Tag: RIPTA

RIPTA: It stands for Never On Time

So I went into work super early this morning, 06:30 hours. Which meant I was out at 2:3oPM. Managed to catch the 3:25PM commuter to Providence which got into Providence at about 4:25PM.

Then a brief walk through Waterplace park and I was at the berth for the 27/28 bus lines. Now RIPTA calls this a high frequency bus line. Only problem is, they cannot keep a schedule to save their lives. I missed the 4:30PM but the display told me next buses were at 4:40, 4:50, 5:00PM but the issue was no bus ever showed up at those times.

The displays at all the bus stops in Kennedy Plaza they blatantly lie about time to the next bus. I know they’re slinging the info over RF – I gotta sniff it with my spectrum analyzer and see what they’re using. I’ve heard they can use broadcast band sub-carrier – so I’d like to put a message on them that says “Next 27/28 bus (Never) You’re Better off Walking”

But seriously – I may gripe about the MBTA on occasion, but nowhere near the level I gripe about the Rhode Island Public Transit authority. I actually called it one the worst transit systems in the United States. Called them and said that to them. I also plan to share this post with them. I’ll properly tag it so they can scroll through all the times RIPTA has disappointed me.

Now the buses themselves are festooned with technology that tracks the position of the bus for automated announcements of certain intersections on the route. And I have to wonder if they’re not slinging that info back to HQ and then using that for the time displays but I doubt that. Because if that were the case the displays at the bus berths wouldn’t tell such blatant lies.

But I’m at the point where this is all expected behavior on the part of RIPTA. A perpetually underfunded agency because they stupidly tied their revenue to the gasoline tax, and I can tell you where that’s going to go as cars become more efficient and more electric. But that’s  discussion for later on taxing you on the miles driven that I really don’t want to delve into at the moment.

But RIPTA needs to get on the ball. I can easily walk home if I choose. But sometimes it’s nice to just get the bus home as I live on what I am assured is  the 2nd busiest route on RIPTA’s roster.

 

Hey RIPTA – if you’re gonna rip a stop out

You might want to remove it off Google Maps which does your Tripe Planners.

ripta-trip-planner-knight-fs-broadway-2015-12-16

Had a driver tell me the stop no longer existed. Well – according to gmaps it does.

I’m sorry but if RIPTA wants to be taken seriously they have to pay attention to shit like this. And I’ve punked out my share of drivers. When I get put out the mouth starts and it’s never pretty.

It’s usually a variant of “Yo, think you missed a stop back there you jackass!” to “What the fuck – Stop this bus now or I’ll stop it for you.” Yes, I’m very rough on bus drivers. Can’t help it because when I get inconsistent information from RIPTA’s own web site and bus drivers I get really, really angry.

But my scorn and derisiveness is purely aimed at RIPTA and it’s management. As I’ve said in the past I think we should just invite the MBTA to take over operations of RIPTA and be done with it. That way I could use the $330 a month pass I buy from the MBTA on buses here in RI. It only makes sense as RIPTA is forever crying poverty. Plus it would make for one super-regional transit system. And the way MBTA funds is the communities it runs through pay for the privilege. RIPTA runs off a percentage of the gas tax and you can see where that’ll get you when cars are getting more fuel efficient.

Twice this week the MBTA Commuter to Providence was late coming in this week

So on Monday the MBTA Commuter from South Station in Boston, MA to Providence Station in Providence, RI took two hours to make the trip because of a broken down train. Now the normal trip is an hour and ten minutes. So I can sort of understand that one even if I was majorly pissed.

But today, I board the 3:30PM train out of South Station. It’s suppose to make Providence by 4:45PM. It got in a half hour late.

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact the train was super packed. I’ve never seen a 3:30PM train this packed.

In fact let’s not get started about RIPTA. I get to the bus stop this evening and the next bus isn’t for another 20 minutes. This btw is prime time for RIPTA. What the ever loving fuck? I decided I’d take the 15-20 minute walk home. Didn’t see ONE outbound bus on my route. Saw THREE inbounds though.

It’s all got me considering being a profligate polluter and buying a car and saying to fuck with the MBTA and RIPTA. I can pickup a new VW Jetta for $13,500 or so. I may as well save up the dough and buy it cash. I’ll tolerate the MBTA and RIPTA’s cluster fucks for a little while longer.

Disband RIPTA and replace it with the MBTA in Rhode Island

So today of course is Veterans Day. But my beef isn’t with the holiday. It’s with the differences between the MBTA and RIPTA.

As you might well know I take the MBTA commuter rail into Boston every day. I’ve been working in Boston and Vicinity for some time now and the train is the ONLY way to get there and keep ones sanity. So I shell out $330 a month for the pass on the MBTA commuter rail.

Ok all fine and good. But with today’s holiday the MBTA ran a regular weekday schedule. RIPTA on the other hand is running on a Sunday/Holiday schedule.

If RIPTA wants to be taken seriously they need to run regular service on the soft holidays. That’s one of the things I want ot of RIPTA – be there for your customers.

And then there’s the thing where RIPTA now wants to do away with several fare products – and it’s a money grab on their part. Additionally they want to hike the price of a monthly pass on RIPTA to $70 from $62. Meanwhile as I said I spend $330 a month on a commuter rail pass that also gets me access to MBTA bus service, subway service, etc.

So here’s a proposal – since RIPTA has proven beyond any doubt that they’re not fit to run a transit system I beseech my legislators to study whether it might be worth dismantling RIPTA and inviting the MBTA to provide service throughout Rhode Island. Then I’d have a pass that would work on public transit through MA and RI. That would be something wouldn’t it?

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.

RIPTA wants to go back to a zoned system in Rhode Island

RIPTA in case you were wondering is the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. They run the bus system here in Rhode Island.

Now well over a decade ago they went from a zoned system to a one state, one rate system.

And with the budget crunch right now – they want to go BACK to a zoned system.

I’ll describe why that’s stupid.

It will unnecessarily complicate fare products. I’ll use as an example the product of theirs that I use most, the 15 ride pass. How would that work under a zoned system?

Not to mention it’ll also cause major problems as they won’t necessarily publish that there are zones that well.

Of course many years ago legislators tied RIPTA’s fortunes to the a few cents on the gasoline tax. But people are buying less gasoline with more fuel efficient vehicles. So RIPTA’s budget takes the hit.

It’s a delicate balance. But maybe as I’ve stated in the past they should just merge in with the MBTA. Because the MBTA – they charge the communities they serve. Yeah. And it’s not like there’s not precedent since RIPTA now sends buses to the South Attleboro train stop in MASSACHUSETTS.

But then I contend I’m paying $330 a month for an MBTA pass – it should work on RIPTA.

RIPTA needs to clean and align the magnetic card readers on buses

I’ve run into this problem several times and seen other people experience the same thing. It affects both the pass slot and card slot on the what I believe are SPX E-fare boxes.

Having dealt with computers, electronics and software over the years I can tell you that magnetic card read heads get worn down, dirty, and out of alignment fairly often.

So RIPTA needs to put preventative maintenance programs in place – to clean and align and/or replace magnetic reader/writer heads on the alleged SPX E-Fare boxes.