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T karma on the T's very bad day

Apparently I have good T karma or something. Around 6 I started hearing things about the Red Line having issues, some kind of delay at Charles. Multiple reports of >1 hour waits, that sort of thing... Knowing I had a workout at 7, I started trying to wrap up "early" and got out about the normal time, 6:20. I figured at this point I was doomed.

I go downstairs and see a lot of people waiting around in the bus area. Also, there's what appears to be a line of buses... I ask people what the T is doing about the Red Line, and they respond, "nothing." I look again, and see that the line of buses isn't actually a stopgap sent by the T; it's just a set of vehicles all trying to get around a disabled T bus... each had to inch by slowly, making it look like a line. Oops.

It comes out that one of the people standing there is waiting for the 68, with the hope that she can take it to Harvard, then catch another bus from there. This reminds me that the 77 leaves from Harvard, and I could take that past Porter, and walk just a few blocks up Day St. to get to my workout only somewhat late. ...so I hop on the 68 bus that just happens to be pulling up. Got out of Kendall around 6:25 or 6:30.

At Harvard Square, I get off the 68 and walk to the bus depot (I needed to ask someone where the 77 leaves from... turns out it's underground, you turn left when the train is on your right). As I'm walking to the 77's stop, I notice a wave of people leaving the train area, and decide on a hunch to turn right instead, sweeping through the turnstiles, past the exodus, up onto the platform... where a voice immediately announces, "Attention Red Line Customers. The next train to Alewife is now approaching."


So the train gets in, a zillion people get off, and there's plenty of space for me to ride in comfort to Davis, where I'm about 3 minutes late for my workout. If I had waited at Kendall, who knows if I would have gotten that train, or if the press of people in the station would have pushed me back to the third or fourth or fifth train to come through?

I feel like I have found some new level of skill navigating the city. It's warm and fuzzy.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Dec. 23rd, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
The 96 also goes up Mass Ave from Harvard til just past Porter, then on to Davis, then Medford. It also leaves from underground. I think the 77 and 96 waiting places are next to each other, or very close to one another, so in theory, you could wait for both.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
Ooh, that's a good one to put in my toolbelt, thanks!
Dec. 23rd, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Back in the days when the T had paper transfers, this was a good way to get a free return trip from the Porter area to the Harvard area. You'd pay a fare on the 96 bus and take the 77 back for free (or vice versa), because you couldn't use the transfer on the same bus line. There were a few other pairs of lines where you could use this trick, such as the 77 and 79 for intra-Arlington transit.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
someone should design a "public transit" video game. maybe for the wii, involving running and tactical use of elbows in crowds.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
Wow this is making me nostalgic. I didn't learn any bus routes other than #1 until I moved to Brighton/Watertown, because the Red Line doesn't run out there. I think by the time I moved out of Watertown I had ridden every route in and out of Harvard Square at least once. When we lived in Brighton, before we bought a car, most mornings we would hike ten minutes up and down a steep hill to Oak Square, catch the #57 bus going toward Kenmore, switch to the #66 coming up from Brookline to Western Ave, and finally take #77 or #96. Most mornings this took 45 min-1 hr. The alternative was walking fifteen minutes in the other direction from our apartment to Boston College and riding the entire length of the B line to Park Street and the Red Line, which took well over an hour at the best of times. After we bought a car we cut our commute time to about 15 min thanks to being able to zip down Soldiers Field Road. :)
(Deleted comment)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )