Monday, March 03, 2008

No Power to the People

For as long as anyone can remember (or at least since its inception in 1964), the MBTA has always cited its inability to run the "rapid" transit 24-hours a day as needing the 4 1/2 or so hours to do "track maintenance." Why the bus system can't run 24-hours is the subject of an innumerable number of conspiracy theories ranging from the rational-but-lame "there's not enough overnight demand" to the far-fetched-but-reasonable "the T is in cahoots with Boston's cab companies." But, strictly speaking about the trains, you would think that with all that time to work on the tracks sans revenue trains, you wouldn't have the issue of downed/defective overhead wires on the Green Line North Station, an issue that first surface last Thursday and apparently, according to a most recent "T-Alert," has resurfaced today.

To add insult to injury--because why not--you have to ask this question:
Didn't North Station get rebuilt just a few years ago?! I mean, did I miss something where the old elevated E-Line (briefly E and D, but I'm not going to get into that) got torn down and all new tubes, tracks, and overhead wiring were put in for the new underground alignment?. So why, of all places, North Station?!

But forget that for a second--an even bigger slap in the face was that, last Wednesday, a similar overhead wiring issue happened on the Mattapan High Speed Line (a-k-a "The Other Green Line"). In case you missed it, that entire line was down 24/7 for about a year and a half! In other words, that line should be flawless.

It's issues like these that make riders feel, literally, powerless--is it really too much to ask that for the 4 1/2 hours that the system is down, we the riders can be certain that the juice will flow, uninterrupted, for the other 19 1/2? Hopefully downed/defective overhead wiring won't become a running joke like signal problems on the Orange Line which have required scheduled partial or total weekend shut-downs, as well as impromptu weekday shut-downs, between Wellington and Oak Grove, for almost two years now. Hopefully...

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