Thursday, July 7, 2016

Transit Tales: A Rather Troublesome Commute

I was doing my daily commute to my summer job in Central Square. Unfortunately, as I got down to Alewife, I had just missed a train. "Oh well," I thought. The next one would still get me there on time. OR WOULD IT???

No, it would not. Things seemed fine at first, although we did leave Alewife rather slowly. At first I thought it was because we had to switch tracks, but nope - we were on the right one already. So why were we going so slow? And why was the train making such an ear-piercing screeching noise? A little past the Alewife crossover, the train stopped entirely.

This was where it got weird. The driver's radio was broadcasting over the entire car: "Train 01735! Train 01735! Can you hear me? Move to another part of the car where we can hear you." A few minutes later, the driver left her cab. "You guys can hear me, right?" She asked the few people on board. We all said yes, and she pointed to the radio and said "I guess she can't. I'm out of power!" Well, that didn't sound good.

The driver moved to some other part of the train, and we sat there in silence for a few minutes. Finally, she came back and disappeared into the cab, coming out with a reflective vest on. She left again, and returned after another few minutes with another worker. They both went into the cab, and the train started making some very interesting noises.

Luckily, whatever they did seemed to help, and we started moving again! Good, perhaps I could still make it. When we arrived at Davis, a huge crowd had amassed as expected, and the train filled up. We moved on to Porter, where more people crowded on the train. But after Porter, it started to get bad again.

You see, the train stopped once more. And this time, it didn't seem to want to budge. To make matters worse, the AC turned off, making it sweltering hot inside the crowded car. We waited there for about five minutes before finally, after lots more noises from the train, we started moving again. "Attention passengers," the driver said. "We are experiencing multiple problems with this train. We will be going out of service at Harvard." This caused many frustrated mutters to come from the crowd.

It took a while for the poor old train to even get to the next stop! When we arrived, the driver refused to open the doors until the antsy crowd on the platform stepped back from the yellow line. The doors opened and the train emptied out, and now I had to get myself to Central. I figured it would be a bad idea to wait for the next Red Line train, but how else would I get there?

Oh, of course! The 1! Because everyone knows the 1 is trustworthy at 9:30 AM! Okay, seriously, what the heck was I thinking? It would've been so much faster to walk. Regardless, I got on the 1, and we proceeded to Central travelling achingly slowly and picking people up at every stop. Also, I was standing at the back doors, and a few times the driver randomly opened them for no reason and I got crushed...but no matter. Finally, finally we got to Central Square, where I ran out of the bus and arrived at work 45 minutes late. If I had made it to Alewife just one minute earlier, none of this would've happened...

Sorry for the low quality, but I took this on my flip phone. Most of the lights went off at one point.

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