Saturday, February 12, 2011

Worst. Commute. Ever.

I left work at about 5:10 p.m. last night, It usually takes an hour or a bit less until I'm walking in the door. Last night? Not so much. I stood on the platform in Kendall for about half an hour until a train came -- packed like sardine can, naturally -- and I literally couldn't get on. (Meanwhile, a train going the other way was sitting at the opposite platform with its doors open. For about 20 minutes.)

But my patience was rewarded, or so I thought, when 10 minutes later another train arrived, and I crammed myself into the last few cubic inches of space by the door -- which also satyed open as the minutes dragged by. I overheard another passenger say it had taken the train 45 minutes to get to where I was from Park Street (two stops). That's about when thought to myself, "Do I really want to be snuggling upright with my fellow commuters for an indefinite period in a train packed to tight that I can't even move my arms enough to get at my iPhone or magazine?" So I stepped out again on the platform and went back upstairs to call Ben, who had the brilliant (to me) though obvious (to him) suggestion to get a cab to Alewife where my car was parked.

I got some cash and walked through the Marriott to the taxi side, where about 15 other people were in line for a cab. I figured I'd be there for quite a while, but I got into about the fourth cab, sharing it with three other guys who were also going to Alewife. So then we had about 20 minutes of driving before I got into my car, turned on the ignition at 6:45 p.m., warmed up... and sat there. For an hour. Waiting to get out of the parking garage. No lie -- it was exactly 62 minutes before I cleared the last stoplight between the garage and Route 2. Total elapsed time, door to door: three hours.

It hasn't snowed in about two weeks, and this article says the disaster was due to signal problems. If I were in charge, I would've sent every MBTA employee into the Red Line tunnel with an old-fashioned railroad lamp, stationed them every 50 feet or so, and said, "OK, you're now signalmen. Get those goddamn trains running." Or just politely asked the drivers to proceed with caution and beep their horns when approaching an intersection. I mean, really. As one guy put it in the news article, "the MTBA is as reliable as Lindsay Lohan without an ankle bracelet."

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

I have never been on a regular pasenger trane, but have always wanted. My boss and his family just went on one to Manhattan and really loved it.


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