Sunday, March 20, 2011

The End?

Perhaps you're wondering why I stopped posting here. Did the MBTA or MBCR suddenly make huge improvements in the Franklin line? Did I die, or flee the country?

No, no, and no. The explanation is much more mundane: I became a telecommuter. After thirteen years in the office, and eight or nine of those years commuting four hours a day from Rhode Island to Boston (round trip), my employer gave me the option to work from home. Deeply as I have always loved the city of Boston, I have to admit that the daily commute was taking a real toll on me. So I agreed.

It's a different life. Instead of waking up to a tortuous alarm clock before the sun rises and forcing my family to get up so they can drive me to the train station, I sleep late and wake up with plenty of time to stroll down the hallway to my work area. I can have lunch with my wife, and see my son as soon as he comes home from school. It's a whole new life, and a better one. I only wish that more people had that option!

But I do take the T in to Boston once in a while for meetings. And on a recent late-night trip home, I took another look at the crumbling staircase at Ruggles. A couple of photos came out clearly enough:

The side of the staircase is deteriorating badly. In this shot, you can actually see through the inner wall all the way through the interior hollow and to the inside of the outer wall. The other side of the outer wall is bulging worse than ever.

On the other side of the staircase, the situation is equally desperate. It's literally falling to pieces, as you can see here. Now, I actually led a T representative physically to this staircase last year and showed him what was going on, and he seemed to realize that there was a real danger. So I can't say why nothing has been done to rectify the situation, although I'd bet a shortage of funds will be blamed.

Other than that, I'm sorry to see that the T's thirty-minute money-back policy is apparently going to be discontinued, if it hasn't been ended already. This is nothing but an encouragement for even worse service.

So...am I glad to be off that train? Well, yes. I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit it. But I'll admit that I miss Boston, and once in a while I miss taking the train. I even miss the comic misadventures, lousy service, and rude conductors (noting, as always, that most conductors are not rude).

I'll continue to keep an eye on things on my rare trips to town, so this isn't the final post. But realistically, there certainly won't be as many posts as I used to make. I just don't have the material any more!

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