Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Showtime for Charlie

The breathtaking heroics of the MBTA have a scheduled performance tomorrow, May 4th AD 2006. I read it in the station on a T poster So it must be true.

Maybe this will stop my sniping and complaining. Months in the making, amid the litter of cardboard wrappings of machinery, the conversion of the Forest Hills station is to occur tomorrow. Rather, to put it in inert transit terms, Charlie Ticket Starts Here May 4th.

So, perhaps a bureaucrat can explain how one "starts" an either/or operation. You use tokens or Charlie tickets and passes. There is no provision for co-existing token-operated turnstiles with the new dispenser/scanner/gate systems. In fact, at FH, the turnstiles are gone and behind curtains are maybe 9 mounted scanners -- no gates. Also, the ticket dispensers are still in cardboard against the walls.

A jolly T staffer watching as I tossed my token in the fare cuspidor was sanguine, and at least orally, loyal. "Yeah, they said tomorrow, or maybe even tonight," she told me.

Well, there you have it, almost first hand. From the Transportation Building in Park Square through a few levels of management to the T worker to me to your eyes. It's almost primary source, eh?

Rain or not tomorrow, I'm catching the Orange Line at FH. The Charlie-system fairies will perform. I can't wait and won't miss it.

Oh, the fact that the equipment has been on site uninstalled for months doesn't dampen my expectations. Neither does the fact that I see the system in use at South Station and know how much they have to add to bring FH anywhere close.

This is like an opening night at the Wang.

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