‘Oh, for T’s sake!’ Are some MBTA riders too finicky?

Some finicky T riders get upset over the tiniest T slip ups.

While browsing through Twitter, it’s easy to see that the vast majority of T riders seem less-than-impressed with the transit agency.

From service delays, to busted AC systems – the MBTA fields a plethora of complaints from riders every day.

But in the big scheme of things, it’s hard not to ask: are some riders just too picky?

In July, San Francisco’s rapid transit agency had to shut down escalators so a HAZMAT team could remove a “treasure trove” of human feces, which clogged the equipment, and in June, a woman was attacked by a rat in a New York City’ subway – which is riddled with rodents.

And despite the recent fare hikes, Boston’s public transportation is still among the cheapest in the U.S. – besting San Francisco and New York City.

But it is apparent that many riders are easily riffed by trains arriving 10 minutes apart, announcement being made too loudly, or too softly, or an over-full trash can.

Even with improvements like new countdown signs at some stations, which T officials say are meant to help them better plan their trip, some will find reasons to complain.

@burpleyak tweeted Monday, “Next Ashmont train in 12 minutes”. How is this new #mbta countdown feature not depressing? :-( Ignorance is bliss!”

MBTA Spokesman Joshua Robin said the T’s philosophy on whacky complaints is “the more feedback, the better.”

“We do get a huge volume of tweets. We literally see well over 100 per hour,” Robin said. “We appreciate seeing all of it. At a minimum we know what’s going on.”

Some riders will contact the MBTA over issues that are seemingly out of the transit agency’s control.
On Sunday, a perturbed rider tweeted the MBTA, “Big guy falling asleep on me on the T, and it’s not even cute anymore. @MBTAgm come on guys.”

“We get everything from delays, to someone else looking at them on the train,” Robin said.

“Sometimes they’ll contact us to tell us that the person sitting across from them is hot… Those are the ones that we smile at.”

Frequent T rider Jason Alexander stood waiting for his 7 bus during rush hour yesterday, which he admitted can sometimes be “a nightmare.” Regardless, he said, the T does not deserve half the flack it gets from riders.

“I think the T runs pretty well. I take it four or five times a day. They do the best they can getting back and forth,” Alexander said. “I lived in New York City and the train there was horrible. The T is so much better.”

What’s your take?

[View the story "Oh, the T horror!" on Storify]


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