While sweating on a hot and humid subterranean MBTA platform watching packed trains come and go one typically ponders upon many things. Will I ever get out of here? Who are all these people and where are they going? Why do I have more fans in my apartment than this T station? Did it get even hotter down here? Has it really only been two minutes or are the T counters falling into a black hole causing time to tick much slower?
And the biggest one always on all our minds:
Can we fix this shit?
Now that the Boston 2024 Olympics are definitely not happening and won’t make everything better with magic, I can’t help but think about a few seemingly easy to fix problems.
- MOAR fans
- Countdown displays outside the stations
- Express trains
- All door loading
As a near daily user of the wonderful thing that is the green line T platform at Park Street I don’t workout in the morning as just standing at Park Street seems to do the job. I know times are tough and they’re really just a band-aid on shitty ventilation but can we get a couple more fans to at least give us the illusion of air flow?
Nothing better than walking down into a station, paying your fare and seeing a 20 minute wait time for the next train. Apps help, when they have accurate real-time data. But displays outside the station don’t require a smartphone and can let you decide to just keep walking.
Whatever happened to these? Seemed in my youth commuting to Boston Latin School via the Red Line and Green Line every morning there would be countless express trains. Now I get on one maybe once or twice a year. There’s times and certain paths where a large majority of passengers are traveling beyond the core. For instance the Braintree line during rush hour.
Running express trains would get long distance travelers there quicker and free up space on internal destinations.
And we should ideally rarely have stacking problems but when there’s three separate B line Green line trolleys coming down or going up Commonwealth Avenue for the love of logic send the first one express and allow the second and third to service the other stops!
I don’t care if the T ends up making a net gain on the front door only policy. However, that net gain better include the cost of waiting at each station for indeterminate amounts of time causing varying costs due to loss of heat / AC, customer frustration and all the other negative externalities created by this absurd policy. Green line trolleys have three doors, use them all!
Now, I’m no big city transit engineer but these seem like easy, cheap and quick things to fix. And they would make things that are absolutely miserable experiences now at least bearable. Or maybe they wouldn’t, but I know for sure they’d help the daily T traveller a whole lot more than spending billions on a two week long party for elite athletes and elite elites.