Archive for December, 2008


Monday, December 15th, 2008

Only slightly daunted by last month’s epic fail, I returned to the MBTA web site today to buy my usual Outer Express FrankenCharlieTicketPass. I went to the usual spot, Fares & Passes | Bus | Big Green Buy Now Button, and once again the web site refused to sell me a pass, informing me, with a page that looked like it came from the old web site, that I couldn’t order more than four T passes at a time.

Do I look like I’m made out of money? I certainly wouldn’t try to buy $600 worth of January bus passes even if I could find the box for typing the exact number of extra, non-transferable, pricier-than-gas-now bus passes I needed. Once again I tried every browser on my computer at work, even the dreaded Internet Explorer, and they all did the same thing. No pass for me!

I did not write customer service this time, since it evidently did no good last time. Instead, I tried clicking around the web site, in search of a Buy Now button that might work better than the obvious one. And in fact, the tiny little Buy Online link actually led me to a working pass-shopping page, and I got my pass.

I guess someone else wrote customer service, because as of tonight the big green Buy Now button on the Fares & Passes page now leads, not directly to a page where you can buy the thing you clicked on, but instead to the main Buy Online page, where you have to navigate once again to the pass you want.

I suppose a malfunctioning web page isn’t very surprising for an organization that’s so insolvent they’re taking out loans to meet payroll, but the annoying thing is that the website used to work perfectly—well, except for some very poor English and the year it spent not sending out promised email notifications of purchases… Perfectly, let us say, by MBTA standards: eventually, if you waited long enough, you got a pass.

Chillin’ on the D Line

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

I had the exciting experience of waiting half an hour for a D train yesterday morning, with the single-digit windchill and temperatures somewhere south of 20 degrees. Apparently a train froze out past Reservoir, so it took the half hour to turn enough trains around at Reservoir to pick up half an hour worth of frozen commuters and move them downtown.

On the bright side, we were so late that I even missed the emergency back-up bus to Adjacent ‘Burb, so I didn’t have to walk across Adjacent ‘Burb in the single-digit windchill to get to work. Instead I caught the 10:15am express bus to ‘Burb.

There’s nothing like the MBTA in the wintertime…