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A bumpy week on the MBTA

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  November 30, 2012 06:04 PM

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(Eric Moskowitz/Globe Staff)

Had a bad ride home on the Green Line? It could always be worse.

A bumpy week on the MBTA

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox · Fri, Nov 30 2012 14:47:14

It seems silly to say this was a bad week for the MBTA. Judging by how often locals use the #MBTAannoy hashtag on Twitter, it seems most weeks are bad weeks. But Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, was a pretty rotten day by any standard. 

On the Green Line, there was a train collision at Boylston Station just before noon that injured at least 35 people. Then, less than five hours later a power outage in Cambridge caused delays on the Red Line. 

Probably the injured had more important things to do than tweet about their bruises and cuts, but there were a few riders affected by the crash and the blackout who took to Twitter to express themselves. 
Good to see despite accident T is sticking to routine with a Red Line failure #mbta #mbtaGM #mbtaannoyrev8056
"Hey, it was the green line that went kerblooey today," I thought. "The red line will be fine," I thought. #MBTAannoy #fbKatie Hamill
Don't make any smart decisions like putting on extra #1 busses @mbtaGM - #mbtaannoyJennifer O'Neil
2nd stop and bus is OVERfull. Driver rushing passengers like power outage is their fault. Excellent crisis mgt. @mbtaGM #mbtaannoyJennifer O'Neil
And now the driver lets on a carriage. #excellentdecisionmaking #mbtaannoy #CambridgeBlackoutJennifer O'Neil
Sabrina, a regular contributor to this column, was impressed with the response, though. 
@mbtaGM Hats off to the #mbta tonight. Major power outrage in Cambridge & the the red line is running only 10 minutes late. #mbtaBragSabrinaTheWiseLatina
John, a relative newcomer, not so much, though he still found a reason to #MBTAbrag. 
I got out at Kendall and beat my bus to Union Square. #mbtabrag... Or is that not how that hashtag works?John Hanawalt
Marissa was still feeling a little anxious as she commuted during Friday rush hour. 
Anyone else having severe green line anxiety this morning, when the trains get a littleeee too close? #mbtaannoy #mbta #greenlineMarissa Breton
In other MBTA news this week, there was also this announcement about a complete overhaul coming to Government Center. 
Is this #MBTAbrag or #MBTAannoy ?? RT @southendpatch: Gov't Center Station closing for 2 yrs for overhaul renovation: http://bit.ly/YeLnusGrey's Fabric
Is it any wonder Grey's fabric wasn't sure whether to cheer or boo? Or that Jennifer reacted to her discovery of #MBTAannoy like a thirsty woman in a desert? 
Omg theres a #MBTAannoy hashtag? Basically a #MyLife hashtag.Jennifer Soong
At least the frustration of riding the MBTA inspired some civic-minded, though purely hypothetical, generosity from Cheryl. 
If I win the Powerball jackpot, I might consider buying the #MBTA some new #Orangeline trains. Ugh! #MBTAannoyCheryl Camuso
The kind of non-specific #MBTAannoy tweet that Kristen posted leaves everyone guessing about the specific problem(s) the tweeter encountered. There are so many possibilities. 
The Red Line is special kind of hell this morning. #mbtaannoyKristen
For one thing, the company isn't so great. 
@MBTAgm How much to pay the fake Sammy Davis Jr dude at Govt Center to STOP singing?! #MBTAannoyKevin Krueger
Just got hit in the face with a backpack I love paying to ride the Boston Public School Bus #mbtaannoyrev8056
No one has ever asked "oh, would your duffle bag like to sit down?" during AM commute. Probably because bags don't need seats. #mbtaannoyMelissa
Yes, to the women who keeps coughing on the train, keep insisting you're not sick. Because that will definitely convince me. #MBTAannoyAmira Delal
Who brings a full size bike on the #redline #mbtaannoy No! You sir are the problem with the spacing issue, not us.Nick Morgan
And that frustration with one's fellows can extend to the MBTA employees.
Next stop Andrbroadway must be the same guy who kept announcing last week that a Braintree train was Ashmont #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
@mbtagm are the train conductors taught to troll people with "there is another service train directly behind us"? There never is. #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
Can a human being from the #mbta please fix things and not leave it up to the damn computer? #mbtafail #mbtaannoy #mbtagmJack Freeman
Awesome am, sprint for 39 bus (next is over 15 min away during peak, fail!) & driver slams door shut in my face. #mbtaannoy #mbtajerksJennifer Mikoll
But there are a few nice people out there, which is especially helpful when you lose your wallet. 
A heartfelt THANK YOU to the passing stranger & the MBTA emplyee who made it possible 4 me to commute home w/o my forgotten wallet #MBTAbragJenna Gilligan
The wallet I lost in the redline on Halloween? Found by a saint! Both debit cards, Charlie card, 5 stamps & $12.65 still in! #mbtabragChristina M. Smith
Naturally the frustrations with fellow passengers are worsened because there often are so many of them packed onto subway platforms, crammed into every corner buses, even blocking other riders from reaching a bar to steady themselves. 
Morning started with an entire train being unloaded at Kenmore. Took another 3 to clear it again! #MBTAannoy http://twitpic.com/bgy6tbKyle W. Kerr
Spent a week using the amazing #Istanbul subway. Now back to the sardine can that's the T in the mornings #mbtaannoy @mbtaGMKNRuval
When there aren't any seats on the commuter line outbound out of #BackBay... #suburbangirlproblems #mbta #confessionsofacommuter #mbtaannoyVanessa Marie
Sometimes I think the only thing that keeps me standing on the commuter line is centrifugal force. #suburbangirlproblems #mbtaannoyVanessa Marie
Another daily frustration for many riders is the long wait to get on trains and buses that barely move anyway. 
Ok the empty Ashmont train was a while ago Where is the packed Braintree? #mbtaannoyrev8056
@mbtaGM Braintree red line was slow & late this morning... And it is slow & late this afternoon. #MBTAannoy #GeItTogetherSabrinaTheWiseLatina
Where are all the North Station and Lechmere trains @ Park?! Seen about 20 Gov't Center ones so far but no others. #MBTAannoy @universalhubKyle W. Kerr
Parked at Park St This is why running trains in packs doesn't work #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtaannoy #mbtaGMrev8056
Red line regret. #mbtaannoy #waitingcharlene mcbride
Second day in a row with heavy delays during rush hour on the orange line. Don't try too hard #mbta. #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
@mbtaGM Newsflash: The red line is experiencing delays during rush-hour. #MBTAannoy #GeItTogetherSabrinaTheWiseLatina
20 mins ago I thought "sure! 45 mins is plenty of time to get fro central sq to n. station." We haven't even made it to Kendall #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
I think every time I have to run to catch the commuter rail after being delayed by the subway, the mbta should pay me $25 #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
I loooove standing in the freezing rain after an 11-hour day waiting for an #mbta bus that just never bothers to arrive. #mbtaannoyAmanda D.
Need to remember to wear more layers when waiting 20 minutes in the snow for an outbound green line train. #mbtaannoy #winteriscominggehenna
Crap! The one day I decide to take a later train, it is late. It's bad enough that it's local. #mbtafail #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
I think there are about 4 people on the entire northbound train & here comes another southbound platform packed as usual #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Lowell express delayed 10-15 mins. If it goes local, I'm going to boooooo! #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
No big deal. It's not like people have to go home tonight #MBTAannoyJessica Kumor
Awesome. The one day I'm on time to the 5:30 Lowell Express.......it's delayed 10+ minutes. #SweetLife #MBTAannoyCarey Mercier
But sometimes things don't turn out quite as badly as you'd feared. Right, Carey?
Psychhh, now boarding. Should be no more than a 5min delay #woo. Happy about a 5min delay...look at what you're doing to me #MBTA #MBTAbragCarey Mercier
After all, every rule has its exception. 
Route 86 bus is flying today! #mbtabragArthur Liu
Good job @mbtaGM Stonybrook to Porter in 41 minutes. You are almost forgiven for yesterday #mbtabragJennifer O'Neil
But the frustration of riding the T is often caused by not just a single problem but a combination of issues.
@MBTAGM off to an annoying start with the always late, one-door wonder Green line #MBTAAnnoyAnnaliza
Some riders even suggest the MBTA management and staff make questionable policy decisions.
I am all for front door exit only, but when the train is this crowded it just doesn't work. #mbtaannoyAlyssa Biggs
Fire at Quincy Center station evacuated so let's pull the train in & open the doors so it can fill with smoke #mbta #mbtaannoyrev8056
And the system is rightly famous for its deferred maintenance policies. 
Don't maintain the train just put it into service with closed cars until it fails. Always quality service on #mbta #mbtaannoy #mbtaGMrev8056
Maybe that's why riders can feel that the only kind of function this system is capable of is a malfunction. 
3 out of order turnstiles for Charlie tickets then watching the ticket go in and out 5 times as the train is leaving the station #MBTAannoyMBTA Rider
Parked just north of JFK let me guess the switch is broken AGAIN #mbtaannoy #mbta #mbtaGMrev8056
Switch at JFK down AGAIN How many time this week? Maybe the T should fix it. This has been going on for YEARS #mbtaGM #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
@mbta_alerts @mbtaGM #mbta alerts are inaccurate. The red line is a hot mess: running 30 minutes late and counting... #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
@mbtagm Oh good, the commuter rail is only opening one set of doors for exiting. This is efficient. #mbtagm #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
With so much to complain about on the T, it's easy to understand how Juliana felt.
Kinda bummed to reach my stop before I've fully caught up on the day's tweets. #mbtaannoyJuliana
Set aside a little extra time to catch up tweets yourself, and don't forget to keep using #MBTAannoy when everything goes wrong on your commute and #MBTAbrag when it all goes your way. 

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

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