Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let's Make February T Employee Appreciation Month

A few days ago we got an email from Fred who made a fantastic suggestion
I was thinking this morning about the story on the blog yesterday about the driver of the 0010 bus and it clicked. This morning I happened to catch the 7 in Southie with my favorite driver. I don't know his name, but every day when I ride the bus he drives, he puts me in a better mood. This morning they rerouted some of the buses (I have no idea why) so he stopped at the corner, flashed 7 fingers at us and turned the corner to wait for us... not only did he not have to do that, but he opened the back doors to get us on the bus quicker and not have to be out in the cold. Then he proceeded to apologize for the inconvenience and the delay. At the end of the route, he also took time out to give a rider directions to their destination. He was great! Normal days, he calls out "7 Downtown" if he pulls up to a stop with another bus or a lot of people or he calls out the major stops on the route.. for some reason he always puts me in a great mood and I am not a morning person. I plan on writing a letter to the T commending him of his service.. and it got me thinking.

We all know that there are good operators and bad ones out there. We're stuck with the cards we're dealt and there's not a whole lot we can do. But I was thinking what if we all took it upon ourselves to try to change things thru the "trickle down effect". If everyone that has a good experience, or good operator takes a few minutes out of their day to write a short note during the month of February... let's leave the negatives aside for one month (they'll be there in March I'm sure).. maybe it will have a positive effect of the morale of the T employees. And if the T actually recognized good service (imagine the same driver getting ten nice notes about them) maybe it would inspire the less friendly folks to be a little friendlier. It's so easy to complain, but if we all tried to make a difference by being positive maybe we could put a few more friendlier people out there.

Who knows - it just might work!


Fred that is an outstanding idea.The vast majority of T employees are good,hard working people trying to deal with a very large and aging transit system. It is human nature (especially in Boston) to dwell on the negative but we should stop and praise those T employees who ARE doing a good job.

So please send your nominations for "A good T employee" either in the comment section of this thread or by email to

But if you have a bad experience please tell us about that as well and those will be posted separately.

Thanks Fred for the idea!!!!


Ron Newman said...

I nominate three CSA's whose first names are Karen, Bernice, and Annette. They are unfailingly helpful and you can tell that they enjoy their jobs. There are plenty of others who are equally worthy, but I happen to know the names of these particular agents.

Anonymous said...

A gracious greenline driver saved me from losing my 180s last week. I was sitting waiting for a C train and hear her calling someone. I looked up and she pointed to my 180 earmuffs that I had dropped and probably would have lost if not for her.

Adam said...

I nominate "Denise" who is a conductor on the south side CR, usually running the Worcester/Framingham and Providence routes. Every day gets a "good morning," a smile, and please/thank you for every ticket request -- even during rush hour.

And unlike most conductors, she doesn't take her job so seriously (such as yelling at passengers who descend into the step wells before the train stops, or shut the door to the vestibule on passengers who open it a few seconds before the train stops)--as a few out there do.

Gary McGath said...

In general, the conductors on the Fitchburg line are quite good, though I can't say the same about the trains. They've been consistently courteous. I don't know of any names to nominate, though.

Ron Newman said...

To be more specific, the "Karen" whom I'm complimenting here worked at Davis Square station on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights this week. I think she works there those nights every week, but I'm not positive.

If every CSA was as friendly and attentive as Karen, people would love the MBTA.

Anonymous said...

I nominate Kevin, who used to drive the 554 (and sometimes the 553) bus in the evenings. I don't live in Waltham anymore, but I used to take his bus everyday, and he knew all the names of the regular commuters, chit chatted with everyone as they got on the bus, and even knew what stop I got off at. He was always very friendly, asking how you were doing and generally just looking like he enjoyed his job. After a long day it was nice to have someone say "good to see you" on my way home.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget folks - while it's nice to share these with each other, take the extra minute or two to drop a line to Grabuszkas and the line supervisor... it only takes a minute to make a difference.

- Fred

Joshua said...

I nominate the conducter of the 7:48 Purple Line train out of Framingham today. The train is an express train after is gets to natick. Right after we got through Natick, he announced that the train is the "happy train for a happy Friday." As corney as it is, it gave me that smile that I needed to start my weekend.

Anonymous said...

I agree with whomever nominated the driver that made the announcement about the happy train for a happy friday. Although I agree it is corney, it always makes me smile when the drivers do stuff like that and I think their good spirit should be rewarded.

Anonymous said...

The thing I appreciate the most is drivers who let people (including me) board the bus at places other than bus stops.

The route I ride the most has looong stretches without stops, alternating with stretches with stops every few feet. And a similar route has separate stops on a different street, which means if one bus is late (or maybe you missed it), you have to play a game of Ironic Bus Chase. It's a big relief when drivers stop for you when you aren't at the other bus stop yet.

Since this probably isn't allowed, I can't write a positive letter to the T about it. But I'd like to anonymously thank these anonymous drivers anyway.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a friendly and cheerful woman driving the CT2 in the mornings. One day I wrote an email to the "write to the top" for that route complimenting her attitude, and the next day --poof!-- she was gone, replaced by a series of surly drivers who weren't all that sure about the route.

Anonymous said...

I think drivers get reassigned every 3 months, so it was probably a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

I nominate the Red Line driver who gives the announcements in a friendly manner: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is (name) station" and "don't forget to take all your belongings: newspapers, coffee cups, dogs, cats, kids, etc." These announcements never fail to put a smile on my face, even on the most wretched morning. A few years ago, I did email the T to praise this driver, and received a response that my commendation would go into his personnel folder. I'm glad I had a positive effect on his "permanent record".

Laura K said...

I agree about the Red Line driver, especially if it's the same one who says, "Hope everyone had a good weekend" on Monday mornings and wishes a happy weekend on Fridays. I moved and haven't been on the red line regularly for two years, but it's nice to know he's still around. He sounded like he truly liked people.

Joe from Allston said...

I would like to commend the driver this morning on the Green Line (Car 3612) for her courtesy in allowing me to board the train at Griggs St. I had seen the train boarding in the distance, and I made sure it was safe before I made a dash for the platform. She had already closed the front door, but when she saw me, she opened the door and allowed me to get on. This saved me time and several minutes waiting out in the cold. Thanks so much for making my morning ride better!


Allston, MA

Sam said...

I nominate several of the conductors on the Framingham/Worcester line (7:05 a.m. from South Station and 3:57 p.m. from Wellesley Sq.) - they're friendly, they say hi, they tease me about napping on the train...once the afternoon guys even *stopped the train* as it was starting to pull away to give me time to run across the parking lot and get on board!

I also miss the guy who used to do the train announcements in the morning at South Station. "The 7:05 Framingham train, now boarding on trrrrrrrACK NUMBA 2!!" He was awesome - he really sounded like he got a kick out of his job.

Ben Brophy said...

I grew up in the Fenway in the 70s. It was a chaotic time to be a kid in Boston what with busing and all. The few kids who lived on my block all hung out and in the summer we wandered the city at will like street urchins. So there was this bus driver whose name I *wish* I could still remember becasue he was such a great influence one summer. He drove the 55 bus, and we would hop on to go downtown and back. We would sit in the front seats and soak in whatever words of wisdom he had for us that day, which often had to do Africa and Black Pride. Once he took his break at Copley Square and bought the three of us who were on his bus that day popsicles from an ice cream truck. One of my friends dropped a wrapper on the ground and our driver told him he was a litterbug and should be ashamed, which I have to say was like a thunderbolt from God. I never littered again. That winter I taking the number 1 bus to Harvard Square with my Dad and he was the driver, I was shocked to see him driving a different route. I introduced him to my Dad, a gay white hippie, and watched the two of them chat about politics. That was the last time I saw him. Times changed maybe he switched routes or we started taking the green line next summer. But he was great guy and it's because of him that I always say 'Thank you" to the driver when I get off a bus.

Ron Newman said...

that South Station train announcer -- is he the same one who always said AWW-BURN-DALE!! in the middle of the list of Framingham Line stops? Always got a kick out of him.

Anonymous said...

The very best conductor in the whole system is a guy named TONY D.

He used to be on the 7:00 a.m. train from Framingham to Boston and he also was on the Stoughton line.

He's great. He's classy, courteous, fair, friendly, kind-hearted, careful, conscientous and, best of all, quite handsome!!

Amy said...

I don't know her name, but the driver of the 91 bus in Somerville is SO NICE. She always remembers my stop, even though I don't take the bus every day, and she always has something nice to say or to joke around about.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say that, even though other drivers and such aren't always so pleasant to you first, it doesn't hurt to be the first one to exchange pleasantries--saying hello when you board the bus or green line, smiling at the people who are driving the other subway cars when you can make eye contact, saying thank you when you get off--might change the driver's mood. Pass it on!

Kendra said...

A young guy driving an out-of-service bus south on Mass Ave stopped for me
last night and turned it into a 77 so I didn't have to walk in the rain.
This was extra appreciated after the jerk driver in front of him didin't
stop for me as I made the "Commuter Sprint" for the bus stop. I don't know
his name, but it was about 8pm, and his bus number was 4113... He was also
super-friendly, funny and courteous once I got on the bus. Too bad he
doesn't drive the 87 or 88. I think those things wait for me to be between
stops before they decide to drive on Holland.... off schedule... stupid bus.

Anonymous said...

If you are "nominating" people who do things against the rules like stopping where there is no bus stop, letting you in w/o paying, holding trains, whatever. if we break the rules to "be nice" we get screwed.
February 2, 2007 2:51 PM sounded rather quick but maybe and the 3 month response to that doesn't apply we choose our runs by seniority. Stopping bs out of designated bus stops and opening doors is a MAJOR safety violation.