Time to get anecdotal: Mrs. Charley takes the 326 express bus from Medford to downtown, and is fortunate enough to have a monthly pass (“Inner Express Bus”) paid for by her employer, through something called a Commuter Check. Now, it used to be a simple matter of going up to a window at North Station (near where she works) and forking over the Commuter Check, and getting the pass. It took a few minutes.
Well, last month the MBTA inexplicably stopped selling them at North Station. Instead, she and her co-workers were told they had to go to Downtown Crossing, where they waiting in huge lines for an hour-and-a-half, waiting to exchange their Commuter Checks for monthly passes. And it seemed that most of the people in line were conducting business using cash that they could done on the new machines. The whole affair took her and her co-worker two hours.
That’s just completely insane. Do they understand how much this destroys people’s workdays, cutting into workforce productivity? Why would the MBTA stop a very simple service at North Station without notice? The only answer can be bad management.
I’m sorry, I’ve been told that MBTA chief Dan Grabauskas is trying real real hard, but this is pathetic. I understand that he’s not overseeing every little thing, but if this kind of garbage is happening, he’s not delegating well.
The MBTA needs to re-invent itself around customer experience. If it actually worked consistently, the Charlie Card would be a decent start: I like not having to even remove my card from my wallet.
But in the basics of selling tickets, and getting people from point A to point B on time and safely, the T looks more and more like an agency in crisis.
Gov. Patrick, how about a little hands-on treatment of what should be the crown jewel of local infrastructure, but instead is one of our state’s biggest causes of grumbling, inconvenience, lost business and even danger?
The main reason I wrote this message is the hope that somebody at T headquarters reads it and decides to actually do something. I want nothing more than for Dan Grabauskas to come to our station during rush hour by himself and see first hand the mess this system is. We have called and asked his office for him to come and have been rebuffed. But we shouldn’t be surprised by this as the running joke with T employees is “The people who run the T have never taken it in their lives.”