Sunday, December 09, 2007

The shocking truth about the Orange Line

I believe that man landed on the moon, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and that Marisa Tomei won an Academy Award fair and square for My Cousin Vinny. But I don't believe that any "signal repair" work is being done on the Orange Line this weekend. Or that there's any good reason for substituting buses for subway trains from Malden to Boston, as the T has done for all but three weekends since I moved to Malden three months ago. Or that there's any legitimate reason for "diversions" of service on the Orange Line to last almost four years so far. I could have single-handedly laid down completely new tracks from Haymarket to Oak Grove in less time. Alas, the MBTA's award-winning Web site doesn't explain why a "fully functional state-of-the-art signal system" should take so long to install. Can we at least get some diagrams on there? If the problem is giant rats undoing most of the day's work after quitting time, I would gladly pay a little extra for my Charlie Card if the T could post a graphic novel about the subterranean battle between orange-vested public employees and rogue rodents. Crocodiles would be good, too. An alternative explanation is that we Orange Line prisoners are unknowlingly dealing with something like this, as reported last month by the Metro:

In the past two months, commuter rail employees have been participating in a covert “working strike” — holding up service and causing significant train delays — in retaliation for what they consider poor treatment by management, according to sources who spoke to Metro.

Conductors and engineers have been refusing to work overtime when the commuter rail is short staffed, or operate trains when there are minor maintenance issues, like a burned out bulb, in order to stick it to their employer — the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad — the company contracted by the T to run the commuter rail, a source told Metro.



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