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The MBTA is building a mystery

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  February 1, 2013 03:31 PM

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Orange Line at Downtown Crossing.jpg

Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

These commuters probably had dozens of questions about their Orange Line experiences.

The MBTA is building a mystery

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox· Fri, Feb 01 2013 11:51:34

Sometimes the MBTA just doesn't make any sense. It would seem to be governed by the same laws of physics and logic as the rest of the world, but then it throws a curveball that has riders scratching their heads and wondering why. 

Over the past week, MBTA passengers used the #MBTAannoy hashtag (and occasionally even #MBTAbrag, believe it or not) to pose a lot of questions about their transit system. Scratch your head along with these passengers as they search for answers. 

First, and perhaps most mystifying, how  the heck does a car wind up on the Green Line tracks? 
#MBTAannoy http://pic.twitter.com/l7Le7KyhRick Zmudzien
And why is there concrete falling down around me? 
Concrete falls from ceiling at Forest Hills #MBTA station. #MBTAannoy http://ow.ly/heXYdDavid Dahl
Where did those trains come from? 
Green line hits traffic in the tunnel. Didn't know that was possible. #mbtaannoyErzhik
How is there a #redline train ahead of us at #Ashmont? I had to wait 10 minutes for a train at downtownxing. #mbtaannoyJeffie Breining
Why isn't this thing working? 
I do not understand why my auto-renew monthly T pass is telling me I don't have enough value on my Charlie card to get home. #MBTAannoyWhitney
Why am I doing this? 
Wtf I had to transfer from one number 8 (bus 2166) to another number 8 (bus 2256) at ruggles both going to kenmore #MBTAannoy typical #mbtaBoston RailFan
Why is there so much confusion? 
#MBTAannoy nice coordination there at Kenmore to tell 50 riders to switch to another train "leaving earlier" only to #FailCoachKevinAKrueger
Why are they saying one thing and doing another?
How can it be "express to Natick" when we stop in Wellesley Hills?? Gah! #lame #semantics #mbtaannoySara F.
And why is there this gap? 
@mbtaGM maybe you could get doors closed if you didn't run trains in packs with long gaps in between #mbtaannoy #mbtarev8056
Who do they think they're kidding?
"there's a train right behind us"...most obvious lie ever #mbtaannoyKelly
Am I being singled out? 
I feel like the #MBTA hates me. #MBTAannoy #TakingItPersonallyMelinda
Why can't they all be this nice? 
I always forget how new and pretty the blue line is downtown #mbtabragKenji
And why aren't all buskers this talented? 
Hardest working man I know in the @MBTAgm underground street performing biz. #MBTAbrag I even skipped a train to listen http://pic.twitter.com/D2vWfGZUCoachKevinAKrueger
What's the proper etiquette here? 
Is ok to straight bust a move instead of tip the new beatbox guy at downtown crossing? #MBTA #mbtabragWilliam Holbrook
And where is my eight-track? 
Now we have beatbox guy AND the #jesussalvation preacher. Someone quick, grab a recorder! #mixtape #mbtabrag #MBTA #redlineproblemsWilliam Holbrook
As important as those questions are, the biggest question this week, as in most weeks, was a very simple one:

What's the holdup?!
@mbtaGM Why is the green line experiencing delays? there is no more information on the website? #MBTAannoyAmanda Gaughan
#mbta redline stuck, smells like burnt rubber. #mbtaannoy #mbtaproblems #oldsystem http://pic.twitter.com/HjsmxxrbMichael Santos
@universalhub 30 minutes until another 66 #mbtaannoycreatine
When your train pulls into the station...and promptly breaks down. #MBTAannoy @ MBTA Maverick Station http://instagr.am/p/VBtQPTK4Rd/Whitney
Yup. Wouldn't be January on the #mbta commuter rail if trains weren't delayed every day for two weeks. @mbtaGM #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
this train is seriously going slower than the usual. i can run faster than this. #mbtaproblemsRāfhæl
@trendsnational mine is late .. #mbtaannoyBryan Berube
#mbtaannoy #mbtaannoy #mbtaannoy stop making me late for work 66 bus you are the bane of my existence and i hate youuuuu!Shannon
"Sorry passengers, we will be standing by" - conductor at sullivan station... okay, why? F the orange line #mbtaannoyKenji
#MBTA 038 conductor just announced we're "on hold" at Kingston station indefinitely. The 038 late streak continues! @MBCR_info #MBTAannoyRob Molla
@mbtagm Wow the 725 from Salem to Boston is going to be late. Like it is every day. At least today we aren't risking hypothermia? #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
.@mbtaGM It'd be nice if there weren't also a 10-15 min. delay between T-Alerts emails and same info. being announced in stations #MBTAannoyErica Jensen
And how do I get some good luck like Jules and Jess had? 
Well, cow me... I got a seat on a morning rush train... First time EVER! #mbtabragJules Wang
The commute don't get any better than this #MBTABragJess Indeed
Why are those people having a conjugal visit on the train? 
A couple on this orange line train are hardcore making out. They found love in a hopeless place? So gross. #mbtaannoyJess Infante
The entire train is empty and you two have to stand next to me while making out. Really? #mbtaannoyErzhik
Why do you smell like that? 
You might be wearing a little too much cologne I can taste it... #MBTAannoyRed Line Commuter
If I didn't ride the T, I'd probably forget that people who smoke smell even worse when they've been out in the rain. #MBTAannoyKate Langenberg
How about a little basic courtesy? 
One woman with two children over the age of 6 is taking up *seven* seats on this bus. Parents, sit directly next to your kids! #mbtaannoysnowgray
Perhaps when you step onto the train you could not stop right inside the door. #MBTAannoyMBTA Rider
Has someone done a study on why people won't move to the back of the bus while standing on a crowded bus?!? @universalhub #MBTAannoyEllie Rounds
Why so loud? 
Breaking: world record for longest & loudest cell phone convo happening on the 39 RIGHT NOW #mbtaannoyAllison Francis
One guy on an otherwise totally quiet #MBCR coach talking on his cell like he's in his living room.#commutinggripes #MBTAannoyGracie's Dad
How about a little respect for your elders? 
Let the older person sit, don't run into the train, snag a seat and look the other way when the elderly person gets on the train, #MBTAannoyStacey Brown
#thembtaruinedmylife | WHEN SOMEONE TAKES A SEAT FROM AN ELDERLY PERSON http://bit.ly/XJRj7Y #MBTAannoy #Boston #MBTAAli Wisch
Why don't you get it? 
You place your coffee on the floor infront of you and then your shocked that it tips over and makes a mess! #MBTAannoyRed Line Commuter
Why is any of this happening? 
Back Bay Station men's room, man warmed himself under only hand dryer; another cried from stall "Why do I always miss?" #MBTAannoy? #MBTAsadJeremy C. Fox
And why are the MBTA employees no more thoughtful or attentive than the passengers?
Just saw an #MBTA employee shove his was onto a train while people were getting off. Way to practice what you preach. #MBTAannoyKyle W. Kerr
@mbta #mbtaannoy so the bus drivers need to pay attention to their routes. They don't even know the street names!!!!La Eve!
#thembtaruinedmylife | THE ONE TIME I FORGET MY CHARLIE CARD AND MY BUS DRIVER WON'T LET ME ON http://bit.ly/XILLus #MBTAannoy #bostonAli Wisch
Missed my commuter rail train home thanks to the world's SLOWEST orange line driver. #mbtaannoyMichelle Clements
No love from this T operator. Wouldn't let me use side door to get on with my bass after I tapped my card at front door. #mbtaannoyLuke Sutherland
Sometimes I wonder if the T Bus drivers get their licenses (and Brains) at KMart #mbtaannoyDarren Mackiewicz
I bet the folks sitting in the booth at north station laugh at the commuters running through the station to make their trains. #mbtaannoycharlene mcbride
Where did that accent come from? 
#MBTABRAG: Your freak British accent to announce our arrival at Harvard? Top pitch. (Red Line PA, tail car 01635, 3:30p)Jules Wang
And why are a few conductors so surprisingly good? 
Did the train operators have #5Hour Enegry shots this morning? They are on a roll #MBTABragJess Indeed
Why are some trains so dirty? 
Dirty windows #silverline #mbtaannoy http://pic.twitter.com/ydWDyXtBNiko Kotsatos
Where is that smell coming from? 
Holy God, did a skunk die on this #greenline train? #MBTAAnnoy @universalhubKatia
green line train 3692B to Riverside smells like burning rubber #mbtaannoy @mbtaGMArthur Liu
#mbta #commuterrail train smells like a wet cat this morning but then it is at but damp out. #mbtaAnnoy at least all salt is washed away.John Lamar
And why is Jennifer using "Not!" like it's 1992? 
I love waking up to texts about signal problems on my train line. NOT! #mbtaannoy #worcestertrainbluesJennifer Busiek Webb
There was an answer, though, to one question this week: who rides the subway for fun? 
Today we road the subway just for fun! Sierra had a blast. #MBTA #Boston #MBTAbrag -C http://instagr.am/p/U_8jjsEyUd/The Hipster Dad
Had to be hipsters. 

The next time you're ironically grooving a Red Line trip, don't you forget to #MBTAbrag about it. And when the T mystifies you, don't just keep those questions to yourself. Ask your fellow passengers, ask the world with #MBTAannoy. 

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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