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Blue Line riders discover the price of popularity

Crowding on the Blue Line at Maverick Square

You may have read recently that the Blue Line is the exception to declining ridership on the MBTA's subway lines. Lisa Jacobson doesn't just read stuff like that, she lives it: Shortly before 9 a.m. today, she reported from a crowded Maverick Square station:

Typical morning at Maverick Station. Three trains have come by full. This is on a morning with no delays. We can do better. We can make this pain point a bright spot to start our day.



I lived in Jeffries Point c. 2011-2014, and the station has always been like this during rush hour. That station is the most heavily used on the line, and by the time it gets there, its already been packed. I'm not sure this has to do with frequency (since it runs on the 3-4min intervals during this time), rather, with the length of the BL trains. Also, the recent boon in development in the area, coupled with the fact that more students are living there, and taking the train INTO the city more often (rather than outbound to Revere or buses to Lynn), exacerbates the issue. Not sure how long Lisa has been living there, but if she's recent to the neighborhood, she is part of this congestion issue. Not saying that she is a problem, per se, but that line was developed during a vastly different time in regards to population, and the demographic of where people are traveling on the line. My 2 cents. Flame away.

Voting closed 12

The Blue Line was redeveloped in 2008 to have 6-car trains. Before that, they were 4 cars.

The problem is trains every 4 minutes.

The Red Line's signal system chokes on a similar schedule, even though in other cities it's common to run trains every 2 minutes or less. How does the Blue Line handle it Ina normal day?

Voting closed 4

The delay (and there was one) on the Blue Line this morning just before ( AM was due to an announced "police action" at Wood Island Station. I was just arriving at the station and the train was being held while an aggressive man on the platform screamed at the driver (who had exited the train to confront him) and another T employee that he "wasn't the bad guy" and "somebody tried to mace him". I'm surprised there was even an employee at Wood Island, it is frequently unstaffed. And naturally, there were no T police to be found anywhere. I'm not sure how you have a "police action" without any police.

Voting closed 5

All due respect to the former Jeffries' Point resident/commenter above, but here's my take:
I used to ride the Blue Line regularly in the late 80's and early/mid 90's, and then just sporadically again in the past 8+ years. Due to jury duty, I've been riding it from end to end every business day for over 3 weeks now, typically boarding at about 8/8:10 a.m. at Wonderland & arriving at Bowdoin no later than 8:45. It has been kind of amazingly reliable, I confess ... until today. Sure, it gets crowded each day, but another train normally comes right along and the platforms don't seem to get backed up for long in the mornings. Until today. This morning it was the way I remember it from the old(er) days. One train pulled away before I could board at a few minutes after 8. No problem; I can see the next train on the outbound side, which just has to turn around. And yet ... we waited nearly 15 minutes(!) for that next train at the height of morning rush, with delay announcements at multiple stations along the way. Naturally every station was packed, and people crammed into the trains, and more people couldn't fit, and yet they kept pushing to board - because DESPERATION. At Maverick the platform appeared to be about 6 people deep and the people had what looked like anxiety on their faces. Announcement: "Next train is right behind this one." And I heard multiple people mutter, "That's what they said 15 minutes ago" as they continued to push into nonexistent space. This was the first day in over 3 weeks that I had to call to tell the court officer at Suffolk I'd be late, despite arriving at Wonderland ready to go at 8:06 a.m. for a trip that hasn't taken more than 35 minutes in nearly a month. I don't have a lot of theories about why ridership is up, but one possibility is that maybe they usually do a pretty good job with keeping the shortest line in the system on schedule with decent equipment and reasonably well maintained signal systems. So when something like today's fiasco occurs, it's a mess (with zero explanation, I might add).

Voting closed 7

I took the blue line today from Airport since I missed my commuter rail. I got to the station around 8:40, a T- cop was riding up the escalator letting everyone know that the delay was due to police activity somewhere between Wonderland and Airport, causing the crowded platforms. I got lucky timing wise since I only had to wait for one train of sardines before an empty one came around, but there it is.

Voting closed 2

i got on at 850 at maverick an empty train showed up and took almost everyone.

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I called this out not too long ago, and got jumped all over.

[insert stupid Kermit meme]

Voting closed 2

Uber/Lyft is what has diminished transit ridership NATION WIDE. So, it's only natural that people with less money to pay higher ride share prices will continue to ride the buses and trains.

Voting closed 3