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People are just the worst on the MBTA

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  January 11, 2013 01:22 PM

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Tufts Med Ctr stop 1-13.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

At the Tufts Medical Center stop, a correspondent found the one thing everyone seemed to want this past week: a platform nearly free of other passengers.

People are just the worst on the MBTA

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox· Fri, Jan 11 2013 10:25:56

With the holidays really, truly over, and life in the city beginning to return to its usual routines, one thing was clear: Bostonians hate each other, at least when they have to ride the MBTA together. 

In the past seven days, there were more Twitter users embracing the #MBTAannoy hashtag to complain about their fellow passengers than about any other topic, including the system's (alleged) slowness and unreliability. 

The complaints are partly related to the city's current flu outbreak and partly caused by the usual daily discourtesy, and maybe folks are just a little bit short tempered as they return to those usual routines.

In at least one case, the complaints stemmed from what almost sounds like a SWAT Team situation. 
And watching the police kick a passenger off my bus #mbtaannoyCaitlin
"Just try and make me get off this bus. You can arrest more, I'm not moving." This is not a good sign for me getting home on time #mbtaannoyCaitlin
For police officers debating how to forcibly remove screaming passenger #mbtaannoy #mbta #11busCaitlin
Group of students at N.quincy station acting so stupid. So annoying while i'm waiting for the Alewife train. #MBTAannoyBenjamin Chan
How NOT to start your Saturday: Sit next to the hammered guy. #mbta #MBTAannoy #itsfiveoclocksomewhereChristopher
Why do people always find the need to make out on the train? #MBTAannoyTri$ha
Due to the sheer number of coughers who refuse to cover their mouths on the #orangeline, I got myself a flu shot today. #MBTAannoyAnna Graham
Please cover your mouth when you're coughing like that. It's #fluseason #mbtaannoyHarry Chiu
It's rush hour folks. Close your legs and put bags on your lap. Holiday break is over. #mbta #mbtaannoyBurple Yak
Who brings a newborn on the rush hour train? Just pulled out of N.Station & he/she is already screaming. Music. Not. Loud. Enough #MBTAannoyCarey Mercier
2 people 3 seats. #MBTAannoy #mbta http://pic.twitter.com/qz4BRVHkSabrinaTheWiseLatina
While some people are going to be #MBTAannoying no matter what, facing huge crowds on the platforms and inside the trains and buses certainly seems to make these situations more frustrating. 
Serious #mbtafail Lowell express SRO. Not even elbow seats available. I can't believe I'm paying $275 for this #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
And not to mention the trains are way to crowded tonight #mbtaannoy it's taking me an especially long time to get homeRobbie M
No room @ south station Tell me #mbtaGM does running trains in packs work for you? Doesn't work for your customers #mbtaannoyrev8056
Once again waiting on a very crowded platform for a pack of southbound trains #mbtaannoy #mbtaGMrev8056
MBTA employees can also annoy riders, through misleading announcements or by failing to make announcements at all ...
"There's a train directly behind this one" when train is full & people can't get on won't work when we see it's untrue on signs. #mbtaannoyJosh Strauss
I will say there have been no onboard announcements about the skipping could annoy some unconnected patrons #mbta #mbtaAnnoyJohn Lamar
... and by creating delays that riders consider nonsensical. 
2:00 pm and front door only? What MBTA needs is not a makeover, it's customer service. @mbtaGM #mbtaannoy #mbtaKNRuval
But our friend John Lamar, who was frustrated in his earlier tweet with the lack of announcements, did find at least one conductor with good communication skills:
At least this conductor is good at keeping us informed at what is going on #mbtabrag #mbta train 906John Lamar
And Neenah was impressed with another conductor's dulcet tones:
@mbtaGM The announcer on the E street train 3885B is awesome. You should use his voice for the overhead announcements. #mbtabragNeenah Estrella-Luna
While Robert got buddy-buddy with a like-minded Orange Line conductor:
I declined to board crowded #OrangeLine and made friends with its conductor. Together we tsk-tsked at people who blocked doors. #MBTAbragRobert D Sullivan
The most charming conductors in the world, though, probably couldn't make these T-riders forget about the mechanical problems that ruined their commutes:
I wonder if there will ever be more than 1 functioning parking ticket machine @ Braintree? #mbtaGM #mbta #mbtaannoyrev8056
Last week it was too cold for the trains to run. This week they can't run because of Amtrak. Next week locus. @mbtagm #MBTAannoyChris Rupprecht
Signal problems #mbtafail #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
@MBCR_info @mbtaGM love to blame problems on @Amtrak delays today due to disabled train/wire at forest hills #mbtaAnnoy #mbtaJohn Lamar
Oh that does not sound good stopping at the switch #mbta #mbtaAnnoyJohn Lamar
Let's hope the alarm mentioned in this next tweet from Justin was just a mechanical problem. 
Fire alarm going off in #BackBay this morning. Pax standing around, no announcements from #MBTAannoyJustin D.
On the other hand, Doug noted a mechanical solution in the MBTA's relatively new countdown signs, though he didn't seem to consider them cutting-edge technology. 
Siiiick! We've joined the 1990's. #MbtaBrag http://pic.twitter.com/B3HVCwvuDoug Horne
And of course, this being a week consisting of seven days in which the MBTA was in operation, there were plenty of tweets about the system's various delays and frequently slow-moving trains. 
Here comes #stoughton to Boston 7:48 train now only about 20 min late #mbtaAnnoy #mbta @MBCR_info wonder when we will reach BostonJohn Lamar
@mbta Why is the #FranklinLine stopping every five seconds? So slow. I could jog to work faster. #MBTAAnnoyJess Levens XLIV
The #MBTA needs Mussolini to get these trains running on time. #MBTAannoyMatt Koch
Dear @MBTAprobs: IT IS RUSH HOUR!!! Wtf!! #MBTAannoy http://lockerz.com/s/275480994Chris Faulkner
Wonderful just missed a platoon of southbound trains now have a wait before packed Braintree train #mbtaannoy #mbtaGM #mbtarev8056
. @mbtaGM No it has not. The red line is running late still. Stop tweeting false information. #mbta #MBTAannoySabrinaTheWiseLatina
Hey @mbtaGM thanks for that 12 minute ride between Central and Harvard.I really needed the reflection time #sarcasm #mbtaannoyJennifer O'Neil
So much for taking the Express Train, we're crawling. The whole way. #MBTAannoyCarey Mercier
Great job @mbtaGM an hour to get from Charles to Braintree without an official delay #mbtaannoyrev8056
Maybe all those subway passengers would have been better off on the bus with Arthur: 
86 bus shockingly on time and fast, during rush hour #mbtabragArthur Liu
And at least one Commuter Rail passenger continued to be frustrated this week, as he was last week, by the excessive use of rock salt at one station: 
Still dumping loads of salt on ground at #stoughton Stoughton station for no reason #mbtawaste #mbtaAnnoy @mbtaGM http://pic.twitter.com/lV7GL9y4John Lamar
Miles away and more than 10 hours later, Derek was equally impressed with conditions on the Orange Line:
Hello, Orange Line, you're looking especially filthy tonight. Special occasion? #Boston #MBTAannoyDerek
Speaking of the Orange Line, Anna has pretty much had it up to here with that particular subway segment:
If you want a literal interpretation of what a trip ‘to hell in a hand basket’ would feel like, ride the #OrangeLine. #MBTA #MBTAannoyAnna Graham
And Chelsea used #MBTAannoy to voice even more general disapproval of the system:
#MBTAannoy that is all.Chelsea Bathurst
At least Julie was enjoying having the hashtag to express her frustration:
@mattkoch I love that the #MBTAannoy hashtag exists! Good luck getting where u need to goJulie Hough
And Jennifer was glad not to have many occasions to use it:
The best part of January is that I hardly have to take the #mbta #mbtabragJennifer O'Neil
As these tweets amply demonstrate, there's almost no T-related situation in which you can't employ #MBTAannoy or (less often) #MBTAbrag. Keep that in mind as you traverse the rails and bus trails of Eastern Massachusetts, and pick up your bag off that empty seat next to you. Somebody needs to sit down. 

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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