Real Life on the MBTA

November 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


The last couple of weeks haven’t been kind to riders on the Worcester-Framingham MBTA line. In just a few weeks, here’s a sampling of the fun we’ve had (and these are only the issues that affected me — there could have been more):

  1. 9/14/2009: The P529 almost has a head-on collision with another train due to a “switching error”.
  2. 9/15/2009: The P512 drives into South Station; 13 people sent to hospital.
  3. 9/29/2009: P529 25 minutes late arriving in Grafton.
  4. 10/2/2009: The P512 breaks down twice. Is finally pushed into South Station by the P516. P512 95 minutes late. P516 20 minutes late.

Some might say that this is statistical clustering and that the service isn’t normally that bad. I’ve decided to track my commute for the month of October and record what actually happens. Hopefully, it won’t be interesting.

Note: I am tracking weekday rides only — no weekends or holidays.

Date AM
Result PM
Result Comments
10/5/2009 No train for me today.
10/6/2009 P512 On time @ Grafton
On time @ Back Bay
2 min late @ South Station
P529 6 min late @ South Station

9 min late @ Grafton

No announcement or explanation. MBTA e-mail only announced previous trains late @ Wellesley due to “Fire Department activity.” Conductors never announce train number @ South Station or one single stop – maybe broken intercom?
10/7/2009 P512 On time @ Grafton

6 min late @ back Bay

7 min late @ South Station

P529 On time! See note below — earlier AM trains were a disaster.
10/8/2009 No Commuter Rail today – taking Green Line from Woodland Station.
10/9/2009 No Commuter Rail today – drove downtown.
10/13/2009 P512 On time P529 2 min late @ Back Bay

4 min late @ Grafton

10/14/2009 P502 2 min early @ Grafton

3 min early @ Back Bay

P529 On time.
10/15/2009 P502 On time P529 On time
10/16/2009 P512 On time @ Grafton & Back Bay P517 On time
10/19/2009 P512 On time @ Grafton

15 min late @ Back Bay

P529 On Time
10/26/2009 P516 4 min late @ Back Bay P529 On time
10/27/2009 P512 On time P529 On time
10/28/2009 P512 On time P529 On time
10/29/2009 P512 On time P529 On time
11/2/2009 P512 10 min late @ Grafton

41 min late @ Back Bay

P519 On time Morning delay blamed on “slippery rails.”
11/3/2009 P512 2 min late @ Back Bay

4 min late @ South Station

P529 31 min late @ Grafton Some kind of police/medical emergency @ Auburndale station
11/4/2009 P512 On time P529 on time
11/5/2009 P512 4 min late @ Back Bay P529 On time
11/6/2009 P512 On time P529 On time
11/9/2009 P512 5 min late @ Back Bay P529 On time
11/9/2009 P512 On time P529 On time
11/10/2009 P512 4 min late @ Back Bay P529 2 min late @ Grafton
11/11/2009 P512 5 min late @ Back Bay P527
Can't Make This Stuff Up!

Can't Make This Stuff Up!

Note: 10/7/2009 This was the picture in my inbox of T-Alerts from the MBTA’s own e-mail. Each one describes a new delay or disaster on the AM Worcester trains. And these are what they admit to!

  1. Chris
    October 26th, 2009 at 11:27 | #1

    You’re a week behind you slacker. Get with it!

    • October 26th, 2009 at 18:35 | #2

      Haven’t been on the train since last Monday. It’s normal for me to skip days now and again.

  2. Chris
    November 5th, 2009 at 09:21 | #3

    No excuse! BTW, how could the train be 41 min late at Back Bay and end up on-time (see 11/2)?

  3. November 5th, 2009 at 10:44 | #4

    Morning train = late. Evening train = on time. You = blind.

  4. Anonymous
    October 25th, 2011 at 12:00 | #5

    Your readers want an update on this, it’s been almost a year. This kind of inattention to detail is unacceptable. Please update the last year’s worth of stats.

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