By Matt Crone
On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 16 and into the following morning, there was a damaging wind that resulted in collateral damage across the state.
Early Thursday morning, I boarded the Riverside Green Line train around 7 a.m., and as we were departing from Woodland, a tree fell onto the tracks in front of our train.
Eventually, after about a 10-minute delay, we were told that we would be heading back to Woodland and a bus service would shuttle us between Woodland and Newton Highlands.
Alongside about 75 other passengers, we stood outside in the gusting wind with no sign of the shuttle. Fed-up with the wait, several passengers called ridesharing services, such as Lyft or Uber, and some even began to walk away, as there was little to no communication when the shuttles would arrive.
The two shuttles that arrived were going outbound to Riverside and the third shuttle that arrived was filled to the brim with passengers, so no one could get on.
The next shuttle, which did not arrive until 8:50 a.m., allowed some of the passengers and myself to get on. We made it to Newton Highlands around 9:05 a.m. and I was at work at 10 a.m., nearly three hours after I initially got on the first train.
As a commuter, this experience was extremely frustrating for me.
All I want is a reliable public transit system, but on Thursday that transit system failed me.
One MBTA inspector who I spoke with said four trees had fallen on the tracks since 12 a.m.
I asked him why it was that the MBTA couldn’t be more proactive when it came to weather-related delays.
I expressed my frustration as to why there couldn’t be someone who went around and inspected trees that were ill, and have them cut down.
His response was that many of the trees that fall onto the tracks are on private land, and therefore there was nothing that they could do about it.
Had my train been a few seconds faster that day, we could have been potentially struck by that tree, and we would have a completely different story on our hands.
If anything comes out of this piece, I am hoping that it will spark a change in how the MBTA operates during and after weather-related events.
The fact that other passengers and I had to wait more than an hour for a shuttle service is ridiculous.
In the future, I hope the MBTA has a shuttle service on stand-by during and immediately after bad weather, so passengers can get to their desired destinations in a reasonable amount of time
Matt Crone is a Framingham resident.