Are they ever going to fix this poorly-designed, tardy vehicle?. The first Type 9 was put into revenue service 14 months ago. All I see are sporadic units in operation. None are running in continuous revenue service like the 7s and 8s. For the past several months I have never seen more than one Type-9 in service at any point. When one is running, it is usually on a weekday, but not in the evening or during rush hour. Rarely did I view one outside of the D branch. Then, on Monday, February 10th, I noticed that three Type-9s were running simultaneously. Finally, I was hoping that they had corrected the dwell time in stations. I was to be sadly disappointed.
Monday, 10Feb20: From my home computer, I follow two type #7/8 combinations as well as 3900/3903 on the C line. The two 7/8 go from Fairbanks to North Station in the scheduled time of 31 minutes. 3900 takes 37 minutes. On the reverse trip to Cleveland Circle, both 7/8 combinations take the scheduled time of 42 minutes. 3903 takes 45 minutes.
Tuesday, 11Feb20 I board at Waban. Online, I notice that 3903/3900 is outbound at Coolidge Corner. At Reservoir, I walk over to Cleveland Circle. 3903 is followed immediately by another train. Even though I arrived with no inbound train in sight, it takes about 10 minutes to get 3900 over to the inbound track. 3900 leaves at 14:29. There was a 2 minute delay at Boylston because the mirror does not give the operator a good view of the rear doors because the train is stopped on a curve. There was a delay at Park Street for unknown reason. We sat for four minutes with all doors open. 3900 arrived at North Station at 15:27, 58 minutes after leaving Cleveland Circle and 16 minutes longer than the scheduled time. Another C train immediately followed 3900 into North Station. I believe the 2nd train left for Cleveland Circle before 3903.
Thursday, 13Feb20: En route to the boat show, I again park at Waban. Two trains are due within three minutes. I assume the 2nd one is a type 9 as the station marquee shows a Kenmore destination. Singleton 3903 is labeled “TEST TRAIN” and does not stop. This is one of the cars on the C line two days earlier.
Inbound, I notice that 3909 is en route to Boston College. I alight at Reservoir and walk up to Commonwealth Avenue. I miss the outbound run so I wait for the inbound run. 3909 leaves Chestnut Hill Avenue at 12:23. 3909 leaves Blandford Street at 12:59. After the train leaves Copley, the recorded announcement has changed the destination from Park Street to Government Center.
3909 arrives at Park Street on track 4 at 13:16. Before our doors open, the subsequent B train arrives on track 3. A third eastbound B train is en route to Boylston. This Type-9 took 17 minutes from Blandford Street (see photo) and 53 minutes from Chestnut Hill Avenue. The scheduled times are 13 and 43 minutes respectively. This is conjecture on my part, but I believe 3909 was re-routed to Government Center so that a faster train could take the next load of patrons to Commonwealth Avenue.
After the boat show, I take 3902 from Park Street to Copley. One item that I noticed for all three of the Tyep-9 vehicles this week was that the “STOP REQUESTED” indicator was always on unless the doors were open. In one instance I asked the operator why. She did not know but made every stop because it was on at every stop.
Note that in 1943, the time from Blandford to Park Streets was 9 minutes. Today, the scheduled time is 13 minutes, 44% longer. The MBTA no longer uses the phrase, “Rapid Transit”.
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