I've been riding the Franklin line daily for years, and all that time there has been terrible overcrowding on the homeward #715 train, departing South Station at 4:10 PM. I get on at Ruggles, and haven't been able to get a seat more than a few times a year. Nor am I the only one forced to stand - there are usually quite a few of us.
I've emailed the MBCR about the issue over and over. The response is always that there's more than enough seating, or that the train was short a car for some reason (in which case I get an apology - I've come to consider those worthless, though).
On Friday, 7/13/07 I counted 33 people standing in a single-level coach. A woman in the next coach had a medical emergency and passed out; unfortunately there were no conductors around, and it was so crowded that passengers were completely unable to pass down the aisle in search of a conductor. We ended up trying to pass the word down the aisle by shouting. It wasn't very effective; we couldn't reach a conductor for several long minutes.
Fortunately the ill woman's condition apparently wasn't critical. But if it had been, the delay caused by the overcrowding could have had serious consequences.
If I am catching an early train, I generally take the 4:30 to avoid the 4:10 for some of the same reasons. It is always crowded. It is an older train (so less comfortable). And a local version rather than the express that runs at 4:30.
He is soliciting for help in writing about the problems on the Franklin line. Charlie writes:
This is an open blog for comments from passengers on the Massachusetts commuter rail system (administered by the MBCR under the auspices of the MBTA). It is unofficial and in no way endorsed by or connected with the MBTA, MBCR, or any other organization.Read Charlie and consider writing there as well!
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