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New year, old problems on the MBTA

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  January 4, 2013 05:46 PM

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New Years on Green Line.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

On New Year’s Eve, these revelers did a little socializing on the Green Line.

New year, old problems on the MBTA

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox· Fri, Jan 04 2013 14:57:19

At midnight on Monday, 2013 began, weighted with all the symbolism, the hopes, and the fears that each new year brings. But in truth, a new page on the calendar (you're still using a paper calendar?!) means very little for most Bostonians' day-to-day lives. 

Most folks still have the same jobs they held on Dec. 31, or go to the same schools. Their families, friends, and romantic partners are the same people, unless they somehow miraculously met someone special on New Year's Eve, like in that movie -- "New Year's Eve." (That's probably what happens it, right? Did anyone actually see it?) 

And, for better or worse, the MBTA is the same as it ever was. No new fares yet, though those may well come later in the year, but no improvements in service either. This week on Twitter, locals made it clear that while the year may have changed, the problems are just the same. 

Take Sabrina the wise Latina, a regular #MBTAannoy tweeter, who apparently started her 2013 off much the same as she spent 2012: waiting for the Red Line. 
@mbtaGM Major delays on the red line. Happy new year, everyone! #MBTAannoy #mbtaSabrinaTheWiseLatina
@mbtaGM New year, old problem: red line is delayed during rush hour again. Twice in a day. #MBTAannoy #mbtaSabrinaTheWiseLatina
@mbtaGM Red line is late due to disabled trains & signal problems, again! #MBTAannoy #mbtaSabrinaTheWiseLatina
Our next pair of tweeters had a little difficulty easing into the new year with their new T passes. 

Robert apparently hit a wrong button and will have to live with the consequences until February. 
Started new year by accidentally buying T pass on lousy stinking paper ticket instead of CharlieCard. #MBTAannoy 2013.Robert D Sullivan
Snowgray had a bit of a false alarm, but she was still less than thrilled when she figured the matter out. In the process, she created a new hashtag that may come in handy for those times when #MBTAannoy is a little too strong but you're nowhere near an #MBTAbrag tweet.
Just realized the 25 min I spent in Downtown Xing Friday transferred my Dec monthly to a new card, but not the Jan monthly. #mbtaannoy #omfgsnowgray
Ah ha! My T pass is updated for Jan, it just doesn't show when you tap in, but it shows on the big fare machine. #mbtaannoy #mbtalessannoyedsnowgray
One thing we're sure to see more of in 2013, as in every year since Boston opened the country's first subway, is more delays and slow-moving trains. 
"This train is going express to kenmore" if you consider 3 mph express... #mbtaannoyShannon
It would save time if T only announced when when the Red Line ISN'T experiencing delays in service #mbta #mbtaGM #mbtaannoyrev8056
Thank you @mbtaGM for starting my 2013 with a train standing by at Park St. #whyalwaysme #mbtaannoyLauren B
It's 7 out there is first disabled train of day so lets sit @ JFK with doors open to let what little heat we have out #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
T Winter Olympics The line with most disabled trains wins. A usual Red Line in the lead #mbta #mbtaGM #mbtaannoyrev8056
The only schedule I can trust from the MBCR is that it'll be 40 minutes late the coldest day of the year @mbtagm #3yearsrunning #MBTAannoyChris Rupprecht
3 out of 4 trains I took today on standby. This is why I walk. #mbtaannoyArchivingAloud
Take your time green line, it's not cold or anything #mbtaannoyCindy
And then there are times when you can't even take the train the whole way. 
Awesome. RT @mbtaGM #MBTA Red Line: Bus Service Operating Between Kendall and Harvard Stations. More: http://bit.ly/bsDkLP #MBTAannoyRob Sheppard
As frustrating as delays are, sometimes they are simply unavoidable. 

The bad manners of other passengers, however, are totally preventable, if only those passengers cared enough to make a little effort. 
Idiot almost hit me in the face twice with his skis Taking skis on the Red Line great idea #mbtaannoyrev8056
#obnoxious people on the T. She is too busy on the phone to move for people to sit down. Orange line. #mbtaannoy http://pic.twitter.com/twiQszSRJennifer O'Neil
Nothing like being crammed next to construction worker who feels its his right to have 2.5 seats #mbtaannoyrev8056
Inconsiderate passengers only become more frustrating, of course, when the bus or train is overcrowded. 
@mbtaGM one think i was dreading after holidays at home was to go back to the green line torture every morning #ihatethegreenline #mbtaannoyKNRuval
@mbtaGM 5F & counted 30 ppl in St Paul couldn't get into T b/c packed. If that's not terrible service, I don't know what is #mbtaannoyKNRuval
Let's not forget, though, that drivers can be just as annoying as passengers. 
When you have waited way too long in cold for packed Braintree train driver trying to be cute on PA is really irritating #mbtaannoyrev8056
Apparently this #greenline conductor doesn't like how long it takes people to board a 1 car train on a Thursday night. #MBTAannoy #mbtaChristopher
John points out that it can also be pretty frustrating for riders to see the T wasting resources. 
How much salt they need to put down at #stoughton station even when there is no snow or ice? every day. Waste @mbtaGM #mbtaAnnoyJohn Lamar
Outdoorgirl didn't specify what made her commute remarkable, but apparently it was nothing good. 
@lc_maple: Most days commute to BOSTON is unremarkable. Today is not one of those days. #MBTAannoyOutdoorgirl
There were a few riders, though, who ended 2012 or started 2013 with positive experiences. 

Coach Kevin, for instance, met a local celebrity.
#MBTAbrag that I just met up & coming actor @GregSeymore originally from Yarmouth, Maine. #MaineiacCoachKevinAKrueger
Tyler enjoyed the relative peace and calm of his New Year's Eve commute. 
The one upside to working during the holidays is the drastically lower ridership on the #mbta. Dream commute. #mbtabragTyler
And Doug apparently got a speedy ride home from his New Year's celebration. 
"This train will run express to... Boston College" #MbtaBragDoug Horne
MBTA Rider and Liam just appreciated finding warmth and efficiency on an exceptionally frosty Thursday. 
Nothing like the sweet surprise of a toasty warm #mbta car on a cold winters eve. #mbtabragMBTA Rider
Cold day but commute is going smoothly. Yay #MBTA ! #MBTAbrag.Liam Sullivan
There's an awful lot of 2013 left, and for many in Greater Boston, that means a lot more rides on the subway, the trolley, the bus, or commuter rail. Don't forget to let your fellow riders know how those go by tweeting using #MBTAannoy and #MBTAbrag. And happy new year. 

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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