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Special MBTA Section

Dedicated to Absurdity within the
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

$1.00 a ride... "STILL THE BEST DEAL IN TOWN" (?)

STAY TUNED FOR... LATE NIGHT BUS SERVICE!

(Late in 2001... only some buses... only for a one-year test... service until 2am?) Okay... it's a start at least, but YAY! - For years, I've been advocating this. You'd think that to promote public safety in Boston, the public transportation system would shut down AFTER the bars close. But NOOOooooo! Until later in 2001, that seems to have been beyond comprehension by the various administrations involved (Now all we have to do is figure out when the subways can be maintained if they're being used 20 hours a day).

 

Updated 2005-04-09 (At long last!)

The MBTA, which includes our country's oldest subway system, is a most valuable public transportation resource which I vehemently support. I urge everyone's support and increased usage. Anyone who does not need a car should utilize public transportation (or walk) at every possible opportunity.

Formerly a 14-year Boston city resident -- most of which WITHOUT a car -- as of August, 1999, I am now a Boston-area resident WITH a car in the 'burbs. Nonetheless, whenever travel by public transportation is a practical option, I still do so. Indeed, it has been my recent experience that even by 7:00 in the morning, it is impossible to travel by car on major roads near Boston. Unfortunately, public transportation can only take you so far, and unless you can walk or afford to take a cab the rest of the distance, you must drive the whole trip. How can anyone endure this more than once and not mortally threaten the legislature to immediately terminate the "Big Dig" in favor of replacing all highway medians with rail lines?

Before continuing, it should be particularly noted that the (assumed) majority of hard-working everyday folks employed by the MBTA are greatly appreciated for putting up with all the hassles of serving the public. I see a lot of abuse dished-out by irate or just plain inconsiderate riders and motorists. I hope I've never been guilty of this, and have tried to resolve my one or two employee-related complaints with MBTA management... in writing, after time to think.

I wish it was as common practice for people to commend another company's employees for excellent work, or to alert management to your satisfaction with the system. Sometimes... just once in a while... I like to say "great job" to someone at the MBTA. I believe if everyone gets positive feedback once in a while, the complaints won't be such a problem. I won't mention names when it comes to goof-ups, but I would like to give my personal thanks for truly great and friendly assistance by Greg Kelly in the Marketing & Communications department! Thanks also to Crystal in the Customer Service Dept. for at least listening.

I also believe every effort should be made by the MBTA to continue self-improvement and expansion of services. These improvements should not be limited to big ticket expenditures, such as new vehicles. Often the Devil is in the details, as evidenced herein...

The images shown here are original, unaltered photographs taken in generally public places. All comments are strictly the personal opinion of the photographer. No photographs or comments are misleading, or known to be false.


2002: The MBTA announces its new "Customer Bill of Rights" public relations campaign.

My reaction? - Well, for starters the MBTA's promise of on-time service, backed by a guarantee offering a free ride if you are delayed over 30 minutes... doesn't help monthly pass holders one bit.

Safe service? No argument there, but I can't help but notice the complete absence of uniformed MBTA police, except for rare occasions, even in this 'post-nineleven' world.

We'll see how well the MBTA follows through with its promises over the next few months... and for how long.



Downtown Crossing, Boston, MA, 2002-07-30
 

New bus line... same old service.

Oh! - The BUS isn't out of service, the SIGN is... or is it?!?!


Newton Corner (Newton), MA, 2004-10-22
 

Too many bus route number signs are malfunctioning.



Chestnut Hill Ave., Brookline, 1999-05-06
 

There is no bus 63 in the MBTA system. The only bus that stops at this sign is number 86, which runs between Cleveland Circle and Harvard Sq., Cambridge, not Central Sq., Cambridge. This is pretty typical of many MBTA bus stop signs (many of which no longer indicate the route or destination). Signs can be extremely useful for people who are not familiar with the system, but equally harmful if the information they convey is untruthful.

UPDATE 2001-03-15: The MBTA has "Fixed" this problem by removing the route number altogether, instead of replacing it with the correct route number. "Fixed?"


New Bus Stop Signs, 2002-08-15
 

2002 Update: The 'T' appears to be making headway by redesigning and replacing the old bus stop signs with these new ones. Not too bad! They appear to clearly indicate the bus route that stops there, along with the name of the route.

Many appear to have maps and schedules of the buses as well. Many, but not all. Good job, nonetheless.

 

New MBTA Bus Stop Shelter, Brighton, MA, 2003-05-10
 

Rather interesting and not unattractive bus stop shelters instituted this year. They're enclosed on two sides by glass panels (unbreakable?), and on the third side by advertising.

Design flaws: A little shallow to shelter from anything but a light rain. No wind or rain barrier in front, like the old shelters. There is a gap at the top of the glass walls where, instead of meeting the roof, they allow rain to come in from all three sides.

Signage flaw: The bus stops are all marked with the name of the street they are on, not the name of the intersecting street or landmark. A rider (especially one unfamiliar with the area) is more likely to know what road they're on, rather than where they are along the route. If all bus stops on a long street bear the name of that street, it is useless to the passenger needing to know where to get off the bus.

So close...


New Animated On-board Bus Signs, 2002-01-29
 

Wow! New signs inside the bus help a lot! They show the date and time, the location of the next stop and and other information. And they also accompany recorded information. Also good!



Green -- I say, GREEN line, 1999-03-17
 

Advertising Trend: There's this new technology that allows vehicles to be completely covered in an opaque film, upon which is printed advertising. The MBTA has turned several trolleys and buses into "rolling billboards." Sure, that's a great way to help pay for all these necessary improvements and other operational expenses. Unfortunately, not only is a lot of this advertising pretty damn offensive to the senses, but also obscures the windows! I beg your pardon, but I find it severely detrimental to the "quality of life" aboard the MBTA to not be able to clearly see outside on a (rare) clear and sunny day! Put all the advertising you want on the exterior of the vehicles, but the windows should be off limits. Also note that in completely covering the green line trolleys with multicolor advertising, they can no longer be considered... green.


Yes, still the GREEN line - 2002-07-05

What is this? Some kind of cruel new design for the Green line? I sure doesn't LOOK like an advertisement (see my diatribe on ads that don't bother to mention the product elsewhere on this site!)

New York City has graffiti artists. Boston has marketing executives. The difference?



Bus, Sullivan Station, 1999-10-29
 

Again... here's an MBTA bus completely decked-out in advertising, so much so, that it even covers and obscures the route designation sign up top. Can you tell this is a Route #109 Bus?

UNFAIR!


New MBTA Green Line Cars, 2000-08-16
 

Nice new trolley cars... maybe. These were originally rumored to be introduced some time in 1999. Then reported to me to have been taken off line, due to some kind of technical problems. Until July, 2001, I had not seen any, but then finally got a chance to ride them.

The biggest new feature (from the rider's standpoint), and the strangest one, is that there is now a long, low section in the middle of each half of these double-cars. There are stairs leading up from this low section to the front, back and middle of the car. This middle section is supposedly intended for wheelchair passengers. However, this configuration also seems to reduce the number of seats in the train, as well as add increased risk of injuries caused by accidents at the stairs in the middle of the aisles.

2002 Update: Oops: Not so fast, bucko. The new cars were recently taken off line, due to repeated derailments. Who's gonna pay for these SNAFUs?

2003: Well, it looks like they're back on track. I still think they're strange, though.




Redline poster, 2000-09-14 (© MBTA)
 

$1.00 (or more) a ride... "STILL THE BEST DEAL IN TOWN" (?)

What have you done for us lately?


Sullivan Square station, 2001-05-05
 

This is one of two entrances to the parking lot and pick-up/drop-off areas for this station. Unfortunately it is very confusing to motorists whether they are in the wrong place or not, as this prominent "Do Not Enter" sign is right in the middle of this lane split. To which lane does this sign refer... as it appears to refer to both?

Why not use signs that indicate the following?

"<--- MBTA Vehicles Only"

and

"Public Entrance --->"


Chinatown Station Emergency Exit, 2001-08-19
 

I hope there are no emergencies requiring quick exit through this gate, as it is padlocked.



2002-03-29

Aha! - Finally, they replaced this padlocked gate with a real door.


Porter Square Station, Fall, 1997
 

This sign had already been at the Porter Square commuter rail station for a couple years, and is not only vague about how long "the next several months" is, but also doesn't indicate a date that the "next several months" began anyway. Perpetual contract work, maybe? [File this under "Back in Five Minutes..."]

UPDATE 1999-03-03: Yes, it's still there! I'm still waiting to find out just how long "several months" is....

UPDATE 1999-06-14: Yes, it's still there!

UPDATE 2001-03-14: YES! IT IS STILL THERE! (Just how long is "the next several months," anyway?!?!?)


Watertown Square, 1998-10-07
 

Bus stop sign: Yes, bus No. 70 stops here, but you'd be waiting in the wrong place if you want to go toward Cedarwood. Buses stop here going in the opposite direction, coming from Cedarwood. The correct bus stop for Cedarwood is across the street, but you wouldn't know that, since there is no sign at all there.

UPDATE 2001-03-15: YES! IT IS STILL WRONG! WHY AREN'T THEY LISTENING TO ME (US)?!

UPDATE 2005-04-09: Unfortunately, the entire bus shelter is now gone.

Note: There are two main bus depots near each other in Watertown, but to make transfers from a bus drop-off at Watertown Square to Pickup at Watertown Yard (or vise versa), you need to walk a block down the street and cross a busy intersection twice. Why not consolidate for convenience and safety?



Mt. Auburn & Belmont St., Belmont, MA, 2000-09-14
 

MBTA SECRET EXPOSED!

The MBTA refuses to acknowledge that bus #77 runs along Belmont and Mt. Auburn Streets in Belmont and West Cambridge. The sign at my bus stop says that only bus #73 stops here. The printed schedule for Bus #77 shows that it does not run here. Yet most of the time I ride bus #77 from home to Harvard Square (NOT from Harvard Square to North Cambridge). This is not a matter of an occasional operator error displaying the wrong route number and destination sign.

Even more odd is that I have never taken bus #77 FROM Harvard Square back home; it's always the #73 bus.

This phenomenon is similar to the Green Line trains I used to ride more regularly: on the 'B' line, inbound trains frequently indicated that they were actually 'D' line trains. How would you like to be a visitor to this city who figures that they should board a 'D' train to go back to their hotel because that's the train they took to get downtown?



Harvard Square Station, 2000-09-07
 

Behold the "Trackless Trolley" (a.k.a. electric bus).

Here's how the 'system' works: On (all?) buses inbound toward Harvard Square, riders pay the fare as they board, just like regular buses and aboveground trolleys. However, on electric buses outbound from the lower level of Harvard Square, the fare is paid as you LEAVE the bus.

Fare boxes on these vehicles are in front and next to the driver, as you would expect. What's different is that these vehicles have a third door, located on the left side. Why? Because of the unique construction of the station (a tunnel), buses pass the lower level platform on the left, instead of the right side. I think passengers are intended to board the bus only through the left side door, instead of walking around the bus and boarding from the side facing the wall. Since there are no fare boxes (or anyone to monitor them) by the left-rear and right-rear doors, I suppose it made sense to the MBTA to have people pay as they exited via the front door. This is exactly the opposite of the (intended) passenger flow aboard regular buses.

Well, that doesn't seem to be the case in practice, as you can see in this photo. Drivers actually open all three doors to admit boarding passengers.

It should be noted that: 1) Regular buses have a rear door only on the right side, used only for exiting passengers who paid as they boarded through the front door. 2) Regular buses without the third door on the left side also serve the lower level of Harvard Square station. Thus, it is impossible for passengers to board these buses from the platform side altogether (I do not know if passengers boarding regular buses from the lower level pay as they board or pay as they leave, however. I believe passengers pay as they board all buses departing from the upper level, where buses approach the platform on the right.).

Personally, I find it difficult, if not inconvenient, to dig out my token, fare change or T-Pass as I'm standing (hanging) on a moving bus, rather than while waiting to board the bus.

Why this absurd, inconsistent system?


Harvard Square Station, 2001-04-03
 

Poor signage at the underground bus platforms. It's difficult to tell where to stand for the proper bus, since the signs are not only poorly lit, but are located in exactly the wrong place: on the bus-side of the row of columns, rather than the passenger-side, to the left of the yellow safety line.

Passengers must venture out into the busway to read the signs.



Harvard Square Station, 2000-06-08
 

Damn! - There's only a hundred or so different printed schedules. I was circling this kiosk for five minutes, trying to find the one bus schedule I needed. And I even know what route number it was. But did they organize the rack in numeric order so you could find it fast?

Of course not! That would make too much sense.



Harvard Ave & Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 1999-06-15
Why is this bus stopping so far from the curb?

It's probably out of habit that MBTA bus drivers often don't bother to pull up to the curb, the way they are supposed. You see, all too often, some inconsiderate motorist, taxi driver or trucker has parked right there in the bus stop no-parking zone. What part of "No Parking" don't they understand!?!

This is such a common practice because it is yet another law that isn't enforced often enough. If a law isn't enforced, why follow it? Well, I say if people are breaking the law, one of two things must happen: either enforce that law or change it!

Personally, I think having a no stopping zone an entire bus length (2-3 car lengths) at every bus stop is unnecessary. It really isn't a major inconvenience for most passengers to take three or four steps from the curb. I propose a paradigm shift that would not only add two to three parking spots per bus stop (Are you listening, Boston?), but also allow passengers curb-to-door service: Get rid of the no parking zone and install curb 'extensions' next to the crosswalks or wherever a bus stop is located. This 'extension' would be just about the width of a car, preventing a car from stopping at the bus stop, while at the same time keeping passengers out of the street.

This would especially serve the elderly and other passengers requiring that extra step and/or 'kneeling' bus feature. And what about those wheelchair-bound passengers? No problem! The bus would stop with just enough space between it and the parked vehicles to allow the chair to pass. Indeed, it has been my observation that frequently a bus must pull away from a curb and try again after failing to board a wheelchair passenger, since the curb prevents the
lift from operating!

(Now, if I could only explain why MBTA vehicle drivers often continue way beyond passengers waiting at the platform / sign before stopping!)

Let's hear it for bus drivers... seriously! This has got to be one of the toughest driving jobs out there! If you spend any time aboard an MBTA or any other urban transit bus, you'll see what kind of difficult conditions these streets present, and the high level of expertise and skill exhibited by our trusted drivers! Give 'em a break... show respect and don't interfere with their job. I drove a bus briefly, myself, once. Not an easy task, even out in wide rural Maine roads with no passengers (I kept 'loosing' mailboxes... I never hit anything... but backing into a driveway with 37 feet of bus behind you is no picnic. With six mirrors to help me, I still couldn't easily track the mailbox I was supposed to maneuver around).


Coolidge Corner, Brookline, 1999-05-29
 

I don't think I can say enough about the controversial subject of smoking. Whether you're a smoker or a nonsmoker, the fact is that smoking is not allowed on MBTA property, including vehicles and platforms. There are frequent announcements and many signs to that effect, but that doesn't stop everyone. Furthermore, there are no such signs that I am aware of at aboveground trolley stations (Green line). Therefore, the prevalence of smokers at these platforms is out of control. As is the incredible amount of discarded cigarette butts and packaging along the platform and collecting within the tracks. Health issues aside, it is UGLY! I think perhaps the message might get through to these people if MBTA drivers refused to admit obvious smokers aboard vehicles. And I have never in ten years seen an MBTA Police patrol at a ground-level trolley stop; very infrequently at subway and bus stations. Lots of "Safety Inspectors," though (whatever they do).



Commonwealth Ave., Brookline, 1999-05-06
 

There are a several stops along Commonwealth Ave. on the B-line which allow a slim safety zone for standing between automobile traffic and the trolley track. About 18 inches or less in some places... if you're to stand between the curb and the yellow zone. Stand back from the oncoming train too far and you could get whacked in the head by a truck mirror!

I don't know the construction history of this region, and obviously some concessions must be made to account for limited physical space. I just wonder whether the road could have been built farther out from the tracks. Obviously, the MBTA can't be held responsible for that.



Harvard Ave & Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 1999-06-09
 

Now this is more like it! - a concrete barrier between the traffic and the wider trolley platform. Unfortunately, the litter barrel has been placed directly in the already narrow path. This creates a bottleneck as passengers rushing to board the train squeeze by those trying to step off. Sometimes the train stops with the doors right at the litter barrel, so when the doors open, you step right into it and/or the people crammed at the doors.

The barrels are very wisely placed on the platform, but perhaps they should be built into the concrete barrier or be at least half as wide, to allow foot traffic to flow more smoothly. See below...

2002 Update: Many of the trolley stations and shelters along the B line have been replaced. Stay tuned for info.

I would like to know why at least at this particular stop, the driver usually closes the rear doors long before the front doors. This means that all remaining passengers still trying to get on must use the front door, which causes delays as they (hopefully) make their way toward the rear.
---
Hey you! Yeah, you know who I'm talking to: passengers that don't let others get off the bus or train before they start to push their way on. Better watch out if I'm the one stepping down! And if you're stepping off with a pack o' folks standing in your way, make 'em move... don't get pushed to the side ('cause that might be me standing there where I should be, and I'm not the path of least resistance!).


Former Haymarket Station, 1999-03-05
 

On the left is a turnstile that accepts only tokens. The other two take both tokens and magnetic-encoded monthly passes. But when they installed the card readers on the turnstiles, the MBTA didn't remove the old signs. These signs are also typically in poor condition, making legibility difficult.

Note: Haymarket Station has since been moved and rebuilt.


Bus Route 57, 1996-12
 

That's a big-ol' glob o' industrial strength heavyweight grease on that door hinge. And I was lucky enough to brush against it with my leather jacket YUCK! Take it easy on the lube next time, please.


Former Haymarket Station, 1999-03-05
 

I'm not sure what this device is. It looks like a fare box you might find in a bus or trolley, but is located next to a subway entrance turnstile. Whatever it is, it doesn't take "tokens passes" (should that be read as "No tokens OR passes" or "No tokens... Passes ONLY?" I'm not familiar with the horizontal bar as a punctuation mark. Furthermore, there seems to be some special instructions involved with this device, but as you can see it is not necessarily easy to understand.

Doesn't anybody care?

Note: Haymarket Station has since been moved and rebuilt.


Former Haymarket Station, 1999-03-05
 

Nothing wrong with this sign, except that it is located on the INBOUND side of the station. (THE MBTA web site confirms that "Inbound is always toward Boston - Park Street, State, Downtown Crossing, or Government Center. Outbound means away from downtown.")

Note: Haymarket Station has since been moved and rebuilt.

UPDATE 2001-03: YES! IT IS STILL THERE!



Former Haymarket Station, 1999-03-05
 

I'll leave this up to your opinion of accuracy. Speaking for myself, I've never known MBTA subways referred to as a "rapid transit" system. I'm not being snide here when I say I'm more familiar with the term referring to high-speed commuter trains, and not so much to subways.

Note: Haymarket Station has since been moved and rebuilt.


Park Street Station, 1998-11-07
 

Another good idea poorly executed: Electronic LED signs with text that scrolls and flashes "important" information. Unfortunately, these signs have frequently exhibited malfunctions exemplified above. (This is like the video monitors in many MBTA stations that never worked well from the start and have not been maintained or cleaned. Many of them are hard to read because the screens have turned fuzzy with awful colors and picture fluctuations. At least most of the information they display appears to be meaningless, useless or advertising)


Atlanta Airport Shuttle, 2000-05-14

Addendum: During a trip to Atlanta, I noticed that at least aboard the airport shuttles these signs were not only in English, but also Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc. Wow! (Granted, since I don't read these languages, I couldn't vouch for their correctness -- They could just as easily be erroneously multi-lingual.).


Ruggles Station, Orange Line, 2004-10-04
 

It just kept cycling like this, over and over and over...


Harvard Square Station, 1998-10-19
 

Signage at the Harvard Square subway station points commuters and hapless tourists in the wrong direction... maybe. Some of these bus route end points were moved below ground in 1998. I am told that in this case "Upper Level" means "Above Ground." That's confusing, since there is an "Upper Level" and a "Lower Level" for buses below ground. (And they had to put this sign with the "U' right over the expansion joint in the tiles?)

Furthermore... apparently there are buses at Harvard Station that will pick you up above ground or below ground, depending on the day of the week. I don't know if this little bit of 'trivia' is mentioned on signs at the station, but this detail is missing from the printed schedules. I'd hate to be waiting for Bus number 71 or 73 downstairs on Sunday, when it never shows.


Red Line Subway Car, 1998-10-22
 

The newer red line subway cars have computer-controlled destination signs and automatic stop announcements. A great improvement... when they work. On this particular occasion, after each stop the announcements claimed the next stop was always Porter Square... all while we were heading away from Porter, toward Braintree. Okay, I'll admit this one isn't a good point, photographically (but until I add video clips with sound...)


Green Line Trolley, Allston, 1992
 

Simple: The 'B' trolley doesn't go to Lechmere, but you wouldn't know that according to this sign.

Then again, trolleys on the 'B' line are oft to indicate that they are 'D' trains, too, which they are not. Pity the hapless tourist. Imagine the following scenario: An out-of-towner (staying with a friend, relative or at a hotel) takes a "D" train downtown along commonwealth Ave. from Brighton. On the way back, they remember they took a "D" train and board an outbound D train for the return trip. Too bad they should have taken a B train instead, but how were they to know they were misled by official MBTA signage?


Alewife Station, 1992
 

Come to think of it, I guess this covers all bases, since it is never clear according to these signs whether they mean "don't leave the station through this turnstile," or "don't enter this turnstile to leave the station." This is moot anyway, since the turnstiles pivot in either direction and nobody pays attention to the signs. This causes frequent altercations between commuters at both sides of the turnstile attempting to use it simultaneously in opposite directions.

And while we're on the subject, how about an indicator to tell you that your fare has been accepted when entering? There's probably few of us out there who have ridden the subway and not experienced sudden turnstile-related groin discomfort.


Alewife Station, 2001-04-03
 

Bravo. Well, it looks like the MBTA has finally fixed the above confusion. Now half the turnstiles are marked "Not an Exit," while the others are marked "Exit" (this being the view from the platform-side of the turnstiles).

Of course, nobody pays attention to the signs anyway. Interesting that the token clerk was willing to scold me for taking photographs (even though there's no sign that says "no photography"), but wasn't even aware that people were exiting through the wrong turnstiles because she never noticed they had "Not an Exit" signs. She wasn't too interested in preventing this transgression anyway; just in keeping me from photographing the turnstiles.

Have a nice day, lady.

 

This warning is found throughout the MBTA system, on platforms and vehicles. I find the wording strange, if not incorrect grammatically. Why not "Stand behind yellow line," or "Stand back from yellow line?" What's this "of" doing there?


Watertown Yard, 1998-09-14
 

Another example of poor MBTA Signage. Here's one that's ages old, practically illegible, and hiding behind a tree.


Bus and Green Line Trolley, 1998-10-08

Green Line Trolley, 1999-01-15
 

Would someone at the MBTA decide exactly what the policy -- and practice -- is with respect to accepting dollar bills?!? These brand new fare boxes were purchased by the MBTA a few years ago without the ability to accept dollar bills, as they do tokens and coins. In sophisticated transit systems, the fare boxes accept paper money, even if they don't give change. Yes, contrary to the signs posted, many drivers let riders use dollar bills inserted into the little slot on the side of the fare box. This requires the rider to fold and stuff the bill into the inconvenient slot, or envelope (if they're available). The driver eventually has to use a prodding tool to force the money into the machine. Ultimately, the machine sometimes gets clogged. However, at other times drivers refuse to accept dollar bills. So riders also never know whether they actually need correct change or not. And what happens when the fare goes up to $1.00 or more? (guaranteed investment tip: buy .85 tokens... they'll increase in value overnight soon).

Note that my experiments with pennies have proven that they work quite well with the fare boxes. The only caveat with pennies -- as with any large amount of change -- is that you must drop only a few coins into the fare box at a time to prevent jamming.


Bus, 1998-10-08
 

This may sound like a stupid question, but what does this sign mean? All MBTA buses now sport this highly visible sign, which I interpret to mean that passengers always enter via the front door and exit via the rear door. Yet neither the driver nor the passengers seem to follow this instruction.


Bus, 1998-10-08
 

Oh, goody! - A new sign on MBTA buses. And what for? It seems that somebody there is being paid well to come up with all these signs, but nobody appears to be in charge of 'follow-through' -- making sure that all these rules are being obeyed. Are they all necessary?

I guess it's a worthless cause anyway, since the public address systems aboard all MBTA vehicles (buses, trolleys and trains) are so abysmal that you often can't hear or understand announcements, even when they are made. (That and my suspicion that our otherwise very talented and hard-working drivers are just bad at enunciation).


Bus, 1998-10-08
 

I'm not done yet!!! Here's a useless item, mostly because of where it's placed. This sign is posted below the driver's seat. It is clearly visible to riders when they enter a bus, but it is the least likely thing a driver will be reminded to do as they are driving or exiting the bus. This would be better placed on or near the dashboard, I would think.



Allston, Summer, 1993
 

Who says there's never a bus around when you need one? Why there's three number 66 in a row right here! And there's another bus going the other way. The only problem is that instead of one bus every ten minutes for half an hour, you end up with three in a row and then none maybe for half an hour. I don't understand how they can get bunched-up like that if they all leave from a station at the right time, they should still be ten minutes apart no matter how heavy traffic is. It's the trip duration that changes because of traffic, and the schedule accounts for that (or it's supposed to). Am I thinking wrong, here?

Speaking of schedules, I'm curious why on the printed schedules you might see something like "every 15 minutes between 8 am and 9:30 am" followed by "9:45 am, 10 am, 10:15 am, 10:30 am," followed by "every 15 minutes between 10:30 am and 11:30 am." It would be easier just to say "every 15 minutes between 8 am and 11:30 am," wouldn't it?


Miscellany that does not lend itself to photography, or is yet to be photographed:

 

[MORE MBTA PHOTOS and LINKS (NOT ABSURD - JUST INTERESTING)]
(Updated 1999-11-28)


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