A train story, part III


Welcome to another edition of Train Stories, the third installment in our 88-part series. We are now on pace to finish this saga around the time I receive my first Social Security check.

The T in Boston is a whole different beast than Metro North in New York, with its squeaking and heavy brakes and the fact that it has to compete with cars and pedestrians. Let’s compare the two:

– On a Metro North train, you have a 98% chance of finding a seat. On the T, this drops to 40%.

– The Metro North train travels 45 miles in 45 minutes. The T travels 6 miles in 45 minutes.

– A one way peak ride on Metro North is $14. The T is $2.

Let’s call it a wash. Maybe the T should be compared to something like the subway instead – either way, it’s a wholly inefficient and sub-standard metro line. I’m talking about the green line, specifically.

But it’s all we have. You get used to it.

This has been a pretty wild week for the T and their employees. There have been delays each day, which has caused massive overcrowding. I’ve been on overcrowded T’s before, but it is much more enjoyable when it involves a bunch of college kids instead of a bunch of angry commuters.

At one of the stops, a man could not get on the train. He started yelling. I couldn’t hear what he said, but he got everyone’s attention. He was making such a scene that the driver had to get out of the car, which only exacerbated the already long delays.

It is always an interesting sight to see someone freak out in public, whether it’s the T, the mall, the grocery store, or anywhere else in public. This doesn’t happen often, and it’s a rare treat when you come across it.

How are you supposed to respond? Do you ignore it? Do you laugh? Do you make knowing faces at the other passersby*, with a quick roll of the eyes that says Who does this guy think he is?

*Passersby – the correct plural form of passerby.

I laughed. So did everyone else. The whole T of strangers, exhausted from the day’s work, finally had something to break the monotony of the commute. Headphones came out, eyes perked up, and people tried to catch a glimpse of this crazy man.

And then the doors closed, the man was escorted away, and the commute rolled on.


7 thoughts on “A train story, part III

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