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#MBTAannoy: This hashtag could save your life

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  October 5, 2012 03:57 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

The blonde woman in the center just can't wait to tweet about how long this train took to get to Downtown Crossing.

#MBTAannoy: This hashtag could save your life

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox · Fri, Oct 05 2012 12:27:45

Whether the problem is slow trains, overcrowded buses, overheated stations, elevators used as toilets, toilets used as bathtubs, or passengers who haven't seen any bathtubs recently, riding the MBTA is often frustrating.

For more than a century, Bostonians have been riding subway and trolley cars, and it's probably safe to say we've been complaining since at least day two. In recent years, though, online social media have changed the way we complain forever, and they have given us gifts like the #MBTAannoy hashtag for Twitter.

Each week, new people discover the #MBTAannoy hashtag and use it to vent their frustrations about the T, and who are we to say it's not making their lives better? Just look at this week's first two tweets:
#mbtaannoy needs to be used more oftenStacy J Ruiz
wow, i've been missing out on all the #mbtaannoy tweets. #mbtafail just never took off, i guesscharlene mcbride
After stepping a toe into #MBTAannoy waters, Charlene set swiftly to work employing the hashtag. Looking at the frustrations she expresses in the tweets below, you can see why she needed it.
"There are plenty of service trains directly behind us" #notintendedtobefactuallytrue #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
I'm pretty sure the whole yellow line thing is part of what is causing service on the orange line to be so terrible lately. #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
Curses to mbta whose train schedule forced me to interrupt and awesome dinner with the most excellent @betsyweber #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
Made it with barely 1 min to spare. Totally out of breath. Thanks #mbtaannoy for yet another very close call #mbtafailcharlene mcbride
One tweeter apparently went even farther than Charlene did.
It's official! You asked and now I have my own twitter page for my ranting and humor of daily T life and everything Boston? #mbtaannoyCity Girl
At the top of this week's list of complaints is that perennial favorite: trains and buses that are slow, or just plain stationary.
15 minutes to get down South Huntington. It's gonna be a long commute. #ELine #MBTAAnnoy_veritaserum
This train is going so slow I thought I missed my stop #MBTAannoyLin
@mbtaGM: Bringing you commuter rail commute times at subway prices! #mbtaannoy #announcementsstillsay10to15minutestheylieBrian McCarty
Seriously?! Kind of need a train between, 9:10 and 9:30. This is unacceptable. #MBTAannoyTrisha Fortin
Dear @MBTA: why is my train not moving. #mbtaannoy #redlineAnne
#mbtaannoy Please tell me why it took 1 hour to go to Needham Heights tonight? Might have something to do with 5 min waits at every stop.Jason Denmark
Of course I'm late!!! Dear 86, I absolutely hate you. #mbtaannoySage Luce
2nd morning the orange line's made me late to work. That train should not be hanging out behind the line. #mbtaannoy http://pic.twitter.com/rxMLpHYAJuliana
Been at park outbound for 7 minutes - next Braintree 10 mins ashmont 20 mins. Unacceptable. Emphatic #mbtaannoy why is it so hard?!?!?!!!D. Matt Brothers
Currently enduring the longest most frustrating #mbta ride home ever!!! #mbtaannoy almost two hours nowDrew
Another day. Another horrible commute home on the 520 Needham Heights outbound train. Why the long wait at each station? @mbtaGM #mbtaannoyJason Denmark
#mbtaannoy Another hour spend on a ride scheduled for 44 minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, your 520 outbound Needham train. @mbtagmJason Denmark
#mbtaannoy The extra 16 mins of delays on my ride home is 16 mins I don't get to spend with my kids. Thanks MBTA!Jason Denmark
And of course, long waits mean crowds will gather and overfill any train or bus when it finally arrives.
If you ran more southbound trains at this hour you wouldn't need to make the don't crowd the doors announcement #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtaGMrev8056
Why are the number 7 buses so ridiculously full this morning? THREE went by before I could even get on. #MBTAannoyBethany Tripp
Hate when the train is so packed I can't wen look out the window to see what station I'm at #mbtaannoyJess Indeed
NEVER enough #9 busses !! #packedtothegills #mbta #mbtaannoyDarren Mackiewicz
And have we mentioned how there always seems to be an imbalance in frequency between the trains passing through your station that you don't need (there are usually lots of them) and the train you do need (it never comes)?
Three trains for the cumulative 25 people going to Oak Grove. 0 for the 100 going to Forest Hills. #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
Or maybe the train you need just doesn't exist.
There appears to be NO lechmere T's coming to gov center. Way to start the week. #mbtaannoylauren
But sometimes the cause of the delay isn't just the aging system but also the people using it.
Just another first of the month when no one has money on their Charlie Cards and the bus is wayyy behind schedule. #mbtaannoySage Luce
As we learned last week, the worst part of the ride can be the company you share it with. Just look at these tweets:
Red Line afternoon crammed between someone who has been drinking and a giant who doesn't use deodorant #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Everyone is awkwardly staring at the mother yelling at her child for crying. #mbtaannoy #86 #thisbusismynightmareSage Luce
The lady next to me got reaaaaaal comfortable & passed gas. Help me! #toocloseforcomfort #mbtaannoyKellie Lee
Lady - don't give me a dirty look because I hit your arm while you were reading the paper during morning commute. #princess #mbtaannoyCity Girl
Reallllly weird chick randomly singing along with he iPod in the t. Def not Adele! Laugh AND cry. #mbtaannoy #mbtabragD. Matt Brothers
oy, the quiet car should be a smelly food free zone also. The Lowell line is always so stinky! #mbtafail #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
Old man's elbow is resting quite comfortably on my hip. #toocloseforcomfort #MBTAannoyKellie Lee
Which is not to say that mechanical problems aren't also a very real issue.
Hope @mbtaGM uses some #farehike $ to put stuff like workn radios on #RedLine #mbtaannoy #howdoesthattrainleaveyardBrian McCarty
Look turn down your radio before making an announcement No one can hear what you say and it is so loud it hurts #mbtaannoy #mbtagmrev8056
Doors open, lights go out. Doors close, lights come back on. A day in the life of a 1970's mbta red line train. #mbtaannoyMatt K
This next issue, though, should soon be resolved by the changing weather:
Free sauna with my bus ride today. #mbtaannoy or #mbtabrag?Johanna Kaiser
And it's not always clear whether the source of a problem is mechanical or human error, as in these tweets:
Don't you love it when all markers on a red line train say ashmont - but then you find out it was Braintree as they pull away! #mbtaannoyD. Matt Brothers
N. Station is not updating the track info.... 2 minutes is not enough time to notify ppl. Even though it's hilarious! #MBTAannoy #MBTAbragCarey Mercier
Other times, it's obvious that some element of the system is defective.
Apparently you can break a Charlie card. How do I know? Bc I just broke mine. Wonderful. #MBTAannoy @MBTAgmKellie Lee
Just helped woman who praised easy-to-read T maps but waited 45m for D Line at North Sta. Yes, inaccurate maps are easy to read. #MBTAannoyRobert D Sullivan
The frustrations of the T are so many and so unpredictable, it may be that this next tweet sums up the quintessential MBTA experience:
Pro-got a seat alone on a B train. Score. Con-disabled train ahead so we're stuck here god knows how long. #MBTAannoyMarissa Breton
On the MBTA, riders have to take the bitter with the sweet. But for the bitter, there's always the #MBTAannoy hashtag to help release those frustrations -- it's almost certainly good for your mental and emotional health. And for the sweet, when it comes, there's #MBTAbrag, though you'd have a hard time seeing that based on this week's tweets. 

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

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