The MBTA is run by trained monkeys, only without the training

Tonight at around 9:30, I was at North Station waiting for the orange line to go to Roxbury Crossing.

After waiting about 20 minutes, I heard a garbled announcement saying, "Due to signal construction, we are running shuttle buses in both directions between Haymarket and Oak Grove."

Since I was between these two stations, I assumed this meant no train would be coming. Haymarket and North Station are about 800 feet apart though, so I figured I would walk to Haymarket to catch the train, rather than take a shuttle bus one stop. As I was leaving the station, I noticed an inspector standing there, so I asked him why there were no signs or people directing people or anything.

Him: Yeah, you gotta take the train to Haymarket, then you catch the shuttle bus to Oak Grove.
Me: No, I'm going to Roxbury Crossing. I'm going to walk to Haymarket to get the train. But other than that garbled announcement, there's nothing saying what's going on. I waited for 20 minutes before I knew anything was up.
Him: Oh, Roxbury Crossing is that way.
Me: Yes, I know that; the announcement said there's a shuttle bus between Haymarket and Oak Grove. So that means the train isn't stopping here, right?
Him: This is North Station.
Me: Yes, and we're between Haymarket and Oak Grove. If they're running shuttle bus service on the part of the line we're on, doesn't that mean the train isn't coming here, hence the need for the shuttle bus?
Him: The shuttle bus is running from Haymarket to Oak Grove.

[train pulls into the station]

Me: Is that train in service?
Him: Yeah, the train turns around here and goes back to Forest Hills.
Me: OK, if you could have the announcement say that the train is in fact stopping at North Station, that would be helpful so people don't think they have to walk to Haymarket like I was about to.
Him: The announcement doesn't say anything about North Station.
Me: Exactly.


jeff said...

I think we're insulting monkeys here - they'd probably do a better job running the T.

This morning was complete chaos on the D-line, the signals were down and no one was saying anything. When we finally got to a stop (which took 1/2 an hour), I ended up walking over to the C-line just to get into the city.

eeka said...

Yyyeah, if there'd been a monkey at Roxbury Crossing this morning, it could have gotten me out of the elevator instead of having to call the T police (on my cell; intercom just screeched at me) and wait for them.