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Charlie on the MBTA: Governor rides Red Line from Park to Wollaston

No delays at all as Mr. Baker journeyed south to view the all new Wollaston station this morning. No word if anybody asked him how much a T ride costs these days.



Now do something useful.


He decided to take a look at the very unglamorous work being done on the trackbed between Forest Hills and Green Street.

I saw it on the TV Saturday night, but it wasn't picked up in the Globe on Sunday. Adam, much like other bellyachers, opted to ignore this, since to most, it's not important infrastructure work, it's "bustitution."

I guess it's nice that he actually thought about the T twice in a few days for once, but I don't see why getting glamorous photos taken with the people actually doing the "unglamorous" work should give him any more credit here. How about releasing some actual plans of what he's using his power to do to improve the system going forward?


But the MBTA has developed plans to deal with the infrastructure issues on the Orange Line , Green Line, and Red Line (think long term with that one, though.)

And again I will note that politicians love getting their photograph taken at ribbon cuttings. Baker came out to watch a concrete slab get replaced (and since we didn't crawl this morning, I thank the crew for their work.)

I'm on vacation overseas this week, and being in a city where transit is wonderful and reliable (though apologies to the one Dutchman who grumbled that a bus was two minutes late and he had to cross the street instead to grab the tram that was leaving in a minute to the same place) and just works because it's a thing that makes a city great, and knowing in two days I'll be back home holding on for dear life on a crammed bus watching an empty bus on the same route whizz by while we're waiting for a car to let us pull back into the road from the stop, and praying that this isn't the day the Orange Line starts killing its passengers, I just get sad and can't get that impressed that we have a bold plan to make the T somewhat acceptable sometime in the next ten years.


The Dutch think their transit system sucks and people on vacation in Boston think the T is great. The grass is truly greener on the other side of the fence.

I haven't yet found the Dutch local news site that chronicles the multiple-times-daily bedshitting of various GBV vehicles, electric systems and signal problems, hot I'm sure it exists.


But to be fair, I neither live in the Netherlands nor can read Dutch.

The 10:10 local train was delayed this morning, so the 10:14 express train was diverted to make a couple extra stops, so clearly every system has its share of catastrophes

1. Remove Stephanie Pollack from the secretary position before she causes more harm 2. Spotlight the state's current Big Dig debt service and own up to his role in the financing. 3. Shift big ventures to real $, not magic $ - GLX becomes a Lechmere station & viaduct rehab, SCR becomes a Stoughton spur rehab


A smiling Baker complimented the MBTA on its excellent service.

I wonder if Charlie noticed that the only escalators in the entire station are ones that go to the "3rd floor", not to the actual platform...and that there is no "Down" escalator in the entire station! How could they spend $36 million, put in all those elevators & ginormously wide staircases, and forget basic escalators like they had in the OLD station?


only have an "up" escalator and not a "down" escalator (the stairs and elevator cover that). Nothing unusual at all.

But usually the up escalator goes where you want to go (the street for an underground station, or the platform for an elevated station).

At Wollaston, it only goes up to the useless overpass over the tracks, where nobody ever has to go. The actual exit is down to street level.

Now, whether those escalators are actually running is an entirely different topic.

...we call it "stairs".

Fares are so complicated that I bet a lot of regular riders don't know all the details.

Quick, without looking it up, how much do a ride using a CharlieTicket, CharlieCard, monthly pass, 7-day pass, and 1-day pass cost for the subway? How about the bus?

He obviously isn't going to bother with a CharlieCard, let alone a monthly pass, so just ask him how much it would cost to get from Park Street to Wollaston with a CharlieTicket.

What's a Charlie Ticket?

But regular riders know how much it costs to get a monthly pass, and they know how much that cost went up in July.


...Wollaston to Park Street @ morning rush hour

Sunday I decided to check out the "New Wollaston Station". As I was walking up to it I noticed 2 things- one corner of the parking lot was not finished. It was fenced off but they still seemed to have a Transit cop on a detail. They were also putting up a large tent for today's ceremonies, for some reason they had a State Trooper guarding them. Once I got in side it was clean and bright but half the ticket machines were broken, the concrete had large gaps where they paint had not been applied properly.

I went up to the platform and noticed that the maps hadn't been finished yet. Then came the best part. The sign said that the train to Alewife was 3 stops away, 5 minutes later it was still 3 stops away, 10 minutes still 3 stops away, 15 minutes still 3 stops. At that point I gave up and decide to give up and walk home, it would be quicker.

Conclusion- you can pout a pig in a prom dress but it's still a pig.

If there was no line at the working ticket machines, then I see no actual problem for a transit rider. They didn't finish some cosmetic stuff, but so what? Better to open the station than hold it up for stuff like that.

The countdown thing is annoying, but that's because of the derailment -- nothing to do with Wollaston itself.

Want to bet there were Zero fares collected between them all. And did he return to Park st via red line or SUV?


And a transfer of the value of 6 fares from the Governor's Office budget to the MBTA budget would accomplish what, exactly, besides wasting lots of time in the accounting department?

Is a crime. Yes they should have paid just like everyone else

I suspect the fare rules say the Secretary of Transportation doesn't have to pay. The same might apply to the governor.

And it's not fare evasion, any more than it would be if someone doing maintenance work in a station overnight didn't pay to get into the station. They're performing their job in a station as state employees.

He should take the orange line on the weekends when theres bus replacement service. As if bustitution wasn't already slow and frustrating enough, Baker admin has often used intercity buses (Greyhound style) which have only 1 door for loading everyone instead of 2 and a narrow walkway which slows boarding and deboarding (one person one way at a time). And if people have luggage, easy, just load it below the bus.

He should ride the line into Boston at rush hour for a few days, not just ride it to the new station.