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T to repair leaky garage in Lynn

In a 1966 Beatles song, John Lennon sang: ''Rain, I don't mind."

But as far as we can tell, Lennon never left his car at the Lynn MBTA parking garage or stepped foot in the North Shore Community College offices and classrooms located on the first level of the five-level garage.

If he had, he might have been singing a different tune.

For the past three years, rain has infuriated the garage's patrons and the college's students and staff. That's how long the roof has been leaking, in some places like a sieve.

But soon the roof and other levels of the garage will be repaired and the leaks will stop, according to T officials.

''MBTA general manager Dan Grabauskas has directed MBTA staff to execute a contract with Chapman Waterproofing [of Boston] to make repairs to the garage," reports T spokesman Joe Pesaturo. ''Chapman Waterproofing expects the work to commence [this] week. The $168,000 project, which includes brickwork, installation of waterproofing materials and flashing, and replacement of the concrete deck coating, will take eight to 10 weeks to be completed."

The 930-space garage adjacent to the commuter rail train station opened in January 1992. Two years ago, the deteriorating garage was refurbished and a new bus terminal was developed there for less than $100,000, T officials said.

Waiting for bus that never came

Speaking of rain and the T, Michael of Melrose says he and other frequent travelers on the Route 106 bus that runs through Melrose to Malden Center are enduring misery caused by that combination. Perhaps more frustrating, if you listen to Michael's story and the T's response, bus routes and bus schedules appear to be cloudy.

Michael writes: ''I ride my bike to the Orange Line in Malden most days, but once in a while I take the 106 bus to Malden Center, for example on a rainy day like today.

''The 106 has a strange route because last year the 130 and 106 were combined to a new 106 route that includes a loop at the edge of Malden and Melrose along Lebanon and Sylvan streets. Today and the last time I tried to ride the 8:54 a.m. bus a few weeks ago, it never showed up. People waiting with me have said it is a chronic problem.

''Can you look into this? I will begin to take the bus regularly as the weather gets colder and I would like to have some reassurance that I won't be stranded in the winter.

''Today, a bus at 9:20 a.m. showed up and when I asked the driver about the previous bus, he said he saw the bus around 8:50, so it was in the area. It just didn't do the entire route. I understand that the route doubles back on itself, but the bus drivers don't seem to understand that if they don't do the loop, they do not go by about five stops where people may be waiting. I don't think they get a bonus for arriving at their final destination early, and I don't think they are clairvoyant and able to predict if someone will be waiting out in the rain for the bus, so it really makes no sense to short-cut on a route. The only losers are the frustrated people waiting for the bus and the reputation of the T."

T spokesman Pesaturo says the bus Michael is trying to catch makes its last run along his stop at 8:10 a.m. Pesaturo suggests that Michael and other riders who need to catch an 8:54 a.m. bus to Malden Center walk down to the bus stop at the loop a short distance away.

Says Pesaturo: ''If our customer wants to check on trip times and where to catch the bus, he can use the trip planning tool on, and it will direct him to the nearest stop depending on the time of day he is traveling. In addition, MBTA staff will try to make improvements to the way the information is displayed on the schedule card."

We answer as many inquiries as space allows. Please, no phone calls. You can reach us by e-mail at The subject line should contain the name of the community in question. Our mailing address is Starts & Stops/North, 55 Ferncroft Road, Suite 200, Danvers, MA 01923.

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