Just have to relate a personal anecdote from the weekend. Made possible — excuse me, nearly impossible — by the MBTA.
My family and I were planning on taking the commuter rail from West Medford to North Station for the rolling rally. We heard that the MBTA commuter rail would be running a normal Saturday schedule. Hmmm. We got there well in time for the 9:33 train. Lots of Bruins fans there! Families with kids, like us. Many had Bruins shirts, some had face paint. Ages 0 to whatever. Awesome. Ride the train to the parade.
At 10am a train whizzed by, blowing its horn, didn’t stop.
Another train whizzed by, blowing its horn, didn’t stop.
The electronic message board said there was a train leaving north Billerica. We waited. Train #3 whizzed by, blowing its horn, didn’t stop.
I called the MBTA: the person I talked to had no idea which trains would stop or when – indicating that there had been no communication between the conductor and customer service.
Finally at 10:45am, the message board said a train was leaving Winchester. At 11am, we were on the train, having had been there since 9:20. We had nearly decided to leave, of course, and probably should have. Most of the other folks did, of course. Our kids were exceedingly well-behaved, otherwise we wouldn’t have waited. They really really wanted to go. We made it just in time to see the Cup float by as we were running (kids in our arms) after it.
MBTA GM Richard Davey had said the trains would run on a Saturday schedule. That was false. A schedule says when and where the trains will stop. They did not.
I have read the Globe story in which the T’s spokesman shrugs and says “gosh yeah, there were some challenges, but it all came out OK.”
Pesaturo said the MBTA was “absolutely’’ prepared, employing every train that was not undergoing maintenance and every train crew.
“If we hadn’t have been prepared, we would not have been able to carry 120,000 people,’’ Pesaturo said. “When we got reports of people still on platforms, we sent trains out to get them. In some cases, people didn’t wait for the trains.’’
People didn’t wait an hour-and-a-half for a train? You don’t say. Most people left those platforms.
It was an absolutely absurd failure to plan to serve the public on a special event. We’ve had 7 championships in 11 years — of all the places where there should be no excuse, this is the place.
A schedule is a promise. If Mr. Davey can’t keep those promises, he should resign, or the Governor should fire him. Transportation reform happened, putting the MBTA more under the Governor’s control. You wanted the mess, Governor — you should damn well fix it.