Leap day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

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Leap day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

Postby Yellowspoon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:27 pm

My adventures on Leap Day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

I boarded a trolley on South Huntington. All the way to Brigham Circle, the sign said that the next stop was Heath Street. I stopped paying attention after that. So much for quality control.

At Longwood, the platform was packed. All doors were opened. The operator announced that those without a weekly/monthly pass should come forward and pay their fare. Nobody did. Most of the riders were students, not medical personnel. Does the MBTA make any attempt to enforce/arrest fare evaders? Why should I pay my fare just because I board at a sparse station? The last time I complained about fare evaders, someone told me I should be thankful that the operator sped up my trip. Do they ever place inspectors on trains to catch fare evaders?

When I alighted at Copley, a young couple on the platform looked puzzled. I told them that if they did not get on that train, they were standing in the wrong place. They said, "But we don't want to go to Heath Street", which is what the rollsign said. When I told them that the sign was wrong and that the train was going to Lechmere, they quickly boarded. About 10% of all rollsigns are blank or wrong. What's a patron to do if they don't know which 10%.

After my visit to the library, I again returned to Copley (inbound). I just missed a Lechmere train. There were two gentlemen waiting. When I asked them why they did not get on the Lechmere train, they said they were waiting for a B train to BU. So much for the signs at Copley. I directed them to Arlington.

At Park Street, an elderly couple that did not speak English was asking another patron "Blue Line?" The other patron told them to go one stop to Government Center as that's exactly what the signs told them to do. So much for MBTA signs. When I told them that GC was closed they didn't believe me until I showed them another sign about the re-opening. Meanwhile, I was unable to tell if the elderly couple really wanted the Blue Line or Logan Airport (they did have a carry-on suitcase). So I escorted them through the corridors to the northbound Orange Line while pointing to all the "Blue Line Transfer" signs. I sure hope they got off at State.

I was going to walk back to Park Street, but an Alewife car just pulled in, so I took it to Park Street. There are four MBTA employees at Park Street, lower level. One is sitting in a booth watching, doing nothing. The other three are carrying flashlights that they wave at the train operator. C'mon, how much money is the MBTA saving with OPTO? There are more Red Line platforms than there are Red Line trains.

After meeting a friend at Park Street, we headed off to North Station. Is GC really going to be ready in 25 days?

What about Bob? There was something missing at North Station. If you've ever gone to a sporting event in Boston in the last 20 years, there is a disheveled fruitcake carrying "Jesus is Lord" signs at every one. I've seen him hanging around Park Street occasionally when no sporting events were in town. I haven't seen Bob since last fall. Has anyone seen him in 2016? Has he finally met Jesus?
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Re: Leap day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

Postby CRail » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:49 pm

Yellowspoon wrote:Why should I pay my fare just because I board at a sparse station?

Because it's the law and since you aren't law enforcement, it's not your job to worry if other people obey it or not. During the rush hour, all doors open and fares are collected on an honor system. The theory is that most people that travel at that time have passes and it collects more than the previous policy of free outbound service did. Being a public service and not a for profit company, there's a point at which moving people becomes more important than collecting revenue. The person that told you to be glad you got on your way was right.

Yellowspoon wrote: What's a patron to do if they don't know which 10%.

Ask someone.

Yellowspoon wrote:So much for the signs at Copley. I directed them to Arlington.

There are signs that tell you to do exactly that.

Yellowspoon wrote:At Park Street, an elderly couple that did not speak English was asking another patron "Blue Line?"... So much for MBTA signs...

There are signs that explain what to do. What good does that do for someone who doesn't read English? There are also maps posted which explain it. It requires that one actually look at said map, however. Park street is also well staffed, as you later complain. It's easy to find someone to ask.

Yellowspoon wrote:There are four MBTA employees at Park Street, lower level. One is sitting in a booth watching, doing nothing.

How do you know what the employee is doing? Perhaps they have a job to do when something happens, but it didn't happen while you were deciding they weren't doing anything and so you didn't see it. Perhaps the person was on break and decided to take the break in a place that wasn't invisible to you because they don't mind assisting passengers with instructions when they don't have to. Maybe they got to work early. Maybe you don't know everything.

Yellowspoon wrote:Is GC really going to be ready in 25 days?

At the latest.
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Re: Leap day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

Postby danib62 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:47 pm

Yellowspoon wrote:My adventures on Leap Day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

What about Bob? There was something missing at North Station. If you've ever gone to a sporting event in Boston in the last 20 years, there is a disheveled fruitcake carrying "Jesus is Lord" signs at every one. I've seen him hanging around Park Street occasionally when no sporting events were in town. I haven't seen Bob since last fall. Has anyone seen him in 2016? Has he finally met Jesus?


Bob heads south to Miami for the winter I believe. I've seen pictures of him outside of Heat games.
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Re: Leap day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

Postby typesix » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:10 pm

Yellowspoon wrote:My adventures on Leap Day, 2016 (subtitle: What about Bob?)

... There are four MBTA employees at Park Street, lower level. One is sitting in a booth watching, doing nothing.


That's the inspector's booth, among other duties, the inspector is there to ensure trains are running properly and to deal with disabled trains.
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