Tag: South Station

Rules for Commuting or at least there should be

Ok – so I’ve been taking the commuter into Boston every day now for close to two years.

Here are some things that make me just slightly lose my mind.

Escalators in south station are wide enough in most cases to accommodate ¬†two people standing side by side. But the general rule though a lot of people don’t seem to have gotten the memo is standing traffic to the right, climbing traffic to the left.

And then other escalators, particularly the one from the Red Line north platform – it’s wide enough for a single person. So hit those at a run or face the scorn.

But the thing the drives me nuts – what I call the tuggers. Instead of being able to fit their gear in a backpack, oh perish the thought, they’ve got these semi and hard shelled rolling luggage that they just blindly tug behind them.

And they move at a snails pace. But one yesterday – the next to last escalator before you hit the main concourse at South Station – she stands to the right and her fucking luggage is blocking the left side. But we don’t say anything on the spot, oh no. We just make some noise. She didn’t get the hint.

Then coming back on the commuter I have the headphones on. They pretty much blot out all outside sound but I can hear this tinny Asian language. I slip one headphone off and there’s a girl watching a video on her phone with the volume cranked. That’s incredibly fucking rude. You can get a pair of earphones for under $10.

And granted – going from or toward a commuter train is always fun. Things to do there – don’t speed up then slow down – but then that explains the traffic on the highways around here, one minute you’re doing 80MPH, next you’re down to 45MPH.

And the one that drives me absolutely insane – stop staring down at your smartphone and walk. That’s the real problem.


What the hell is with Amtrak Signalling

I was thinking today. How is it Amtrak’s signalling infrastructure is so fragile yet automobile traffic lights take a pounding all year round and still function nearly flawlessly.

I think the U.S. Congress, including the RI, MA, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD and DC representatives and senators need to get funding to upgrade the signalling on the entirety of the line from Boston to D.C.

It was so bad today – that the MBTA commuter only went as far as Back Bay Station. So I had to hop on the Orange Line toward Oak Grove and get off a the Downtown Crossing station, then head for the Red Line bound for North Quincy station.

Tomorrow I’m leaving the house early – I want to see what ¬†cluster fuck it’s going to be then.

And let me be clear, I don’t blame the MBTA for this – I blame Amtrak and our Congressional delegation for not investing enough in rail transit in the United States – particularly that cash cow Acela line. When they built the Acela system they replaced the tracking and strung overhead catenary for the trains. But they did not upgrade the signalling.

And let me be abundantly clear – you can design electrical/electronic signalling systems that are immune to high wind and water. It’ll cost a bit more but with the weather patterns being what they’ve been recently it would behoove them to do it soon.