…On that tragic and fateful day.
He put 10 cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family,
went to ride ont he MTA.
We all know the tale of Charlie and the MTA ..he never returned , no he never returned…
Sadly on our return trip on the MBTA, a “Charlie” went to ride at Wollaston Station. As of this writing no one knows what happened. All that we, the public and other passengers know is that a young man was hit by a red line train and there was no miracle. The young man did not make it. Was it an accident? Was it suicide? Was he drunk, impaired by some other substance? Was he distracted by his phone, texting? or an i-pod? We may never know. Hopefully the family will learn the details and be able achieve some kind of closure.
My heart goes out to the family and to the engineer and the conductor on that train. It was surely traumatic for them, a life changing event.
But I want to comment on the actions of the rest of the MBTA; how the tragic affair affected the rest of the passengers and there were many as it was rush hour.
So let me start at the top. We left the MFA and decided to walk (I know, I’m a glutton for punishment) because I wanted to get some pictures at the Christian Science Center. It is a beautiful spot and I recommend that anyone visiting Boston take a minute to stop by.
Using the benches along the sidewalk and taking frequent rest stops, I was finally able to get to the Christian Science Center and get some pictures. Yea!
After another rest stop it was back to the OP Shuffle (No offence but it’s the “old person” shuffle. As a card-carrying member of AARP I can say that. I was bent over and had to shuffle my feet . I couldn’t pick them up) Pretty funny now but it wasn’t at the time.
We stopped at Border’s Cafe for a fruit smoothy and then hooked up with the Green Line. If I had hopes of relief there I was sorely (Pun intended) mistaken. It was standing room only and even though it was 4:30 (rush hour) we had to wait 30 minutes for a train, not the normal 10-15.
Arriving at Park St we changed to the Red Line where conditions were no better. We finally got on a train where we hung from poles and straps and my back screamed in protest. I was counting the stops when 2 stops from where the car was parked we were thrown off the train. A medical emergency in Wollaston we were told. You’ll have to take a shuttle bus.
We were herded off the train and up to the platform where there was 1 bus. Yup, just one. I took advantage of our misfortune by snagging a seat on a bench but the relief was short-lived. It was quickly apparent that if we wanted to have any chance of getting in a shuttle that we would have to stand on the curb and push into the fray when the buses pulled in.
We got on the 4th or 5 th bus..standing room only..again. As the bus pulled into Wollaston Station we saw the crime scene tape and the ME’s van pulling out. We knew it was something bad then. The few passengers for Wollaston exited and the bus turned around to take the majority of us to Quincy Center where we would get off the bus and back onto the train. Standing room only…again.
One of the other passengers used her cell phone to get the latest news and told us a man had been hit by the train in front of ours. That was all we knew and as I write this it is all I have been able to find out.
We finally made it to Quincy Adams Station where my car was parked. As we exited the garage we did a time check, 7:15! 2 hours an 15 minutes for a ride that shouldn’t have taken more than 1 hour! I dropped Nancy off about 15 minutes later and pulled into my complex at 8pm.
The sad part of all this is that this is not the first accident like this on the “T”. I tried to get the numbers of similar incidents for 2011 but couldn’t find any however I did find plenty of news clips about train hits and close calls going back to 2009. So I can’t help but wonder, what steps have the MBTA taken to prevent these kinds of accidents? And with experience with this type of thing, why aren’t they more prepared to provide for their other passengers? No one wants accidents or injuries but that’s why they are called accidents. Shouldn’t the T have contingency plans in place? Our driver said he didn’t even know what station he was supposed to be driving to! I give the “T” a C- for their response to the emergency.
As for my back, a visit to my doctor secured some muscle relaxants and although not 100%, I am well along on the road to recovery!