Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Accident

So on my way home last night, my bus got into a little accident with a van. We had left Haymarket Station and were traveling down North Washington Street when a van started to
drift towards us. You see, the fellow driving the van was attempting to change lanes and did not bother to acknowledge the existence of the bus quickly approaching him on the right side. Our driver sensed what was probably going to happen next and hit the brakes. But it was too late.

The end result:

I have edited out the operator for the sake of their privacy.

None of the passengers were hurt, just a little shaken up. The accident happened in the middle of the street and thus we were unable to alight from the bus. The van was pinned against the bus and unable to move. I spotted its driver flipping through some papers. He hardly seemed phased by it. The operator notified Central Dispatch and the authorities soon came.

Had this been, say a Neoplan AN440, I might have blamed the accident on the power steering going out, but this was a New Flyer. Plus, I was riding up front and saw the jerk in the van cut in front of us. Damn him! RTS 213 came along and took our passengers (I stayed behind to give a witness statement). I grabbed a Neoplan heading my way and related my story the driver and a few curious passengers.

Morals of the story kids:

- Never cut off a bus

- Always wear you seatbelt

- Don't expect the same brake performance out of a NABI

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Silver Line Has Lost Its Luster

The Silver Line has been getting me down lately.

Last week, dual-mode 1131 (used on the Silver Line Waterfront services) broke down in the Ted Williams Tunnel resulting in a horrendous traffic jam. The delays were so bad that it took about 47 minutes to get from the toll plazas at Logan Airport to South Station. Of course, this unfortunate delay caused me to be late to a meeting. I now add 1131 to the list of buses I vow never ride on again (this list includes 1026, 0216, 0264, and many more).

Adding to my BRT frustrations, it appears that the MBTA will move ahead with the Silver Line Phase III project. Why not? It is only projected to cost around $1,000,000,000 (don't be surprised if the price tag starts to skyrocket). The T could easily pull together that cash. Yeah, with a debt of about $8,000,000,000 it might not be the best idea to pursue a major (and largely unwanted and unpopular) capital project like this. People are already noting the parallels Phase III has with the Big Dig. Sadly, the MBTA has a legal mandate to do it as part of the Big Dig remediation.

Hopefully, if this thing starts to become a reality, the MBTA does not pick Betchel/Parsons Brinckerhoff as the contractor.