*Note: This is the first of a series of posts originally written in June as I vacationed across the East Coast.
After arriving at the Boston airport with my family, we boarded a shuttle bus to get to the subway. I at first saw the lack of a direct connection between the airport and the subway as a large restriction. However, the shuttle arrived very quickly, and the ride was short. It did leave me to wonder the frequency of this shuttle during off hours.
After getting to the station, we purchased a pre-paid transit card, scanned it for each family member and walked to the platform. The train (the Blue Line) arrived almost as soon as we got there, and we were off. After a couple of stops, we got off and transferred. The transfer was relatively painless: we simply walked upstairs and boarded the next train that arrived.
However, this new train we boarded (the Green Line) quickly became more and more crowded. Halfway through the trip, the train was very packed and borderline uncomfortably crowded.
We then realized that we were on the train line that served Fenway Park, just an hour or so before a Red Sox game.
The only really negative part of this whole experience was when the train stopped and the power went out for just a couple seconds. The power quickly came back on and the train started moving again, but this should not be occurring on a major subway line in a major American city.
So how is the Boston T? In my short experience of riding it, the frequency seemed pretty good (especially since it was the afternoon on a Saturday) and the train was pretty quick. The brief power outage was inconvenient, but it quickly ended, causing no harm.
Some of the stations and trains looked pretty old and in dire need of some financial assistance. I am not aware of any pending transit cuts in the Boston area, but if anything, this system could use a large financial boost.
This is the same story across America: when will we realize the true value of our transit systems and provide the cash they need instead of just barely letting them slide by?
The Boston T system is a fine example of many American transit systems: old, working relatively well, but just barely hanging on to the edge.
More transit funding NOW!