So I foolishly went to Brookline Village this morning around 9am to run errands, thinking it’s past rush hour and the D line is fast so I can’t possibly miss my connection downtown. It’s not like two trees were going to fall on the D line in the space of a week, was it? Was it?
Well, somehow I’m always around for these things. I strolled down to the Brookline Village stop, but it was crawling with T workers. Any time you see a live T worker (as opposed to a CharlieCard machine) these days it’s a bad sign. The more T workers, the worse the situation is going to be.
I kept strolling towards the station though, because although there were two trains parked on the outbound track, the inbound track was clear and I was headed inbound. A T worker swiftly disabused me of my illusions of mass transit. He said there was a police action at Beaconsfield (two stops outbound) and the D line would be out of service for an hour. Go catch a bus to the C line, he added.
I was tempted to wait around and see if an inbound train came anyway, because T workers don’t necessarily know when the trains run or where the busses stop (even if they’re driving them at the time). This one seemed to think the 60 goes to the C line, when it actually goes to Kenmore. In fact, the comments at Bad Transit reveal that at least one inbound train in fact did come through Brookline Village, but at that point every police siren in Brookline was wailing its way Beaconsfield-ward and I figured the D line was really out of commission for the time being.
Fortunately I have a clue and I not only know which bus really goes to the C line but also which one is most likely to show up long after rush hour. I was already hosed as far as making my connection downtown went—the T stops for no man—but I gave it a shot anyway.
There were some very confused folks right behind me (perhaps refugees from the parked trains) as I was walking to the 66 stop who later tried to explain to the bus driver about the police action at Beaconsfield and that they’d already paid (quite a bit—the D line costs more than the regular subway, never mind a bus). He said he hadn’t heard about it, but he let them on the bus for free anyway. I asked the driver to announce the Coolidge Corner stop for them, since they didn’t seem to know the C line from the commuter rail. In that helpful MBTA way, he didn’t, but they managed to follow the more clueful commuters off the bus. The last I saw of them they were headed for the outbound platform; I certainly hope they meant to go outbound.
Of course I missed my connection (the legendary bus to the ‘burbs that runs once every hour and a half) and hours later when I finally got to work we speculated in vain about the police action. I googled it tonight, and according to the Brookline TAB it was a “bogus bomb scare” reported by a guy who thought his luggage was vibrating. I’m sure it was, along with everything else on the train, until he brought all D line service to a screeching halt for half the morning. (The article says it happened at 10am but I heard the sirens and got turned away from Brookline Village at 9:45 already. Some BadTransitters report even earlier times.)
I wonder how many more major incidents the D line will have this month—or this week.