The T is an absolute mess and disgrace

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:37 pm

I will compare MBTA with NJ Transit. First of all, the Comet Is(both low and high door), must be over or close to 30 years old. You can see out of the windows. Yes at times, the air conditioner has been an issue in those cars. The Arrow IIIs are very good no matter what and hopefully, all of them will get refurbished. As a part of the refurbishment, they should have new mechanisms that enable voltage changes at places like Swift. That way the railroad could run a little more on time as well as take time off the schedule. Septa did a good move by refurbishing their Silverliner IVs, and they are having some serious financial flaws. mBTa needs to get in the game a little more.
njt/mnrrbuff
 
Posts: 2835
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Postby trolleyguy » Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:10 am

How many of you have been to Toronto and ridden the TTC? If you haven't, you're in for a pleasant surprise when it comes to enjoying clean, frequent, nice-running trains and nearly spotless stations.

What is so different about Toronto as compared to Boston? Does the difference lie solely in the fact that one city is Canadian and the other, American, or is there more to this difference than meets the eye?

If Toronto can manage to have a clean, properly-run transit system, so can Boston! What besides 350 miles and an international border separates them?

Now, quoting from efin98's posting in this thread:

"....You want spotless trains and better service? Dig into your wallet and be ready to pay more to take the buses and trains otherwise shut up! It costs money and if you are not willing to pay up then shut up!"

I think that he is being overly pessimistic, bitter and cynical about this situation. I am sorry he feels this way; although I understand where he is coming from, I respectfully disagree with his point of view, in that I think the T could be doing a much better job of running the system within its current budget. It is an attitude thing more than a matter purely of inadequate finances.

There are good minds at work here contributing interesting ideas to these worthwhile discussions, and I hope that T management is reading what its public (which is what we are, after all) has to say about it. Although I seriously doubt that anyone at the T is paying much attention to our posts on this forum, they should be.
trolleyguy
 

Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:53 am

How many of you have been to Toronto and ridden the TTC? If you haven't, you're in for a pleasant surprise when it comes to enjoying clean, frequent, nice-running trains and nearly spotless stations.

What is so different about Toronto as compared to Boston? Does the difference lie solely in the fact that one city is Canadian and the other, American, or is there more to this difference than meets the eye?


I have actually, and I agree with you, the system there is much nicer than here. And their new cars are even newer than our 01800s, and they are also clean, not like our Red Line here which is scummy. New York is a little dirty, especially with their scratchitti-ridden windows and here in the Red Line, I've seen some windows with scratchitti as well. In Toronto, however, I've never seen any scratchiti on car windows which I expected if the system was clean.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations
User avatar
Robert Paniagua
 
Posts: 4418
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Postby efin98 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:20 am

trolleyguy wrote:I think that he is being overly pessimistic, bitter and cynical about this situation. I am sorry he feels this way; although I understand where he is coming from, I respectfully disagree with his point of view, in that I think the T could be doing a much better job of running the system within its current budget. It is an attitude thing more than a matter purely of inadequate finances.


Seen the budget deficit figures yet? The T can not afford to keep the current service going, how can it go about starting a huge new program to clean station and vehicles to a standard set by better funded agencies? I bet the T would love to hear it, since they are doing everything they can to keep the budget from getting too deep into the red while keeping service at it's current levels...

There are good minds at work here contributing interesting ideas to these worthwhile discussions, and I hope that T management is reading what its public (which is what we are, after all) has to say about it. Although I seriously doubt that anyone at the T is paying much attention to our posts on this forum, they should be.


They pay attention, but the ideas most here have are way too extreme to get done. Most of what they can do are too miniscule to fulfill the hair-brained schemes of members.


And I've been to Toronto, ridden over all but one of their streetcar and rapid transit lines and they are just as dirty as the Green and Orange Line trains AND their stations have the same problems with litter and grime as the T's stations. And service is just as bad on the streetcar lines as the Green Line, if not worse. The only difference is that their streetcar lines are more numerous and longer so service appears to be better.
efin98
 

Postby RailBus63 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:27 am

efin98 wrote: And I've been to Toronto, ridden over all but one of their streetcar and rapid transit lines and they are just as dirty as the Green and Orange Line trains AND their stations have the same problems with litter and grime as the T's stations. And service is just as bad on the streetcar lines as the Green Line, if not worse. The only difference is that their streetcar lines are more numerous and longer so service appears to be better.


I don't know what part of the TTC you rode during your visit, but the difference I've witnessed is night and day from the MBTA. I rode the TTC last winter when the sidewalks and streets were covered with slush. The vehicle floors were wet and dirty, but that was it. The subway stations I visited were as clean as they normally are. No litter, and certainly no grime.

JD
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby octr202 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:58 am

efin98 wrote:Seen the budget deficit figures yet? The T can not afford to keep the current service going, how can it go about starting a huge new program to clean station and vehicles to a standard set by better funded agencies? I bet the T would love to hear it, since they are doing everything they can to keep the budget from getting too deep into the red while keeping service at it's current levels...


The thing that gets me, though, is that several of the systems that we've identified here as doing a good job with cleanliness and maintenance are farcing serious budget shortfalls. Chicago is talking about the very real possibility of 20% across the board service cuts, and the elimination of several bus routes. WMATA in Washington has been facing an almost annual funding crisis for years now. And while comparisons to NYC and NJ are tough, they both have had funding scares -- more recently on the NYMTA side. The ongoing answer that the T can't do anything because of the budget problems just won't fly forever. Other authorities around the country manage to get more done with similiar amounts of money -- why can't the T? The answer seems, to me, to be in an organizational culture that has just given up and doesn't care. Too many managers and supervisors clearly don't care to see that the system is operated properly, and employees don't seem to be motivated either positively or negatively to do their jobs right. My apologies to the good MBTA employees out there -- I've encountered many, but there are just far too many that bring down the curve for everyone. I just can't shake the feeling that mediocre has become the accepted norm at the T -- good service is something that is nice, but not expected.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby BC Eagle » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:07 am

octr202 wrote:The thing that gets me, though, is that several of the systems that we've identified here as doing a good job with cleanliness and maintenance are farcing serious budget shortfalls. Chicago is talking about the very real possibility of 20% across the board service cuts, and the elimination of several bus routes. WMATA in Washington has been facing an almost annual funding crisis for years now. And while comparisons to NYC and NJ are tough, they both have had funding scares -- more recently on the NYMTA side. The ongoing answer that the T can't do anything because of the budget problems just won't fly forever. Other authorities around the country manage to get more done with similiar amounts of money -- why can't the T? The answer seems, to me, to be in an organizational culture that has just given up and doesn't care. Too many managers and supervisors clearly don't care to see that the system is operated properly, and employees don't seem to be motivated either positively or negatively to do their jobs right. My apologies to the good MBTA employees out there -- I've encountered many, but there are just far too many that bring down the curve for everyone. I just can't shake the feeling that mediocre has become the accepted norm at the T -- good service is something that is nice, but not expected.


I agree 100%. The T has used the budget excuse to raise fares several times over the past decade, but what's there to show for it? I firmly believe that for any improvement to happen, there needs to be a shakeup in organizational culture first and foremost.
Last edited by BC Eagle on Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
BC Eagle
 

Postby efin98 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:38 am

RailBus63 wrote:I don't know what part of the TTC you rode during your visit, but the difference I've witnessed is night and day from the MBTA. I rode the TTC last winter when the sidewalks and streets were covered with slush. The vehicle floors were wet and dirty, but that was it. The subway stations I visited were as clean as they normally are. No litter, and certainly no grime. JD


I rode during the middle of summer everthing I rode. The buses were just as dirty, the streetcars had just as much dirt and grime on the floors, stairs, and seats, and the subway stations had just as much litter during all hours of the day and night. And It wasn't just the large stations either, where i noticed it most was in the lesser used streetcars and the lesser used stations. And I entered and exited enough stations at various points along the route to notice the stations, it's not a shot out of the blue- it's really just as bad as Boston.

And I wasn't the only one from the group I was with that notice what I did, several of the group who have ridden on SEPTA, the NYCTA, CTA, and LA MTA have agreed that it's about as bad as Boston and that Boston was nowhere near as bad as what you are claiming. I take their word over anybody here, I know they have the pedigree to back their claims up.
efin98
 

Postby typesix » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:20 pm

Have not visited Toronto in 17 years. Are most of the streetcar lines still street running like Brigham to Heath St.?
typesix
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:23 am
Location: Boston

Postby RailBus63 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:01 pm

efin98 wrote:And I wasn't the only one from the group I was with that notice what I did, several of the group who have ridden on SEPTA, the NYCTA, CTA, and LA MTA have agreed that it's about as bad as Boston and that Boston was nowhere near as bad as what you are claiming. I take their word over anybody here, I know they have the pedigree to back their claims up.


I'm not doubting what you're saying, I'm just very surprised. I've visited Toronto every few years since 1982 and never seen grime or litter on the TTC that rivals the MBTA. My last visit was 10 months ago. I guess I'm shocked that the TTC could fall so far so fast.

As far as the MBTA being "nowhere near as bad as what you are claiming", well, I rode the T numerous times during the week between Christmas and New Years, and I thought it was as bad as always. My 12-year-old son even commented about the mess on one of the Red Line trains we rode, and liked the new Neoplan low-floor buses we rode "because they don't rattle like the older buses do".

We agree to disagree, I guess.

JD
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby RailBus63 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:04 pm

typesix wrote:Have not visited Toronto in 17 years. Are most of the streetcar lines still street running like Brigham to Heath St.?


Yes, all of the streetcar routes in Toronto are street-running. Two lines do go underground - the 512 St. Clair loops through the underground busway at St. Clair West station, and the new 510 Spadina route goes underground at both the Spadina/Bloor and Union Station terminals.

JD
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby ST214 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:58 pm

I rode the TTC this fall, and it was much better than the T. Yes, the station floors were dirty, but the trash was not freely roaming around, as it is on the T. No grafitti or slashes on the vehicles themselves. Plus, their doorchimes are much better than ours!!!!
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
User avatar
ST214
 
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:49 pm
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH

Postby MBTA1 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:19 pm

I rode the TTC in 2002 for a whole week and here's what I thought.

Though my brother Eric and I disagree, I thought the TTC was dirty: Stations and Vehicles especially water damage in subway stations. Unsafe: Doors not open long enough. Confusing: Too many light rail cars, not enough time to get on or check where which one was going. Surlyness: People complain about the MBTA having surly operators and token collectors but in reality most are extremely nice when you get to know them and are extremly helpful when directions are needed. In Toronto I continuously got a cold shoulder when I asked for directions and history on the transit system. And Buses, I have never felt nausious on a Bus before but I had an unpleasent experience in a Mr. Sub bathroom shortly after exiting my bus.

I felt the TTC only barely could compare to the MBTA, but from reading what everyone else is saying maybe the summer of 2002 was just a bad year for them.
MBTA1
 

The T is an absolute mess and disgrace

Postby Mdlbigcat » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:18 pm

Everybody bitches about their transit system, and when they visit another system [like TTC or WMATA], they see things that might be slightly better than what they got and take that home and use that system against their home system. On the other hand, if they lived in that other city on a daily basis, they would find out their flaws and shortcomings. I know that for a fact because I did that years ago.

Each big-city system has their good points and their bad points. The systems are often as good as the city they are in. If the city authorities are committed to running a first-class network, then the system will be a first-class network. If city authorities treat the system like dirt, then it will be like dirt.
69th St. Train Making All stops.......Doors are Closing!
Mdlbigcat
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:08 pm
Location: Oaklyn, NJ

Postby parovozis » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:21 pm

In the past four years, I visited Montreal several times. Montreal is a kind of a "sister city" of Boston: similar size, similar importance, similar claims to be the country's cultural capital. What is striking, though, are strongly dissimilar transit systems. The STCUM subway and buses are clewan, quiet, fast, and on-time (I had no chance to test their commuter rail). The T subways and buses are... see the rest of this thread. Is it because Montreal, like Toronto, is in Canada? You decide.
parovozis
 

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests