Commuter rail success story reads like fiction

June 26, 2011

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I FEAR that James F. O’Leary, chairman of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., is suffering from delusion or, at best, a severe case of denial (“Commuter rail service stepped up on parade day,’’ Letters, June 21).

I was one of many people on the day of last weekend’s Bruins victory parade who experienced something quite different from what O’Leary asserts in his letter to the editor. I am sure there are many would-be passengers at other stations whose experience was similar.

My son and I arrived at the Sharon station at 8:50 a.m., hoping to take the 9:09 train in to Boston. Eventually, at 9:25, the train pulled into the station. A few people were allowed on, and the conductor assured us that there was another train to follow.

He was right. Another train approached Sharon 10 minutes later, did not stop, and several hundred people were left stranded. The electronic displays offered no information, nor did the MBTA website or the ticket office.

This is a disgrace for a monopolistic travel utility, and an insult to the many people who heeded the requests to use public transportation to reach Boston.

The commuter rail service has a long way to go before O’Leary’s assertions are no longer just a sick joke.

S. D. Rabinowitz

I TAKE exception to James O’Leary’s June 21 letter “Commuter rail service stepped up on parade day.’’ The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. may have tried to serve riders June 18, but try telling that to the hundreds of North Shore folks who missed the Bruins parade that Saturday because of the lack of trains. In addition, the commuter rail service is lucky no one was killed when the 9:15 a.m. train roared through the Beverly depot as a huge crowd of people surged forward anticipating it to stop. Many shrieked as the train whooshed through the station, apparently in disregard of safety concerns.

It is no wonder so many people have little confidence in public transportation.

Joe Paluzzi