After seeing that T employees are capable of showing enthusiasm these days – something I hadn’t thought possible after the last few months – I was inspired to make sure the head of my T line (Red) knows that I know that something is seriously wrong. Rather than just complaining about it on my blog (and on many, many, many tweets), why not take advantage of the “Write to the Top” feature on the MBTA website?

I wrote John Hynes, head of the Red Line, this morning. I’ve included the text of that email below. I’ll be letting you know what Mr. Hynes includes in his response. Because there will be a response, right? The T does care about passengers who aren’t Hollywood actors, right?

I’ll keep you posted.

John Hynes
MBTA Red Line Chief
45 High Street, 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02110

Dear Mr. Hynes:

As a Red Line commuter, I have been directly affected by the increasing number of delays in service experienced on the Red Line over the course of the last year–particularly by the now daily disruptions experienced in recent months. I’ve been shuttled, I’ve gotten off Ts to walk, I’ve seen my text message inbox flooded with T alerts, and I’ve come to add at least 20 minutes to my travel time “just in case the Red Line dies again.” I’ve listened to T operators say in a bored, disengaged monotone that they apologize for any inconvenience and that there’s another train directly behind.

There is never another train directly behind, Mr. Hynes. We all know this. And yet they say it anyway.

On Saturday evening, however, I did see exemplary Red Line service. Personalized Red Line service. Service that was so hands on and considerate that I wondered if I’d inadvertently walked into another public transportation system–or the Hollywood-ized take on what Red Line service should be.

Turns out, I was half right. The T is willing to step up and take care of passengers … if that passenger happens to be a movie star.

As I wrote in an entry on my blog–which has been picked up by several Boston websites–I was waiting for an inbound Red Line train at the Davis station on Saturday evening when T workers escorted Anna Faris (movie star) and movie extras over to my waiting area and, when the train arrived, onto my car. While it was remarkable to see the manner in which Ms. Faris was treated by the T–kudos, truly– it is incredibly depressing to realize that someone like me, an individual who buys a T pass every month, who utilizes your services at least twice a day every single day, must endure daily inconvenience and delays without even a sincere apology, while your employees bend over backwards so as to make the experience pleasant for an actor who will be leaving Boston at the end of filming.

Not to mention that, given all the T alerts that are texted to me, you couldn’t bother to send me one letting me know that the T was running with delays that evening. Or that the station would be closed the next day.

The MBTA is in serious trouble. It’s been noted, it’s been reported. You know it and I know it. As budgets and services and details are examined, Mr. Hynes, I ask you to think about directing your employees to show one iota of the care and consideration I saw directed at Ms. Faris on Saturday evening toward your regular passengers. You’d be amazed what a little good will and sincerity will do for passenger morale and MTBA support.

Cordially,
Victoria Welch

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