The T is absolutely beautiful and boast worthy for Boston.

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

The T is absolutely beautiful and boast worthy for Boston.

Postby MBTA1 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:31 pm

I do not care how much critisism I recieve for this but I feel like I am the only person on this website who likes the acctual company of the MBTA. Recently a topic called "The MBTA is an absolute mess and disgrace" out raged me because it showed just how negative transit/rail fans really are. Though some people, like myself, have stood up for the MBTA by pointing out the budget defacit, the extremely high operating cost, and other things plauging the T, most have slandered and disgraced a system that has served our city for 107 years. I have created this thread to not be negative but to rather report positive experiences on the MBTA, I know that sometimes you have a nasty driver or dirty bus or train but don't let that block the time you had a driver who talked with you the whole way home and answered all the questions that he or she could.

P.S. I am not trying to cause contraversy but rather even the playing field.
MBTA1
 

Postby hebron_hapt » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:47 pm

Um, you haven't traveled much. Boston really is the pits. Dirty, unfriendly, poorly signed. Compared to the other old US cities with transit - NYC, Philly, Chicago - it really is dumpy.

I suspect the mindset that speaks highly of the T also thinks Fenway Park should be preserved just as it is. That's a dump too. Check out Camden Yards - still the best of the new parks.
hebron_hapt
 

Moderatour's notice

Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:58 pm

MODERATOUR'S NOTICE:

Ok gents,

Listen up. First, let's have this conversation in a civil and pleasant manner, and secondly, MBTA1, I know you're trying to think positive about the T and I can understand that you're starting this topic, but just be sure that things don't get "out of hand". Thanks gents.
~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 ST214 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:47 pm

I'm not trying to stir up trouble, and i don't think anyone else here is either, but we are just telling it like it is. A lot of transit systems are broke, but are cleaner and in better shape than the T. Buffalo is a VERY clean system. THe cars have no vandalism or damage on the inside because they have camera's in them, one at each end. The TTC was very clean and in good repair.

The least the T can do is have the operator walk thru the train with a trashbag at the end of the line and gather up the big stuff, instead of letting it just wander on the floor. How much would that cost??? Are trash bags THAT expensive???
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
User avatar
ST214
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:49 pm
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH

Postby BC Eagle » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:51 pm

hebron_hapt wrote:Um, you haven't traveled much. Boston really is the pits. Dirty, unfriendly, poorly signed. Compared to the other old US cities with transit - NYC, Philly, Chicago - it really is dumpy.

I suspect the mindset that speaks highly of the T also thinks Fenway Park should be preserved just as it is. That's a dump too. Check out Camden Yards - still the best of the new parks.


Sorry if I don't agree that a historical baseball landmark is a dump. Have you been there since the new owners have taken over? Camden Yards may be a nice park, and it is I've been there, but it'll never come close to the charm that Fenway Park has. NEVER.

And so this post isn't completely off topic, I understand the motivation behind this thread, but I don't think we should sugar coat something that doesn't deserve it. Yes, there are some good things about the T, but for every good thing, I can think of five bad things. I don't think railfans are inherently negative, I think out of the riding public they are in the best position to offer commentary and criticism. All we're doing here is calling a spade a spade.
BC Eagle
 

Postby trolleyguy » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:06 pm

Dear MBTA1: I agree with your wish not to see the MBTA completely written off as a mess and a disgrace - especially as I am the one who started that thread. Like yourself, I love the MBTA, too, with all its great history, etc. My intention was not to make readers like yourself discouraged and angry, but to get us all to think about this situation.

It is precisely because I love the T and care about it that I am distressed by how needlessly run-down and dirty it really has become (even though it has its bright spots, too). It, and the public who rides it, deserve far better! I take no pleasure in "bad-mouthing" it, but there is no hiding the fact that, right now, the T is not living up to its potential.

I know that, under the right kind of management, the MBTA could become a real pride and joy for Boston. I wanted to get an honest and fair criticism of the T out in the open and on the table for what I hope is for the most part turning out to be a constructive discussion. This discussion just might lead someone in a position of influence to start making the T into what it should and can be - a first-class transit system. Clean stations and dependable, well-kept, quiet-running trains and buses are a good place to start. :-)
trolleyguy
 

Postby hebron_hapt » Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:08 am

The MBTA accurately reflects what Boston has to offer the world. True or false?

History shows that nice public things in Boston turn shabby. Look at the highway tunnel under City Square. It's turning shabby. Any of the "modernized" T stations (Broadway comes to mind) - shabby. It's a Boston mindset, and I don't understand it. It's as if anything new and sparkling has to lose some of its luster before Bostons embrace it, call it their own (and complain about it).

Fenway Park vs Camden Yards - shabby vs sparkling. To be fair, I haven't been there since the new owners took over (and thank goodness for the new owners - we have them to thank for this championship). Perhaps they're "nicing up" the facility.

Private facilities in Boston - now those are the jewels. But public facilities become dumpy, and it's a shame. Back Bay Station comes to mind. It's a gem architecturally, but frankly, it's a pretty depressing place. South Station, on the other hand, is still a pleasure to experience, probably because it's maintained privately. I know it's a "pubilc" facility, but all those businesses contained within must demand the facility be kept pleasant.

And please, I mean no offense. I just want to encourage healthy debate and discussion.
hebron_hapt
 

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:18 am

Since I've been a contributor to the other thread, I should chime in here as well. Please don't think that I hate the MBTA - I don't. The MBTA has done a terrific job in modernizing the system over the past three decades - by comparison, the only modernization ever done to many New York City subways stations has been the addition of fluorescent lights and a few new signs. I spent time recently watching and photographing trains at the new North Station 'superstation', and that facility is a jewel right now. Just as I appreciate sitting in Fenway Park and thinking about the fact that greats like Ted Williams and Carlton Fisk played there, I appreciate the many reminders of the Boston area's transit history - the Tremont Street subway, the Harvard bus tunnel, South Station, the maze of special work at Cleveland Circle.

But Fenway Park is also an apt analogy of what is unfortunate about the MBTA. Once you get past the first couple of innings at Fenway, the history fades and you're left thinking of all the park's warts. Many of the seats were designed for little 1912-sized people and are uncomfortable, and the right-field seats force you to turn to the left to watch the action at home plate. The aisleways are cramped. The concourse underneath the stands is dark, and the concession and restroom lines are too long. Then you go to Camden Yards in Baltimore or Jacobs Field in Cleveland or one of the other new 'retro' ballparks. The seats are properly spaced and offer plenty of legroom (and most have cupholders). Aisles are wide and allow plenty of room to move around without constantly bumping into people. Concession stands are plentiful and the restrooms are modern and clean. Best of all, the seats are all oriented to watching the action at home plate and on the pitchers mound. You cannot help but sit there and think that Boston baseball fans deserve this as well.

If I'm critical of the MBTA, it's because I have traveled to other cities and seen how agencies that are facing many of the same financial issues as the MBTA simply do a much better job of operating their trains and buses and keeping everything cleaner. I believe the MBTA should be the jewel of American transit systems, and it doesn't require a lot of money. What it does require, though, is a culture change on the part of both its employees and its customers. With all due respect to the many dedicated MBTA employees out there, the fact remains that there are too many others who are slobs that don't give a damn about serving the public. Shame of the T for the poor management and field supervision (or lack thereof) that allows such slackers not only to keep their jobs but to poison the atmosphere so that good workers get fed up and end up just going through the motions themselves. I've thought for a long time that one major problem with the MBTA is the fact that the inspectors are union members themselves who come up through the operating ranks and can return to being a driver if they want to - many are professionals who do a good job, but I believe the field supervision needs to be management and not be the peers of those they are responsible for managing.

Regarding cleanliness - I believe that MBTA management needs to look at why there is so much litter in vehicles, why vehicles and stations are grimy, and why some cars and buses are so dirty on the outside, and ask themselves if they are getting an honest day's work out of some of their employees and contractors. It would also not cost a lot of money to undertake a campaign to remind the public that it is illegal to litter inside MBTA vehicles and facilities and have employees and the T police aggressively watch for this to drive home the point. This must be coupled, of course, with effective plans to clean litter out of vehicles often enough so that people don't see trash left by others and think it's OK to leave their own junk. Resources should be reallocated to set up cleaning crews at terminals (including commuter rail trains at North and South Stations) the same way New York City Transit does, so that every train is cleaned out after making a round trip. Bus cleaning crews could be stationed at major terminals along busy routes such as Forest Hills, Ruggles, Haymarket, Bennett Street, etc., and quickly go through inbound buses before they make their next run.

Some folks shouldn't be so defensive about the current state of the MBTA. There is a tremendous amount of room for improvement, and both passengers and fans should not settle for anything less than the best the MBTA can be. And if you haven't had an opportunity to visit Toronto, New York, Chicago or other well-run transit systems, you should take the opportunity to travel and see how other transit systems work. I guarantee it will open your eyes.

JD
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby efin98 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:51 am

MBTA1- it's a losing battle. People here would rather bash away at the T than bother to read a differing opinion. The majority who posted took a few visits to another system other than their own start to think that their own system is the worst out there and the few who don't take that stance are either out of their mind or don't know what the hell they are talking about. You hit a nerve here, but it's something that had to be said.

This isn't New York or Toronto or Philadelphia. You live with it or you don't ride. There are things about each system that others have better and that includes Boston- despite what others are claiming. If you think Boston is the worst out there then you have't ridden enough of the other systems to make that comparison. The worst system is the one that has no service at all. You make the choice to ride public transportation so you have no one to blame but yourself.
efin98
 

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:33 pm

Are you really Mike Mulhern?

You seem to taking any criticism of the MBTA very personally.
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby efin98 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:40 pm

RailBus63 wrote:Are you really Mike Mulhern?

You seem to taking any criticism of the MBTA very personally.


I am definately not Mike Mulhern, I am someone who actually bothers to look beyond the pettiness of what is being stated here. Someone has to take the unpopular position, I could care less what the lot of you think of me but I will not stand idly by while people trash the agency just because it's the popular thing to do.
efin98
 

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:12 pm

My comments were not made because it was the popular thing to do. I had hoped they would be taken as constructive criticism. I believe in mass transportation. I also believe that public transit agencies should be run like a business and should do the best possible job with the available resources.

JD
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby NRGeep » Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:57 pm

Seems the commuter rail in general is much cleaner and efficient than the buses and subways. Of course they contract com rail out.
NRGeep
 
Posts: 988
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:33 pm

Postby efin98 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:59 pm

RailBus63 wrote:My comments were not made because it was the popular thing to do. I had hoped they would be taken as constructive criticism. I believe in mass transportation. I also believe that public transit agencies should be run like a business and should do the best possible job with the available resources.


Yet when pointed out, that did not satisfy people and they piled on the T more...
efin98
 

Postby hebron_hapt » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:25 pm

The title of this thread is laughable!

I don't necessarily knock the T for what it is, but for what it could be save for a bad attitude among some of its employees and managers, as well as some riders. Other entities do more with less. It costs nothing to pick up a newspaper off a seat and deposit it in a proper receptacle. The system lacks pride, and it sorely shows. But, pride isn't a commodity valued by many Bostonians when it comes to their public facilities.
hebron_hapt
 

Next

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 11 guests