Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Some T stations to be unstaffed at night?

A customer service agent told me that some T stations, including Davis and the outbound side of Central Square, will be unstaffed every night starting this Saturday. She wasn't sure whether the last station agent would leave at 7 pm or 10 pm.

Needless to say, she doesn't think this is a good idea, and neither do I. Anyone know more?

26 comments:

Adam said...

it was always my belief that the combination of closed-circuit cameras and automated fare collection would eliminate staffed booths at off hours.

jwardell said...

Why not?
Most other cities do this. When I moved here I even noted how much money they must be wasting to pay someone to sit there during the off hours.
Now that security cameras and AFC are present, the T should be taking advantage of the huge money savings.
There's always the press for assistance buttons..perhaps they should also intall one next to the unstaffed ticket windows.

Ron Newman said...

A few reasons this doesn't seem to me a good idea:

- A lot of riders are still having trouble with AFC, either because it isn't working properly for them, or the user interface on the vending machines is too confusing. Spend 20 minutes in Davis station some evening and you'll see how much help the agent regularly has to give customers.

- If something annoying is going on (drunk panhandling, smoking, teenagers jumping and running around), there's nobody to watch it or report it to. More seriously, there's nobody to deal with a genuine emergency, such as someone getting her clothes caught in an escalator, or someone falling onto the tracks.

- Fare evasion is likely to increase if there's nobody visibly monitoring the gates. Some people will try to climb over the gates, which could be dangerous.

- People are already concerned about crime on the T (see yesterday's Herald, for example), and they're not likely to feel safer if fewer T personnel are in stations late at night.

Adam said...

and what about all those dangerous unmanned stations for buses and green line vehicles? and commuter rail platforms? not to mention the lower (or paid) lobby of nearly every subway platform -- never anyone present. at many of the orange and red line stations, the platform is a good 3-4 minute walk away from any form of staff/inspector/collector -- if someone falls into the tracks that's what the police/help phones are for. escalators--when does anyone over the age of 4 get something stuck in one? as for crime, if the T police get off their dunkin donut coffee sucking rear ends and actually patrol stations and platforms crime would never be an issue.

finally, this word verification thing is obscene. my word just now is nbhdbvpp. it took me 2 minutes to figure out what i had to type. i probably still got it wrong...

Sean said...

Who cares... Half the stations might as well be unmanned as it is... Not to mention that the above-ground stations on the green line are already unstaffed all day, not just at night..

Atomic40 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't think there are customer service phones at every entrance yet. And even if there are, I don't think they can do things like opening the gates for people who lose money, or swipe their pass but don't get let in and get stuck for 20 minutes.

There's also no guarantee that the phones work. And don't forget what happened to the Boston fireman who attempted to inspect emergency exits and equipment on the Orange Line -- since he stepped on the T's turf and offended some important officials, he got transferred to a boring post on the Harbor Islands.

Cosmo said...

It is really, really easy to cheat the AFC faregates. I mean, you can reach over with a metro paper and trigger the sensor on the other side. It's even easier if you've got an accomplice with a monthly pass...

This change in staffing basically means that with a hat and sunglasses, the T is essentially free for the unscrupulous after 7pm. I think this is a simply terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

I checked this with Joe Pesaturo at the T... and he says this is flat out not true. No stations will go unstaffed.

S said...

Funny that you write about this. Just this weekend I wrote a complaint to the Red Line because I was in Central station by myself at 12:30 at night, no T workers at all, and some people came in arguing and being generally aggressive while I was there. Being a woman, I would really REALLY prefer not to be by myself in a subway station at night. Even just one security guard or mbta worker would make a difference for me. Anyone could come in and rob me, rape me, whatever... these people could have started fighting or taking out weapons... and obviously security cameras wouldn't stop it from happening. I could have called the cops but that's about it. If a security guard was there he could have stopped the fight these people were having, or escort them out, before it got out of hand. When I got to Davis no one was working there either. Totally empty. I really don't think this is a good idea given the recent violence on the Orange line. You'd think the T would want better security, not worse security.

Ron Newman said...

If the report is incorrect I'm glad to hear it, but could you please ask Joe Pesaturo to post here officially?

We here at 'Charlie on the MBTA Blog' could use official responses to some other issues, too.

Anonymous said...

The Boston Carmen's Union, Local 589, thanks this blog for publicizing their fear-mongering rhetoric.

Empyreal said...

Glad to see you are doing well for yourself, Mr. Vahey.

Do you plan on return the money you stole from the Jimmy Fund through the Royal Rooters with the profits you make from this blog?

Ron Newman said...

I don't know anything about the Carmen Union, but they are welcome to post an official statement here as well.

Anonymous said...

I called "the top" about this and they said that it was not true.

I'm not sure that information - i.e. rumors - passed on by CSA's is the best thing to rely upon or get worried about.

sebass said...

Hey Kev!

So, quick question for the next mailbag, I hope you have time to answer it now that you've got all of this newfound fame. Do you still steal money from charities that help kids with cancer, namely the Jimmy Fund? Because you should really, really consider knocking that rubbish off. It doesn't play well in the Commonwealth, and I'd be willing to wager that your readers wouldn't take kindly to your actions. Just a thought.

jennifer said...

Leaving T stations unattended at night is a terrible idea. Not only is it unfriendly to customers, it's also a security risk.

You know what else is a terrible idea, Charlie (or should I say, Kevin Vahey)? Stealing from pediatric cancer patients. When are you planning on giving back the money you stole from the Jimmy Fund and from the redsoxnation.net message board? $1500 is no small sum, and it's been over two years. I bet the newspaper that did that nice article on you didn't know about that, did they?

mwshea1 said...

Wow! Kevin Vahey, good to see you are doing well. Hopefully your theft of thousands of dollars that was supposedly going to charity was big of you. Thanks for giving us a trail of breadcrumbs to haunt you. Try giving the money you stole back to the Jimmy Fund...
People who read this blog, should check out this link.

http://www.redsoxnation.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=11336

http://www.redsoxnation.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=11336

Tim W said...

For the record, Vahey didn't steal from the Jimmy Fund, and it is scandelous that any of you would even make such an accusation.

He stole money destined for the Red Sox Foundation.

Just wanted to clear that up.

Ron Newman said...

The owner of this blog invited me to join it as an 'Author' several months ago. This allows me to add my own posts, but does not give me any other permissions or privileges here.

I do not know anything about the allegations that have been posted as comments above. I have e-mailed Kevin, asking for a response.

Charlies New Pal said...

Don't hold your breath!

He got a "steph infection." He's full of shit.

By the way- hope you didn't float him any loans, bro- he's halfway to Tijuana now.

Bill said...

It's not like anything is done about fare evasion with CSRs / MBTA Police present.

Erik said...

Before the extension to Alewife opened, Central outbound was always unstaffed.

Symphony was unstaffed last time I looked.

What's the big deal?

bluepotato said...

The Chauncy St. entrance on the Red Line at Downtown Crossing is unmanned after 7:30 at night and all weekend. This predates the automated fare collecton. Iuse a wheelchair. The problem before was that the buzzers for the old gate didn't always work (wires were frequently cut). It's better now, but I feel for those who are only occasional system users. There are 2 machine to add value at that site. One is for plastic only, the cash machine is usually broken.

Anonymous said...

well the big deal should be that the MBTA staff should deter crime. Unfortunately they don't do anything about the crime as it is -- not even to stop people from smoking, so they aren't much of a deterrent. But as someone else said in their comment, people, especially women, should not have to be alone in a T station without any sort of security. It's not about fare evasion, it's about safety. Of course people are going to skip the gates anyway.

Anonymous said...

symphony has a csa...it wont be an issue if certain stations are unmanned....as long as stations with heavy ridership aren't cut, we will all be all set...seriously i haven't never needed help with the machines...they're pretty self explanatory.