Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More of the Same

(Originally Posted January 4, 2007)

Today I was in town for the Deval Patrick inauguration, an excuse for me to ride around the system for the first time since the big fare increase earlier this week. It seems that many have already adjusted to some of the changes, but there is a long road ahead before everyone comes to terms with the more drastic ones.
Most notably today, the D line seems to have two very different personalities -- Fenway to the Brooklines, where there were two MBTA officials at each station monitoring the doors for outbound fare collection; and the rest of the line, where not one MBTA employee was seen even near any of the stations, aside from Riverside. The result? Continuing "free" outbound fares. I disembarked at Newton Corner to run an errand, and when I got back on to head for Riverside, I was the only one who paid (and I had a pass). Everyone else got on the rear doors. No announcement was made. Chestnut Hill was much the same, except here NOBODY paid a fare, with some walking right past the farebox. After closing the doors, the driver made an announcement "announcing" the collection of outbound fares, and to "please" come up and pay. One person did, everyone else remained hidden. The train pulled away with no further comment.

I do pity all of the trolley and bus operators who must enforce policies beyond their control, but the lack of presence at the outer D line stations is concerning. I had thought at first that this Proof-of-Payment business wouldn't last till Summer, but after experiencing it first hand, I'm not sure it will make the Spring.

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