Desperate… That’s how I am feeling when I am on the green line heading to BU. Sometimes I would rather die than get on the “T”!
Please forgive me for speaking so truly. It might be due to my French revolutionary background and to the fact that culturally, French tend to be rude and to complain all the time… But honestly, in a city like Boston, how is it even possible to get such a bad transportation service?
I live in Dorchester (I know, this is far away and pretty dangerous some people say but that’s another issue!) and it takes me approximately one hour to go to BU. I have a 15 minute walk until the metro station. Then 15 minutes on the Red line _ which would be a pretty good line if there was more frequent rides_ from Fields Corner to Park Street. This is where the real nightmare begins. I am starting to feel nervous just talking about it…
So here is my “survival guide” for travelling on the T, particularly the green line:
1) Be patient. You don’t know when it is coming anyway… It could be 1 minute as it could be 15 minutes so you’d better think it will never show up to be pleasantly surprised.
2) Leave your high heel shoes at home. You will probably not have a seat, especially during rush hours.
3) Hang on to anything (apart from the bag of the person next to you) because it is worse than rodeos sometimes!
4) Consequently, forget about drinking a coffee while reading your book. Even if you are lucky enough to get a seat, there is a probability of 80% that something bad involving hot liquid happens to you.
Seriously speaking, Boston’s public transportation is far from being ideally designed. Have a look at the T map. It has the shape of a star with every line joining the city center. Your first reaction could be “That’s great! You can reach all directions from the center!” But then you realize “Oh God I have to reach the center first before going anywhere else!”
I can remember someone saying how happy he was with Boston’s public transportation but most probably he has never been to London, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Singapore, Montreal… or even closer to New York where the metro is running 24/7! A city like Boston, full of students and tourists definitely deserves a decent transportation service.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. But doing some research about the subject, I found this very interesting paper
Hopefully it will give aspiring urban engineers food for thought…