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Leaving is always the hardest part; long delays at North Station to start

Line to get into North Station

"So much for getting home early for Halloween," T.J. Winnick sighed upon seeing the line just to get into North Station, never mind to his train - a line that stretched down Causeway past the Tip O'Neill building.

About 15 minutes earlier, the line only reached back to almost Portland Street:

The T told one rider:

We are currently queuing outside for trains at North Station and passengers won't be let in until a short time before their train's scheduled departure. We will also be queuing inside tonight for passengers traveling to Salem.

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Just saw a tweet from someone who took orange line to Malden and got his train there. For westbound, maybe Porter. Otherwise...ouch.

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Voting closed 19

Traffic sucked eggs but several Lowell bound coworkers joined me on the 326. They weren't alone in getting to West Medford that way.

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Voting closed 13

This was completely foreseeable by anyone who looks at a commuter rail schedule.

The commuter rail is close to useless for anyone who has to be in Boston after 10 a.m. and who needs to leave before 4:30, with trains scheduled every 90-120 mins mid-day. There is hardly enough equipment on a normal day to accommodate everyone who wants to ride, and that's when no trains break down.

And today was not one of those days, with a Fitchburg train delayed over two hours (yes, in 2018 the ride from Fitchburg to Boston took some riders over three hours this morning).

https://twitter.com/MBTA_CR/status/1057630843831750656

On top of it all, numerous tweets show that few tickets were collected from the one-time rider parade-goers (i.e. non-pass holders), yet the T has the funds for an army of 25+ "ticket checkers" to hassle commuters daily at North Station and Back Bay, backed up by T police, when those same passes will be checked 5-10 minutes later on-board.

The winter of 2015 wasn't a fluke. It just exposed the horrible way in which the commuter rail is managed (and treated and funded as solely a commuter service, not a regional rail network that would enhance mobility seven days a week and throughout the whole day). Today's parade-goers got to see for themselves on a larger scale what commuters experience daily.

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Voting closed 106

.Today's parade-goers got to see for themselves on a larger scale what commuters experience daily.

Been using commuter rail on a daily basis for over 28 years, and I respectfully disagree with that statement. While I've seen some bad delays, especially during winter storms, I have NEVER experienced anything that even came close to what happened this afternoon.

Yes, the problem is lack of foresight. Lack of foresight on the part of the MBTA and Keolis for not anticipating the need to revise their schedules to reflect crush load crowds earlier in the day than usual. And press conferences and statements to the effect of "We plan on running extra trains as necessary" don't cut it - they need an ACTUAL detailed schedule in place that they can show the public well before the day of the event.

After all, it's not like this is the first time we've ever had a championship parade in Boston, and I doubt it will be the last. Yet, every time the MBTA (and the City of Boston) always seem to act surprised when they give the minimal notice to the public that "Hey, we're having a parade."

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Voting closed 39

Look, anyone who follows the CR knows that they do not have enough equipment to reliably operate their normal schedule. We can talk about who is responsible for that, but the short and long of it is that it is a known issue that cannot be solved with anything short of procuring additional equipment, which (shouldn't but) will take years. There simply is little or no "spare" equipment to be pressed into service on days like this.

Another known issue is that on Halloween, the afternoon peak ridership gets moved up by several hours into the early afternoon. People leave early so that they can be with their kids in the suburbs for Halloween activities. This happens every. single. year.

Still another known issue is the huge additional numbers of people using the CR to go to Salem on Halloween.

All of the foregoing were/are known issues involving the CR.

I'm sorry, but the fact that the City basically said, 'we don't GAF' about any of that and insisted on holding a large public event on that day, well, the T and Keolis can't help that. If the parade had been held today (Thursday), we wouldn't have had half of the problems that we saw yesterday (there would have been some, mostly up to people who don't normally ride public transportation riding public transportation - they suck at it).

I do not typically come down on the side of the T and Keolis, and certainly they often screw the City, but yesterday, the City screwed the T and Keolis (and everyone else).

I would like to think that MassDOT and even the Governor would have been thoughtful enough to call the Mayor and say "don't do this", but given what I know about the people involved, I would be surprised to learn that happened. Basically, I view the debacle yesterday as being caused by a negligent (and I hope not willful) lack of thoughtfulness and coordination.

*edit: to be clear, I didn't intend so much to "reply" to roadman, but more to put my $.02 on the thread.

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Voting closed 24

They have enough equipment to run about every 20 minutes on each line at rush hour.

The 90 minute+ gaps in the middle of the day were not due to equipment constraints. Running an extra train in the middle of that gap would have helped clear the crowds.

I realize it takes less equipment to run a batch of trains in the peak direction than to run that level of service both ways all day. But they still could have done better.

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Voting closed 9

And, with each championship parade, I'm getting the impression that the City's attitude is increasingly "let's get this over as quickly as possible." That appeared to be the case yesterday, with both the faster pace of the parade as opposed to previous ones, and the decision to not hold a post-parade rally at City Hall Plaza.

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How are they handling people needing to get to different lines at different times? Do you just get in line and hope for the best?

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and Reading/Haverhill lines. West entrance was for Lowell and Fitchburg lines.

Big line on Causeway Street went to Lovejoy Wharf. At Lovejoy Wharf, it split into three cattle chutes, one for Rockport, one for Newburyport, and one for Reading/Haverhill. Almost no line in the chute for Newburyport, big line (that actually extended down Lovejoy Wharf) in the chute for Rockport, and nobody in the chute for Reading/Haverhill.

The chutes ended at the entrance to the covered walkway, which people weren't allowed to enter until just before a specific train was supposed to depart.

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Voting closed 12

How did people reach inn the end of the line blocks away from the station know where to go?

How much did it delay trains herding everyone in just a few minutes before departure?

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Voting closed 9

I’m here right now. It’s crazy. Yabaaaaa dabbbbbba. Dooooooookkkkkkkkk. I’m going cwazy

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Voting closed 17

I hope, with all the construction being added around and on top of North Station, that the Baker administation has plans in place to allow better flow into and out of North Station. This isn't just an issue after parades, it just makes it more obivious.

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Voting closed 17

Charlie got driven in for the parade and didn't have to mingle with the nobodies waiting for trains, ergo there's nothing to be concerned with

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Voting closed 22

Yes, the new development will include a new entrance in the center, with much better access from Causeway St.

It will also include a direct entrance from the subway station.

Baker gets no credit for this though, it's a private development.

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Voting closed 13

(deleted comment)

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Voting closed 8

Looks as though it worked perfectly. Queuing up single file? That's a pretty orderly crowd. And it shrunk by half within ten minutes? And, there were extra trains? And, it wasn't raining or snowing?

What am I missing?

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Voting closed 9

The daily commuters holding monthly passes that felt waiting in line did not apply to them, and were very surprised by a crowds presence on Halloween/parade day at rush hour.

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Voting closed 12

What the hell happened here?

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A whole bunch of people start leaving around 3pm when the MBTA isn't yet ready for rush hour.

Add in the annual Salem Witch Events and ...

If you work downtown and have been through a rally or five, this was totally predictable.

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begins at 2pm every weekday, when many of the schools start letting out.

Trains and buses are packed between 2 and 7 pm.

Traffic on the highways also starts around 2pm. Only a few hours between 10 and 2 have less traffic these days.

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Voting closed 9

It seems that the conductors had trouble checking all the tickets on the inbound trains. To then be delayed on your way home, when you already paid full price would be aggravating.

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Voting closed 11

Too many people to walk down the aisle and collect. It's as predictable as the regulars wailing about their monthly passes and the sanctity of the quiet car.

Everyone knew it would by a disaster. I worked from home while others prefer to have something to complain about.

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Voting closed 8

Not everyone gets the luxury of working from home any day they choose.

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Voting closed 8

"Not everyone gets the luxury of working from home any day they choose."

I say that every time the self-righteous work-from-homers chastise people on this site who are out and about during snowstorms because they HAVE to get to work. The work-from-homers act as if it is almost one's patriotic duty to stay home and off the roads and refuse to realize some simply do not have this luxury. Some jobs require a physical presence, even during storms.

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Voting closed 4

Your heart must feel very light without the burden of empathy.

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about the queues at North Station and Back Bay "this afternoon."

The only problem? I received it at 1:53 AM this morning!

I missed the parade due to work, but when I went to Back Bay Station around 3:45 there was still a queue for Providence trains. I did an Orange --> Red --> Silver commute and it was pretty normal. I didn't want to chance waiting for a commuter rail to South Station with all the delays.

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Voting closed 16

Separate of this instance.. it still blows my mind that they wont hold/alter commuter rail schedules for Bruins/Celtics/Garden events.

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