Driving Under the Influence…[of the newspaper?]

Why, oh why MBTA? Yesterday an MBTA bus driver was caught reading a newspaper while driving. A driver of the car in front of the bus saw the bus driver in his rear view mirror. Sure, creeping on the the person behind you in a stop-and-go traffic isn’t abnormal, but spotting a public transportation driver absorbed in a reading material behind the wheel is quite abnormal.

The random driver obviously snapped a couple shots on his handy dandy Blackberry and sent the pics to MBTA. The bus driver is subsequently suspended without pay for 10 days.

(Picture courtesy of WBZ)

I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but why do we have so many problems with MBTA here in Boston? According to a recent survey conducted by Mercer, Boston is ranked #37 as the nicest city to live in the world. That means we probably have a great standard of living, relatively low crime rates, good education, etc. But no competent public transportation?

While I was in London, all I heard about the T involved derailed green line, delayed B-lines, red line on fire and replacement bus service that never came. Geez!

My life in Boston inevitably depends on the T – especially in inclement weather conditions and to get to and from my internship and jobs.  It sure is frustrating when I have no idea why I have to wait at least 20 minutes for a T to come, why the bus stop is half destroyed or why the bus map doesn’t tell me where the bus stops next. Moreover, why won’t the MBTA website let me see the balance left on my Charlie Card?

MBTA, let’s take baby steps and try to improve this situation. In the near future, if I can see some of these changes, I will seriously love you forever.

1. Let us see the balance of our Charlie Cards on the website! We can already add money or monthly passes online; so it’s a matter of some html works?

2. Air traffic control at airports manage 100’s planes daily. Can’t we hire someone to track where the T is and let us know if there will be a delay? Maybe a system like Brussels where we can see on a digital map where the train is? Maybe a system like London where a board tells us how long until the next bus?

3. I would love love love to be able to sit on clean seats and NOT play frogger around trash on the buses.

4. The awful screech noise pulling into Boylston St. Stop has GOT TO GO.

5. This is one of the more obvious ones – what’s up with lack of trains on B-line? More green line trains, especially B-lines, please.

Every time I get on the T or the bus, I think about the good times in London where public transportation always ran on time, always came when expected and always alerted passengers during delays.

But I do appreciate MBTA when I hear about heroic T drivers and when it gets me to different places. In the end, I remain  a hopeful MBTA passenger, wishing for some improvements in the future!

http://wbztv.com/video/?id=89736@wbz.dayport.com (T Driver Article)

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