JFK to Park/Downtown Xing to JFK/big issues

08:59 - arrived at JFK
09:03 - departed JFK
09:12 - arrived at Park Street

Total commute: 13 minutes
MBTA estimated total trip time: 9 minutes
discrepancy: +4 minutes
Total time in transit: 9 minutes
Total wait: 4 minutes

15:26 - arrived at Downtown Xing
15:33 - departed Downtown Xing
15:44 - arrived JFK

Total commute: 18 minutes
MBTA estimated total trip time: 8 minutes
discrepancy: +10 minutes
Total time in transit: 11 minutes
Total wait: 7 minutes

Just got in after a very subdued ride home and checked my "comments" to see if I'd gotten any grief. People, let's get one thing straight. This blog is for commenting on the T, not commenting on commenting on the T. For all you silly pomo mofos, that would be the "meta T-rage" blog. And if it's out there somewhere, I've got nothing to do with it, and it's got nothing to do with me.

Another thing: those of you who would "kill for a 40 minute commute," and can't believe I'd complain about it, because you have to drive to work and it's an hour and a half both ways and blabadee-blah. Zip it. No one here is the least bit interested. This is not your blog. Your blog is the "fantasy T envy" blog. The grass is always greener on the other side, idn't it? Get your desperate little job in the city, start using the T, and then see if you give a rat's ass what people who drive to work every day think. Until then, go complain to whoever it is that gives a rat's ass about your commute, cuz it ain't me, babe.

Long and short of it: if you think I'm a boob for wasting my time here, move along. Don't waste any more of my time telling me how much of my time you think I'm wasting. Comments like "there are much bigger issuse [sic] than the fact you had to wait 10 minutes for a train to worry abouat [sic]" don't deserve the time it takes to read them, much less to respond, but just this once I'll bite: aren't there much bigger issues than pointing out to me that there are much bigger issues? Hmm?

But speaking of big issues, I had some extra time this morning, before a class, so I got off the T at Park Street instead of riding it to Arlington. The weather's been nothing short of phenomenal, a perfect morning for a leisurely stroll across the Common, and through the Public Garden. I'm glad I had the time, because there was something to see: a group called the American Friends Service Committee had set up an emotional and thought-provoking exhibition called "Eyes Wide Open," consisting of a pair of boots for each of the 2,037 U.S. soldiers killed so far in Iraq. They were arranged in rows, reminiscent of a Cemetary, by State, and each pair had a name-tag. Some, like the one in the second picture here, had photos of the soldier and his or her family, or letters, flowers, or flags. A sad tribute in protest of an unnecessary war.


At 11/04/2005 6:35 PM, Anonymous L said...

Amen to that.

At 11/05/2005 7:56 AM, Anonymous the kyuster said...

It’s been three months now since I came to Boston. My first impression of the city was actually pretty decent and I’ve been enjoying it so far, but I can’t forget the moment I entered the Boylston T, the first T stop I stepped into just happened to be one of the worst stations, I later learned, in terms of its condition. It was like a horror or thriller movie set. I actually felt some kind of danger… And the approaching train… Now I’m used to seeing a train with one or two run-down compartments, but then it was a real surprise. A city like Boston… that was something.

It was yesterday morning. I was almost up the stares, lagging behind everyone else, to transfer to the westbound green line from the red line at Park Street when I saw a woman running to get on the B line T as it was closing its doors. She managed to get one foot into the train but the doors relentlessly closed on her. So she had to back out, struggling to pull her leg out. She finally saved her leg but her purse got jammed between the doors. The train was just sitting there, doors tightly closed. She tried to pull her purse using her full strength and a few people inside the train tried to push her bag. But, to my disbelief, the train started with her purse between the doors and her hanging on the straps of her purse. And it sped up, too. For a few seconds, she ran with the train and stumbled to the ground at her desperate attempt to recover her purse. The straps of her purse were swinging sideways as if it was saying a good bye to her and soon the train casually disappeared out of sight.

The first thing that went through my mind besides being sorry for the woman was: what if that was a child instead of a purse? It would end up crashing against the side wall at the end of the station, splattering blood all over. Aren’t there any sensors for doors that prevent the trains from starting when the doors are not properly closed? If not, what are rear mirrors for? Is there a quota for blind MBTA conductors? Or is it because the city of Boston already spent easily $15 billion to dig up the lousy holes underground that there isn’t any money left for improving the conditions of stations and employees who, I suppose, can’t keep from falling asleep? If MBTA employees are being rude, careless and delinquent not because of poor working conditions (even then!) but because they have a union to rely on, damn them. It’s people you’re dealing with, not parcels!

I’m from a pretty big city where buses and subways frequently reach as far as the metropolitan limits end and it’s like a spider web, not like you have to come to the downtown to transfer. So maybe I’m spoiled. But to me, it’s almost like the idea is to discourage you from using public transportation here in Boston, as if there is a dark conspiracy among city officials, downtown parking lot owners and car dealerships. Someone said it’s because it’s historic (old, I think she meant). But after some quick research I found that the first three cities with underground transportation were London, Budapest and Glasgow. Boston wasn’t on the list. Preserving history is important, of course, if there is any in relation to the T. But over the sacrifice of commuters? It’s not a Civil War battlefield, it’s a subway we’re talking about here. Besides, what isn’t historic in Boston?

At 11/05/2005 8:08 PM, Anonymous drz said...

The next time you think the T is messing with your head, remember this: it's not you, it's them.

Case in point: waiting for the 41 bus from JFK/Umass this week. The bus is, btw, parked mere feet behind the bus stop. About 12 minutes past the scheduled departure time the driver finally decides to make an appearance and the doors open.
Me, the distressed passenger:Why so late?
Driver: late? The bus leaves at 10:35.
Passenger: No, the schedule says it leaves at 10:20.
Driver: No one's ever said anything. You've got it wrong.
P: No, but it seems like the T schedule got it wrong, if you'd bother to check it.
Driver checks her schedule book.
Driver: Dang! What'ya know. It DOES say 10:20. No wonder I could never make my times.

Dang, for sure.


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