFeelLikeIt #Never #MbtaAnnoyAndy Mallon
All those late buses and trains make for late and frustrated commuters. 
Gotta love when I'm on pace to make it work early but the Silver Line 2 manages to screw up my commute and I'm late for work. #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
Even the bus driver was as annoyed as us about the 8:15 am SL2 bus being stuck in the tunnel near Courthouse Station for an hour. #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
If I'm late for work because the 1 Bus never showed up, it's on them. #MBTAannoyChelsea Fortin
An hour and 45 min later, I'm finally at North Station. #MBTAannoyCP
Combine slow service with summer heat for a really unpleasant experience. 
Another wonderful Red Line afternoon 90 degrees out crawling through the tunnel with no AC or even a fan #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Train is now packed Temperature must be in high 90s can't wait until it goes aboveground & really starts cooking sun #mbta #mbtaannoyrev8056
Hey Davey & Davis why don't you come & boil with us smells wonderful on the train too just hop on @JFK #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtagmrev8056
I really think that poor little boy is getting sick Another great effort from the T #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtagmrev8056
But at least the delay below really wasn't the T's fault. 
Someone hit a traffic light and now it's laying across the B line, in bound and out bound. Guess I'll just sit here for a bit. #mbtaAnnoyHP
Another was both unavoidable and given a proper response. 
@MBTA some sort if medical emergency on Franklin line. Train conductors handled situ very well #mbtaBragJess Levens XLIV
The next delay was apparently caused by the scourge of public transportation: your fellow riders. 
Oh, Boston. "[Inbound train] experiencing 10-15 min delays due to residual unruly passenger delay." What in the world? #MBTAannoyChris Faulkner
The following tweeters also experienced some frustration caused by rude passengers.
Think you can move your stroller utility vehicle? Other people would like to get on the train #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
This has Got to be the most annoying bus ride ever. More different languages yelling in my ear than I can handle. #saveit #shutup #mbtaannoyKrista Marie
You should have to pass a class in order to be able to ride on the #mbta . #thisisridiculous #mbtaannoy apparently common sense isn't enoughKrista Marie
Or smelly passengers.
I had to switch train cars THREE times due deadly smelling people sitting next to me #threetimes!!! #MBTAannoy #WOOF #PUAmy S
Or passengers using the MBTA as their dining room. 
Again with the eating chicken on the bus!?! What is wrong with people, seriously. #MBTAannoysnowgray
If you have to eat it with a fork, don't eat it on the bus! #MBTAannoy #bus101snowgray
When your hungry, your hungry. #MBTAproblems "@petermorency: Why is there a lady eating a Popsicle on the T? It’s 7:40 AM! #mbtaannoy"MBTA Problems
This next tweet was posted 20 seconds before the cutoff for having bikes on the Red Line, so maybe he got it off in time? 
Oh yeah there is plenty of room for bikes on packed Red Line Trains #mbtaannoy #mbta http://pic.twitter.com/ZfV7b7CNrev8056
But the woman mentioned in the tweet below, posted at 5:28 p.m. Tuesday, appears to be in violation of the MBTA's policy for pets on the T, which goes as follows: 


Service animals are allowed on the T at all times.


During off-peak hours, non-service dogs are allowed at the discretion of T vehicle operators. Dogs must be properly leashed and are not allowed to annoy riders or take up a seat.  For safety and convenience during rush hours, small domestic animals must be carried in lap-sized containers and out of the way of exits.
@mbtaGM Lady with a pit-bull in the Braintree bound train. This should be prohibited. It was scary, I switched cars. #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
The rider below found his fellow passengers were a useful source of schadenfreude. 
I got an odd feeling of satisfaction when confused tourists stumble on the T looking dazed and confused. #mbtabragLukas Akerley
One tweeter thought the MBTA's employees should be more courteous to the passengers. 
T employees should stand during their FREE Red Line commute so paying customers can sit #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtagmrev8056
But that example of questionable bad manners is nothing compared to the next one. 
Bus driver on #mbta 2282 has lost it. Just stopped the bus to yell at a passenger and call him a f-ing moron #mbtaannoy @mbtagmCaitlin
Pretty sure passenger doesn't speak english but the small children on the buys she just scared sure do #mbtaannoy #mbta @mbtagmCaitlin
Another rider was concerned that neither riders or T employees seemed to be making any effort to keep buses tidy. 
Week-old Metro (Jul 23) crumpled up on the floor of the bus. If riders don't clean, neither does the T. #MBTAAnnoy http://yfrog.com/oc5q5eqjAndy Mallon
He and another tweeter had further examples of MBTA employees apparently not living up to their responsibilities. 
@mbtagm I wish they would make an announcement why the train driver just walked off orange line at Wellington #BreakTime #MbtaAnnoyAndy Mallon
If you ride Silver Line with Operator 2446 you only have to "pay what you got it's no big deal" even if it's not enough #MBTAannoyNiles da Silva
But it appears that particular tweeter's commuting complaints are now over. 
No more public transit commutes for me. #SuburbanOffice #ThugLife #MBTABragAndy Mallon
And at least a few train conductors were pleasant and diligent in their duties.
I love when Orange Line conductors are actually nice to us and remind us kindly to step away from the yellow line. Love courtesy! #mbtabragRob Tiongson
Another brought some fun to the Red Line. 
#mbtabrag my red line driver sang the names of the stops! That lightens up Monday on the #MBTA!Ariana Gunderson
And one MBTA Transit Police officer did his job well and with a sense of humor.
DTX Fare Evader: "I ain't even from here! I'm from NH!" MBTA Cop: "Well ma'am, it's illegal to break the law in NH too." #Classic #MBTABragPious Poultry
But some of the information the MBTA gives passengers is just as unreliable as those other employees mentioned above. 
@mbtaGM Why are there bus schedules if the actual planned arrival times via GPS are totally different? Access issues! #MBTAannoyShane Dunn
MBTA website actually claims it takes 13 minutes to get from North Station to Hynes Convention Center on the Green Line L-O-Lz #MBTAannoyCarolyn Vallejo
@MBTAgm notification text telling me that my train is 20 min delayed, 40 min after it should be here. Pathetic. #MBTAannoy #whybotherMatt Koch
And one rider found the T's Red Line facilities to be as bad. 
@mbta your kendall sq turnstyles aren't taking link passes. Fix? #mbtaannoySweetadelinevt
One tweeter had a simple piece of constructive criticism for the Charlie Card system. 
Why aren't the month, week, day etc. passes different colors? Could color code for each month and not have to tap/bring up. #mbtaannoyTrisha Fortin
While another was just happy to make the most of her pass. 
Using your weekly pass one minute before it expires: priceless. #MBTAbragJuliana
This Red Line passenger found the whole system to be in shoddy shape. 
No ventilation & 3 layers of maps above the door I love the Red Line's 43 year old trains #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
And the tweeter below had problems everywhere he turned. 
Dealing w/ "Angry Religious Guy," being stuck in the Silver Line Tunnel. and no A/C on the Orange and Red Lines yesterday? Great! #MBTAannoyRob Tiongson
There are moments when the system doesn't even seem to notice that the passengers are there. 
Kendall IB platform wall-to-wall ppl and an empty train blows thru. #mbta #mbtaannoyBurple Yak
But there are also times when it's just what its riders need. 
Happy to see the stairs being replaced at Boyslton. I have definitely slipped on them before #MBTAbragLin
A nice cold, three car GL train picked me up this am, great job #mbtagm, #mbtabrag. RADMass. Transportation
Somedays I really do love riding the T.#MBTA #MBTAbragJ∆RED M∆Y
And finally this week, a selection from the forthcoming book "101 MBTA Jokes":
#MBTA has more problems than a math teacher. #MBTAannoyJoshua Warren
If you've got a zinger like that, tweet it to #MBTAannoy. And if you get on a train or a bus that is cool, not packed, and on time, be sure to #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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