greenlily (greenlily) wrote in bad_service,

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

The MBTA sucks.

MBTA = Mass. Bay Transit Authority, the company that runs the public transportation in Massachusetts. Bus, subway, commuter rail, harbor ferry. Generally called the T for short, although usually the T means the subway and if you mean the bus, commuter rail, etc. you call it the bus or whatever else it is. Today's suck is about the bus.

MBTA buses have fare boxes that sell passes/cards. If your bus ride costs $2 and you feed the box a $5 bill, it will spit out a neat little ticket that's good for $3 towards more rides. It's a nice system, when it works.

This morning I got on a bus and fed the fare box a $10, since it was all I had on me. The fare box made a horrible noise, said "PRINTER ERROR" on the display screen, and spit out a ticket which said $8 and had NOT GOOD FOR TRAVEL printed on the back.

Me (pointing to NOT GOOD FOR TRAVEL): Your fare box just ate my $10 and gave me a ticket I can't use on other buses.
Bus driver: Nah, don't worry about that. It just means the fare boxes on other buses won't be able to read it. But it has a $ amount printed on it, so just show that to the bus driver and they'll let you ride.
Me: ...

Later today, I got on another bus and fed the NOT GOOD FOR TRAVEL-infested ticket to the fare box. Unsurprisingly, it spit it back out.

Bus driver: Yeah, that ticket's no good. Says so right there.
Me: Oh, I know. The printer on the bus this morning was broken. The driver said if I showed you the $ amount printed on the ticket, you'd honor it anyways.
Bus driver (giving me a pitying look): Of course he told you that. He didn't want to spend time arguing and make his bus run late. No one's going to let you ride on that ticket.
Me: ...okay, but what about my $8?
Bus driver: Well, you can go to [big central ticket office at one of the downtown stations] and tell them what happened. But it's not like you have any proof.

I have now paid a Stupid Tax of $8 to learn a very important lesson: Before I feed any money to a fare box, have the voice recorder on my phone turned on and recording, and take a photo of the display screen.

It's not that $8 is a huge dent in my budget or anything. It's that I hate, hate, HATE being lied to.

Seriously, fuck the T.

That is all.
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded