Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cheerful and Sounds Cute...but does she know the stops?!

It seems lately that my very short morning trips on the Orange Line--2 or 3 stops depending on whether I'm coming from the Commuter Rail (North Station) or 111 bus (Harmarket)--are endless fodder for a daily rant. Today was no exception:
I board the outbound train at Haymarket (yes, I braved the 111 bus; yes I again missed the 6:48 inbound train). We pull into North Station ok and it is announced clearly by this cheerful, cute-sounding conductor (never actually saw her) . But after North Station, she apparently needed a map. Because apparently Haymarket came again... oh no wait, then she corrects herself to say "Community College" (good save!). Leaving Community College, we the riders can tell she's either reading a map--badly--or referencing some badly written notes: *ding dong* "Next stop *pause* *pause* *pause* *pause* pause* "Sullivan Square." Hey, she found the right line in her notes! Interestingly enough, although her stop knowledge was clearly lacking, she very emphatically added that the "escalator on the inbound side, on the left side is out of service," and repeated it again, with the correct station name still fresh in her mind as we entered Sullivan Square Station. Leaving, I could here walking up the steps as the train pulled away, *ding dong* "Next stop *pause* pause* *pause* pause*.... I wanted to shout Wellington! down the stairs, but that that's not professional... and I am professional.
I think what bothers me the most about her and other T conductors is that (and here I go comparing the MBTA rapid transit to NYCT again) while the conductors there, especially on the A, C, E, J, G, N, Q and R lines not only know the stops 99% of the time, but also which and where to catch connecting trains, e.g. "upstairs, across the platfrom for the ... local," the T conductors have about 90% accuracy--in a system 1/5 as large!


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