Friday, September 01, 2006

MBTA does get back to you!

I've been meaning to post this for a while (been *busy*, surprise surprise). Fed up with the level of the service on the Green Line between North Station and Lechmere post-North Station complex rebuild, I went on the MBTA website for the "Write to the Top" section where you can write in to the chiefs of each of the MBTA branches with compliments (ha!), concerns and complaints. The following is my e-mail to said Chief of the Green Line Brian Dwyer and a response from his "office," made by (presumably Chief Assistant) Donna McLaughlin [e-mail addresses and other e-mail additives have been removed]:

"Dear Brian Dwyer,
As someone who has faithfully ridden the E line for years it came as a shock to me that that after the North Station subway rehabilitation project was all said and done, assistance from the D line was removed between North Station and Lechmere. How could such a decision to *decrease* service over this section of track possibly be made when you consider the spike in volume of people going to the Museum of Science with the increase in staging at that location of the Boston Duck Tours, as well as the steady stream of people going to and from the Cambridgeside Galleria? I hardly stand alone (literally, on a platform) when I say that it is ridiculous to wait as
long as 20 minutes *during rush hour* for an E train to or from North Station and Science Park or Lechmere. And there is nothing more insulting to be going outbound and have two or three trains *in a row* make North Station the last stop, dumping all their passengers who wish to continue on, further adding to the crowd already on the platform. I highly advise you and your
board to consider increasing the level of service to *at least* what it used to be--you are currently not only doing a great disservice to the Museum of Science and Cambridgeside Galleria by removing valuable ridership and patronage who have become disgusted with the lack of service, but also the joint Cambridge-Somerville communities as well. Thank you for your time
and concern.

"Donna McLaughlin
to me, Brian

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the E line. Please accept
my apology for any inconvenience you experienced due to a delay in
service. We are currently using all of our vehicles during rush hours
and are covering all trips on the Green Line. We are receiving new #8
LRC vehicles and the fall schedule calls for additional service on all
lines.

We appreciate your patronage.

Best Regards,
Donna McLaughli"

So there you have it, folks. The fall schedule calls for "additional service"....and the fare hikes. The question is which happens first (my money's on the latter). My main beef has always been the blatant lack of service on the E line while the other three branches of the Green Line (Mattapan High-Speed Line notwithstanding), such especially the bloated B line, see trains a lot more frequently. That the E line, being the least frequent would be the only line to go all the way to Lechmere after the North Station reconstruction was very insulting; D line service should be extended to Lechmere again. Admittedly, the E does seem to be doing a lot better about keeping it's every-ten-minutes peak-time schedule; when you stand on the Green Line outbound platform waiting that long or more for the next E train, having just missed the last one, meanwhile Orange Line trains breeze in and out every four minutes, it is, again, rather insulting. At one time I thought the Orange Line was the most underperforming line--man, was I wrong.

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