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Take me out of the MBTA, out of game-day crowds

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  April 12, 2013 04:22 PM

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orderly Orange Line crowd.jpg

Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

The orderly rush-hour crowd inside this Orange Line train bears little resemblance to the raucous crowds seen on the Green Line on game day.

Take me out of the MBTA, out of game-day crowds

Storified by Jeremy C. Fox· Fri, Apr 12 2013 12:32:54

The Boston Red Sox officially began a new season with opening day at Fenway Park on Monday, a season fraught with memories of a dismal 2012. 

While countless fans had their eyes on the three-game series against the Orioles, a smaller but no less fervent group of Green Line commuters were thinking not so much about the team's fortunes as the inevitable crowds on the trolleys. Arthur and KNR were tweeting about it:
Thought I'd avoid the horror by taking the C instead of the D. I was a fool #mbtaannoy #fenwayArthur Liu
FML. #redsox game season is back which means T is a sardine can again #mbtaannoy #ihatethegreenline @mbtaGMKNR
The people that swarm the Green Line on game days -- many of them suburbanites unaccustomed to public transit, more than a few of them having had more than a few beers -- can tax the patience of those just trying to get home or to work or school, but at least they're predictable. 

If you look at the Red Sox schedule, you know when you must prepare yourself to see a trolley become a party bus. 

Other people problems on the T are less predictable. You don't know exactly when they will happen, but you can be sure they will sooner or later. Tim, Harrison, Teesh, and this other guy provide examples: 
Take OFF your backpack on the T!! #MBTAannoyTim Treacy
White trash couple on the 70 fighting about pain meds, please go be trashy on another bus #MBTAannoyHarrison Ford
Thug droppin f-bombs on the E like it don't even make sense...I would say somethin but if he come out his mouth at ME...its on #mbtaannoyTeesh
On #GreenLine, a perfect example of male tendency to sit like testing how far apart their knees will go. #MBTAannoy pic.twitter.com/rv8T8dxhmMJeremy C. Fox
But some things, to use a baseball metaphor, come right out of left field:
On the Green Street #OrangeLine platform I just saw a man eating a steaming-hot boiled egg. Not really #MBTAannoy or #MBTAbrag, but odd.Jeremy C. Fox
Honestly, you could see the steam rising from it. Did he bring a hot plate to the platform so his egg would be fresh?

Encountering other people's food on public transportation is often strange, even disgusting. But it can be a pleasant surprise, as Sara learned Monday: 
My commuter rail train smells like fresh croissants, yummm. #mbtabragSara F.
A couple of MBTA passengers also provided pleasant surprises:
Got on #OrangeLine train and a woman lifted her bag from a seat so I could sit down. Definite #MBTAbragJeremy C. Fox
A man two seats over just moved his bag so a woman could sit down. Where is all this courtesy coming from? #MBTAbrag #OrangeLineJeremy C. Fox
Those were far outnumbered, though, by the system's reliable but random delays. Check out this exchange between Lisa and Christopher:
Commuter rail is 32 minutes late when it feels like 25 degrees out? Glad I'm not actually commuting to work today. #MBTAannoyLisa
@mbtaGM No delay updates for P553. 32 mins late on 2nd train of day. No refunds? Where are those "customer service enhancements"? #MBTAannoyLisa
@thislisaperry What are you talking about? #MBTA CS is awesome! We're about to get a new commuter rail train in service! #sarcasm #MBTAannoyChristopher
Rachel, Erzhik, Kyle, and another Lisa had plenty of time to stand around and think about the Sox starting lineup:
Redline experiencing delays because the door is broken? I thought we just checked those last week?! #MBTAAnnoyRachel Heaton (Ryan)
30 minutes and still no B train.. Well played mbta, well played. Who needs classes when mbta has open employment slots #mbtaannoyErzhik
I love counting buses that pass my stop because they're too full. Like counting sheep. 1... 2... 3... *shoot myself in the face* #MBTAannoyKyle W. Kerr
A moment of total unprofessionalism and pure frustration: waiting a half hr at Hynes for a T with 5 trains too full to get on WTF #MBTAannoyLisa Kashinsky
Meanwhile, Marissa was considering a basic question about trolley scheduling: 
Can someone explain to me how 3 back to back D trains in 2 minutes is a thing? Really, I'm curious. @mbtagm #mbtaannoyMarissa B
Bob and Jessica were wondering what the heck was wrong with the 57 bus:
57 is ten min late today, but out of service bus rolls right by. #mbtaannoy #mbtafailBob Danger
57 just rolled by a guy waiting for it, waving no less, and IN THE RAIN. Stay classy @mbtagm #mbtaannoy #mbtafailBob Danger
Thanks 57 bus. You were 1 minute away for over a half hour. Great. #MBTAannoyJessica Chahanovich
With service like that that, it should come as no surprise that Jess and Jules saw their positive experiences only as preludes to disaster:
On the orange line to work . So far so good. But we all know how fast the weather can change on the T. #MBTABrag #MBTAAnnoyJess Indeed
My commute has been okay this week. Very okay. Watch it burn down on a #friday. #mbtabrag?Jules Wang
They might well envy someone like Vanessa Maries, who apparently is in the enviable position of riding the T so infrequently she barely remembers how:
Sort of impressed I still know how to use this thing it's been so long... #mbtabrag #suburbangirlproblems #greenlineconfessionsVanessa Marie
Judging by Kelly's tweet, it seems some MBTA staff members may have forgotten how to use their phone system:
@mbtaGM trying to report lost pass been on hold for over 90 min. What's up with that? #mbtaannoyKelly
And at least one bus driver has forgotten that Americans generally respect military veterans for their sacrifices:
My bus driver just said 'so what' when an old man told him he was a veteran... Then he told him to take a cab #mbtaannoyShannon
But some problems that MBTA employees faced this week were unequivocally not their fault, as Jimmy and A.P. showed:
"I have to get out and manually wipe the windows at every stop because the blades aren't working" -says the driver of the 66 bus. #MBTAannoyJimmy Doan
#MBTA #GreenLine: car blocking service beyond Brigham Circle. #mbtarant #mbtaannoyA.P. Blake
And it's hard to know whom to blame when your subway car is mysteriously overheated on a relatively warm day:
It is 60 and sunny outside... And about 85 and stuffy on the train. What the commuter rail does NOT need is excessive heat. Ugh. #mbtaannoyJennifer Busiek Webb
#mbta raises fares to get out debt, yet they BLAST the heat on train 01514 red line in 70 degree weather #mbtaannoyRobert
Things could always be worse, though, right? Robert reminds us that some systems have inefficiencies the MBTA lacks:
Repeatedly waiting for dozens to fumble with Metro cards to get out of DC subway makes me appreciate post-Charlie, get-out-free T #MBTAbragRobert D Sullivan
And Jules points out some graffiti reminding riders that getting angry doesn't solve anything: 
@JeremyCFox Sometimes, we all need to. #mbtafail or #mbtabrag pic.twitter.com/XmT6WDqmbIJules Wang
Finally, Rachel shows that, with a little help from the Transit Police, justice can be served:
MBTA police have retrieved my stolen phone. Kid has been charged with unarmed robbery. #MBTAbragRachel Heaton (Ryan)
Did the T serve you up a steaming helping of justice this week? Or just a fresh boiled egg? Either way, It's something to #MBTAbrag about, isn't it? And if you're trapped on a train being crushed by 15 drunk Sox fans from Seekonk, don't just grumble to yourself about the injustice, work your arm free and tweet using #MBTAannoy. 

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Fenway/Kenmore on Twitter: @YTFenwayKenmore.

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