Tag: Commuter Rail

What the hell is Keolis and MBTA Commuter Rail’s Problem?

Ok – all this week the Boston to Wickford Junction or Providence train has been either a) late getting to South Station or b) and consistently late getting into Providence no matter what train I board at what time.

For example, I’ve taken the 2:30, 3:20, and 4:30 trains and all of them have been close to a half hour late.

Today for example, the train took 1.5 hours for a normal 1 hour and 10 minute trip. So 20 extra minutes because it parked at the Route 128 Station for about 10 or so of those minutes. And then making the extra stop at Canton Junction was special – they’ve done that a few times this week.

This is unacceptable. I’m strongly considering plunking the $400+ down per month and getting an Amtrak pass to be honest. The Acela and Acela Regional both do the trip in 40 minutes. That’s much better. Because Keolis and the MBTA are REALLY starting to piss me off.

Amtrak needs to replace signalling

I’ve posted about this before. I’m putting all the congress critters on notice. You can in fact design electrical/electronics that don’t go to shit every time there’s a little wind and rain.

In fact my phone is blowing up with MBTA alerts with delays from 20 minutes up to a full hour for later trains. Glad I got on the 4:35PM train because I’d have been plenty pissed if my commute turned into a 2-3 hour odyssey.

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You can always tell there was a holiday weekend

Because public transit systems go to absolute shit.

Today’s was interesting. Got to the North Quincy station at 4:08. Usually it’s just a couple minutes and the Red Line into Boston is there. Not today – no it got there at 4:17PM which means I missed the 4:35PM commuter back to Providence. Had to wait until 5:00PM for the next one. And of course the Red Line drivers go REALLY slowly between North Quincy and JFK.

And then there’s RIPTA – now up to 7PM the #27 and #28 bus run every twenty minutes, staggered so service to Broadway where I live is every 10 minutes. Not so tonight, Got to the berth at 6:30PM and waited – at 6:45PM and no bus I walked home.

Now I understand that after a holiday weekend you’ll have your no-shows as far as co-workers and bus drivers. But really this type of behavior on the part of RIPTA is irksome – because all the buses are GPS tracked. On the entire 20 minute walk home I didn’t see on westbound bus at all.

I’ve now made a resolution to put money aside and buy a car. I’d rather put up with traffic then to have trains to stupid things like move like a snail, or park in Mansfield for 10-15 minutes so Amtrak trains could go by us.

Now I know, I-93 and i-95 could be slightly hellish. But I’ll take that hell over commuter rail and subways.

Slightly hellish commutes and the reason for them (MBTA Commuter and Red Line)

So this evening I get to Central square and the next train isn’t for another ten minutes. What the fuck? Get to South Station with seven minutes to spare, or so I thought. The 4:08PM commuter from Boston to Wickford Junction didn’t leave until 4:23PM.

It pulled into Providence at 5:45PM. But the beautiful part – for once the RIPTA #27 bus was on schedule.

Now why does this happen, particularly to the MBTA commuter side? Its because the signalling and switching on the tracks is in serious need of replacement/improvement. Of course those objects don’t belong to the MBTA – they belong to Amtrak, the same Amtrak where Congress refuses to inject money.

Meanwhile in Japan they’re testing out a Magnetic Levitation train that does 313MPH. I would love to lobby congress to fund something like that that starts in Boston, stops at Providence, Hartford, NYC and DC. Build it right above the current track right of way. You realize – at 313MPH Boston and Providence become bedroom communities for NYC because a ride into the city is about 40 minutes at MagLev speeds.

So to start I’m tagging my federal elected congress critters on this post. Maybe, just maybe that will get their attention.

Not so fun commutes during my first week at the new job

So I started the new job on the 9th. My very first day the MBTA commuter rail breaks down and we have to wait to be pushed into Boston. Except the train I was on was supposed to be express Mansfield MA to Back Bay. No such luck. I was supposed to be there at 9AM, got there at 10:15AM. Ut si! 

And now today, Friday. I get over to Central Square station in Cambridge and the Red Line train is still there, doors open. So a bunch of us board it. Now the train is pretty packed and there’s no air conditioning running. And then the announcement comes, there’s a medical emergency at Kendall/MIT station. 

I theorize that for the length of time it took – it wasn’t someone throwing a cardiac event. This had to be some moron who decided to inconvenience a few thousand people because they figure the best way to go was contact with the third rail. 25 minutes later we pull into Kendall and it’s like nothing happened. They scrape em’ up quick. 

But I will say this – public transit is much better, especially tracked public transit then driving. My commute time is approximately the same whether I take the train or drive. Where public transit really shines is in cost – much less expensive than driving. Plus you get to sit, or stand as the case may be on the Red Line towards Alewife. But you can still hit facebook on your phone and it’s only about a ten minute ride from Central Square to South Station.