Public transportation is a learning experience. As a chica who grew up in the pinnacle of upper-middle class white suburbia, it was expected that I stay totally dependent on some gas-guzzling vehicle, although my track record with keeping them intact was never good (and I didn’t even total them spectacularly! Goddamn freak occurrences!).

So it’s strange that with the help of the MBTA I’ve become a much more patient person. I get a lot done on the T, from reading to Tweeting to blogging (guess where I am right now!) but most importantly, napping. I couldn’t do that if I were driving, that’s for sure.

Some key points to remember about taking the T (or public transportation in general):

  1. It’s not always the T’s fault! Late or early or whatever, you don’t know what causes stuff. And more often than not, it’s not the driver’s fault. Remember, when some crazy guy tries to off himself on the super-electrical third rail, it’s not your driver who should hear your complaints; the drivers have to suffer longer than you (they have to complete the entirety of the route) AND then they also have to suffer you yelling at them. It costs miilions of your taxpayer dollars every time a crazy chooses to throw himself on the rail instead of off the Zakim. And that ain’t cheap either.
  2. Buses are awesome. Okay, maybe not really, but with the advent of GPS technology in Boston, they have become TONS better.  GPS technology is in its infancy in Boston and maybe once a week the tracking on the bus by my house goes down conveniently at the time I have to head downtown (I’m looking at you, 9:15 bus runs. Yeah, you) but if you know the buses in the area and you are technology-savvy you can take advantage of this!  That goes for you too, people with stupidphones.  This technology isn’t just restricted to expensive phones – you can text a preprogrammed stop number for free to a service that will immediately text you back with the same information you can get with an iPhone.   Check out the MBTA website for details, because they’re really plugging this tech.  And it’s well worth it.
  3. You are either saving a ton of money on car insurance or not owning a car at all. The T stops running at 12:30? So what? Splurge on a cab once in a while. Or start drinking earlier. Hur hur hur.

So tl;dr. Appreciate your public transportation system that allows many people to do a lot of cool things in a small but vibrant space for super-cheap. And thank your bus drivers and train drivers. If you pay your fare and aren’t a douche, they really haven’t done anything to deserve your ire, because they don’t control the traffic. So at least give ’em some respect.

With that said, I now take days off (gasp!) on Sunday (GASP!) to go to school (…yeah no relaxing for me). Although waking up early means exploring the much respected New England sport of brunching. Brunch is a true event in the Boston area that I don’t get to do often since I’m a workaholic, but today, I headed over to Sorella’s. More on that later!

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6 Responses to MBTA-win

  1. matt says:

    Sold my car since I moved here and haven’t looked back. Much easier to get around than NJ. Just started playing with that SMS system yesterday, it’s fun. I actually tried the raw XML feed out last year but was impatient with the roll out to the whole system.

  2. MarkB says:

    A young woman, napping on the T? Not recommended. I’d like to say more, but I’m driving to Cape Cod Canal today – it’s a great walk along the Canal. I’d invite you to meet me there, but…. I know the T doesn’t go there. Maybe when you get a car.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, I ain’t dead yet! I also don’t fall in full-fledged comaesque sleep – just a nice, peaceful 15 min Red Line rest. It’s like a built in power nap 🙂

      Have fun on the Cape! I admittedly am not proactive about visiting there for some reason; I think I’d rather spend my free days in other major metropolitan areas. Maybe next year 🙂

  3. Andrew says:

    “I get a lot done on the T, from reading to Tweeting to blogging (guess where I am right now!) but most importantly, napping. I couldn’t do that if I were driving, that’s for sure.” Lots of Bostonians manage to do all this, and more, while driving? What makes you so special? 🙂

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