Category Archives: MBTA / MBCR

Letter to Bob Stoetzel (MBTA Commuter Rail Chief )

This letter pretty much sums up all of my feelings about my MBTA Commuter Rail experience the last four years. I am beyond hating using their service. The MBTA is always promising changes and they never come. Here is the letter:

Hi Bob,
First off I want to let you know that I have a 3 hour total commute daily. My total daily commute used to be 4 hours when I had to commute from North Station to Back Bay. I am a professional commuter and am pretty pissed at the MBTA commuter rail service.

The 7:20 train from Fitchburg (412) has not been on time into North Station in three weeks. It stops in the station 10 minutes late every F-ing day!! I have lost almost two hours of my time in the last two weeks.

TODAY (10/27/05) the train was 30 minutes late when it finally stopped at North Station. There were no public announcements and the conductors never reported it to the Controller. The signs along the route kept reporting that all trains were on time. The Fitchburg conductors never report when their trains are running late – NEVER. If they are already running 30 minutes late at the beginning of the route they report it other wise they don’t. I was told by a Fitchburg conductor that 10 minutes late wasn’t late and to stop complaining. Today they were 30 minutes late and the idiots still didn’t report it. They are always trying to cover their asses.

Any train running 10 minutes late or more should be reported and the signs at stations should be updated to report this. It isn’t a hard concept. I have been taking the Fitchburg line going on 4 years and the service sucks. The service sucks even more because of the price hike almost two years ago. I haven’t seen the service change AT ALL!!

Can someone please enforce some RULES and make the controllers keep track and report when trains are late? When a train sits outside of North Station for 15 minutes it isn’t in the station. THAT IS A LATE TRAIN TOO!!

I pay $200 a month and have never once come into North Station at the scheduled time.

BTW: The Lowell line is terrific but I have to drive 20 miles to grab that train.

Thanks for your time
-Ken Villines

Final Note:
There needs to be a better compensation structure when trains are late. If a train is 15 minutes late a person should get a single one way ticket. When a train is 30 minutes late we currently get two tickets. I don’t know how many times a train, I am on, rolls into the station 23-25 minutes late. That is no different then 30 minutes late in the minds of the rank-and-file using your service.

MBTA Fitchburg Express No-Show

It seems so ironic that the new Fitchburg express (Train 408) into Boston never showed up today because the train broke down. The MBTA just added this train to the schedule to try and hush the grumbling of so many unhappy commuters on that line. The unhappiness is because of so many years of terrible service and because the MBTA raised the monthly pass cost $30 and $40 for areas past West Concord, MA. The raise went into effect in February for all MBTA lines but the Fitchburg line is notorious for late trains and trains that don’t show. Why pay more for the same bad service? “So we can fix the problems” was the MBTA answer. How is adding an express train that has been late four times since its maiden voyage fixing the problems? In fact the maiden voyage train broke down and wound up being 5 minutes late.
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