According to the BostonNOW! article in the last post, the MBCR claims that only one out of their 333 commuter rail coaches lacks working air conditioning.
Tonight on the way home I learned otherwise.
The train was my usual, the #715 Franklin departing South Station at 4:10 PM. It had six single-level coaches, the usual inadequate complement. And of those six, two of them - coaches #641 and #629 - had no air conditioning. The temperature outside was in the low 90s, and in the middle of the coaches it had to be close to 100 degrees if not higher.
People packed themselves into the other cars like sardines. It was literally impossible to squeeze any more people in. I saw young children in the hot coaches, fussing and asking their parents over and over when they'd be able to get off.
I also saw that although coach #516 had working AC, the door was broken on one side. It was stuck more than half-open, making the AC pretty ineffective on that end of the coach. There was a repair tag stuck to the door handle dated 7/31.
So the so-trustworthy T claimed that only one coach in their entire fleet lacked working AC. This was repeated as fact in the BostonNOW! article. But I can testify that as of today, August 2nd 2007, at least TWO coaches lacked AC - and that was only on a single train! If you see a coach without working AC, please note the coach number if you can (it's located on the inside doors and on the roof near both ends of the coach) and record it here.
I have a very hard time believing that those are the only two coaches in the fleet without AC. But I find it very easy to believe that the MBCR just decided it would be easier to lie to the press and the public, figuring that they wouldn't be caught.
Or maybe a second coach broke down the minute after the spokesman spoke to the reporters, and the MBCR decided to put their only two broken coaches on the Franklin #715. How likely does that sound?