Lately I’ve noticed that that old T cliche, “shuttle buses are on the way,” has been replaced by a newer, more honest line: “the best way to get there is to walk.”
Last Wednesday night (during rush hour, of course), a disabled train or electrical problems (I heard rumors of both) brought all Green Line service at Government Center to a screeching halt. Cops were everywhere, police tape roped off the westbound track, and the eastbound track (to Lechmere) was being used to run an extra-long shuttle train between Gov’t Center and Park Street.
Anyone actually headed to Lechmere was, as they say, SOL. So the cops were actually telling people to go back outside, walk to Haymarket, and catch an eastbound train there. The weather wasn’t bad, for February, and riding a shuttle between Gov’t Center and Haymarket would take longer than the walk.
Today, however was different. As usual, I crawled out of bed and got onto the Green Line. We made it about as far as Pleasant St. before the conductor announced there was a disabled train in front of us and we’d be moving again in a few minutes. This was already the kiss of commuter death for me, since any delay on the Green Line means I miss my connection downtown and get to wait an hour and half for the next bus to the ‘burbs.
We stood there for a while, then moved a few stops. We gave up the ghost at BU East, moving only to cross the street to the actual platform (and not all the way onto the platform, so that we could only use the front door of the second car to get out). Eventually, after a total delay of about a half-hour, the conductor said the train was going out of service, and tossed off that wonderful line about the best way to get downtown being to walk to Kenmore and catch something there.
Which, on a nice spring day, it might be. The day after 17 inches of snow fell on the city, walking from BU to Kenmore was more of a slushy, slippery challenge. (Of course it was nothing compared to the ‘burbs, where it snows more and no one bothers to shovel the sidewalks.) You’d think with half an hour to work on it, the MBTA could have produced some shuttle buses, but no. Pedestrian power is the new T motto.
I got downtown three-quarters of an hour late, leaving me only three-quarters of an hour for breakfast before the next ‘burb bus. All in all, it was a pretty average day on the T.