Service Bill of Rights / Free fare if late

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Service Bill of Rights / Free fare if late

Postby jumbotusk » Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:52 pm

So the T has this well-hidden policy of giving a free roundtrip fare if my trip is delayed by more than 30 minutes. Last week this happened 3 times. I submitted 3 reply forms, asking for the free fare.

Will they process all 3? How do they prevent abuse of this? It may seem that 3 reports in 2 days is excessive, but I say that was the reality.

3 commutes which should have taken 30 minutes each took a collective total of 5 hours. Not cool.

I know the weather was bad and they were digging out, but there was ZERO communication about what was going on. Hundreds of people gathered on green line platforms, few trains, no staff, no explanation.

I'm curious - can anyone name with proof, a more poorly managed transit system/line in the U.S.?

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Postby CRail » Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:24 pm

You manage a transit system covered by 2 feet of snow. Not to be rude but give these guys a little slack. They are very busy trying to get the system back up to par that the sometimes cant give all passengers a play by play.

jumbotusk wrote:So the T has this well-hidden policy of giving a free roundtrip fare if my trip is delayed by more than 30 minutes

It's not at all hidden. If you read any of the "bill of rights" posters which are everywhere you will see it. Also, if this happens on a commuter rail train the crew will usually announce it.

Process and abuse prevention:

You should recieve your tickets in the mail in about a week or so.

They know if there was a train delay so they know if your lying. If you had just heard about it and lied then you are a jerk who steals from your fellow commuters and what goes around comes around. (im not aiming this towards anyone individual, but anyone who cheats in this way)
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Postby jumbotusk » Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:31 pm

I am telling the truth! This really did happen to me!

I would never make it up... cause that will just take money needlessly from the T. And you know what that means.... fare increase!
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:19 pm

CRail wrote:You manage a transit system covered by 2 feet of snow.


This surely isn't unique to Boston -- how about Montreal, Toronto, Moscow, Stockholm, Oslo ... even Chicago from time to time.
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Postby jumbotusk » Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:28 pm

Hello, Newman...

Thanks for backing me up!
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Postby efin98 » Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:03 pm

Ron Newman wrote:
CRail wrote:You manage a transit system covered by 2 feet of snow.


This surely isn't unique to Boston -- how about Montreal, Toronto, Moscow, Stockholm, Oslo ... even Chicago from time to time.


And the same thing was stated about those systems: give them slack! You can only control things to a point, after that it's up Mother Nature and the trains and buses to get things going. And how about blaming the cities and towns too- they are getting off easy considering they contribute to lateness of buses and trains during the storm as much as the MBTA, if not more!
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Postby bierhere » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:59 pm

1. The refund policy was created because in my opinion because commuter rail conductors were inconsistant about collecting fares on delayed/disabled trains. Sometimes they would stop collection and other times they wouldn't. The refund policy was a way to make it fair to all ( in my opinion ).

2. Since the policy exists, take advantage of it.

3. Yes, the MBTA is not always responsible for delays. Yes, they can be caused by Amtrak/CSX dispatchers, issues with grade crossings, and medical emergencies. Non of these are the MBTA fault.

4. However, the vast majority of delays or issues are caused by the lack of maintenance/care in the vast majority of the transit system. Cars/switches and other items seem to lack basic maintenance. We can argue whether the causes are budgetery or mismanagement.
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Postby efin98 » Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:13 pm

bierhere wrote:4. However, the vast majority of delays or issues are caused by the lack of maintenance/care in the vast majority of the transit system. Cars/switches and other items seem to lack basic maintenance. We can argue whether the causes are budgetery or mismanagement.


And you base that on what? Are you privy to that information or are you making a guess?
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Postby bierhere » Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:06 am

I'm not privy to any information. I base it on my observations riding the system ever work day.

Lets just look at today's example:
1. Train 1 care short (
2. Heat not working in the car I'm sitting in
3. At Back Bay, conductor attempts to open rear door to allow passengers to exit. The door can't be opened. A large passenger attempts to assist, and after 3 minutes give up trying to open the door. All passengers exit out of the front door.

This is just today's example, but in my experience there seems to be a large number of issues with the cars, some small, door not working, heat, A/C and then there are the times, the engines just quit, and the train is sometimes restarted and other times pushed in.
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Postby efin98 » Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:22 pm

bierhere wrote:I'm not privy to any information. I base it on my observations riding the system ever work day.

Lets just look at today's example:
1. Train 1 care short (
2. Heat not working in the car I'm sitting in
3. At Back Bay, conductor attempts to open rear door to allow passengers to exit. The door can't be opened. A large passenger attempts to assist, and after 3 minutes give up trying to open the door. All passengers exit out of the front door.

This is just today's example, but in my experience there seems to be a large number of issues with the cars, some small, door not working, heat, A/C and then there are the times, the engines just quit, and the train is sometimes restarted and other times pushed in.


Some of those are preventable however those aren't the norm. They happen to everything all the time and in most cases it's not the crew's fault that they happen.
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Postby Pete » Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:13 pm

CRail wrote:They know if there was a train delay so they know if your lying. If you had just heard about it and lied then you are a jerk who steals from your fellow commuters and what goes around comes around. (im not aiming this towards anyone individual, but anyone who cheats in this way)


This may be the case with the CR, but not with the bus. I've been told several times after unacceptably long delays that the individuals in charge didn't know anything about it, in one of those vague "we might be thanking you for bringing it to our attention, or we might be implying that you're making it up" kind of ways.

I often encourage friends to use this policy, but as the OP said, there's not a lot of effort to publicize it so people don't often know to. I waited an hour once for a 66 bus beginning at about 5 on a weekday, on a sidewalk packed full of people, until four of them finally came together. The next day a dubious T representative told me the T had no record of such an incident, if it happened.

More people knowing about and using the service will bring more of these episodes to light.
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Postby CRail » Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:50 am

jumbotusk wrote:I am telling the truth! This really did happen to me!

I would never make it up... cause that will just take money needlessly from the T. And you know what that means.... fare increase!


I was just speaking in general, i would never blame you of anything, i believe you, but some people would make it up.

Efin:

Amtrak/csx causes delays for the commuter rail quite frequently. This is fact, the scanner and just riding will tell you that.
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Postby efin98 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:48 pm

CRail wrote:Efin:

Amtrak/csx causes delays for the commuter rail quite frequently. This is fact, the scanner and just riding will tell you that.


And those two are not the MBTA as was stated.
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Postby trigonalmayhem » Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:55 pm

reguardless of whose fault the problems are, I think the fare refund program is still important. If they lose enough fare revenue they'll eventually be forced to take a look at what causes these delays and do something about it. I know the CSX situation is sticky, but if they lose enough money because of it they'll have to reevaluate it and improve the situation (maybe push harder for those third tracks in framingham and grafton?).

I don't file refund complaints unless I feel that the delay was unnecessary. I've been on trains that were late because of snow and due to track work, and I never filed a request on those. So far the only one I've filed was for a train that was 35 minutes late on a weekday in perfectly nice weather.
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Postby CRail » Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:01 am

My apologies efin, i was defending bierhere's 3rd bullet which i mistakenly thought you were challenging for some reason, but after reviewing the thread, I come to find i was wrong.

There are a lot of equipment problems but again, a little slack for them, they are dealing with a lot of old equipment, the misserschmitts are probably about as old as my father if not older (40 yrs). That and outside conditions lead to a lot of problems, although there is a lot of stuff that gets put out of service :( .

I have only filed one, this was a "train delayed in worcester due to engine problems" being over an hour late. I ended up getting a ride to framingham (I was in ashland) to take the next one out of there which was supposed to run behind the one I was supposed to be on, I found that a little unnecessary.
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