When It Rains, It Pours—And Then Sometimes It Leaks Into MBTA Buses

A rider posted a video of a T bus that took in some water and soaked the seats once the vehicle started to move.

The MBTA isn’t in tip-top shape—which isn’t news by any measure—but some commutes can be worse than others when the transportation system isn’t up to par, and is in need of repairs.

On Friday morning, the latest culprit was the Route 441 MBTA bus that passes through Marblehead toward the Wonderland Busway. A video posted online shows customers riding on the back of the bus as water from the heavy rain leaks into a section on the ceiling, where the window meets the roof of the vehicle, creating a cascade of uncomfortable wetness and forming small puddles in the middle of the blue T seats. The passengers were forced to stand up in order to avoid the T-made waterfall that poured into their ride.

Scott Fisher, the person who posted the video, and later Tweeted about it, said this situation “happens way too often” during rainy drives in the morning on the bus route. Here is what the rider had to say:

This type of thing happens all too often on this line. I missed the express to Boston and needed to get on this line. The bus stopped for 10 minutes in Lynn and would stall every 10 seconds. Once we started moving, this is what happened the duration of the ride.

Fisher did not indicate whether or not he filed a complaint with the T, but the agency said they encourage people to give them a heads up when this happens.  “We always encourage customers to report problems so they may be properly handled. Properly identifying information—Bus [or] Car number, route, time [and] day— is always helpful. They can call 617-222-3200, fill out a customer feedback form…or tweet it to us @mbtagm,” a spokesperson said.

  • Grant

    It rained inside my bus yesterday, actually. On the 502.

  • Guest

    Yes, after my tweet the MBTA did contact me and I gave them as much information I had. I did not bother to look at the bus number because I was running late, due to the bus being stuck for 10 or so minutes.

  • sunclad

    This is a simple fix. Button down the emergency roof door.

    All of the buses have emergency exits in the roof; one at the front and one at the rear. This is an image of the rear seating of a bus so the origin of the water is easily evident. Often passengers will release these roof doors to allow-in air and ventilation when the AC units have not kicked in on a warm day, and even sometimes when the AC is on because they want a breeze. The driver may or may not know these were opened by a passenger. Then, someone will close them but may not be able to fully clamp-down the locking lever that makes it air-tight and water-tight. I have personally seen passengers try to close and lock these but were only able to bring the door down to stop air flow only.

    So this may not be a faulty bus, but one which just needs a decent bit of muscle to re-lock the emergency escape hatch..

    Passengers often open the slit-windows along the sides of some bus models as well which can be an issue. Ok when its warm, but not Ok when its raining outside. Some fo the rain may have also been from improperly seated windows as well.

    • Wi Cho

      No, its not the emergency exit hatch. Its the A/C units

      • sunclad

        What series of buses? Serial numbers will help. Most of the buses do not have machinery on top. CNG buses have their fuel tanks up there with the AC at the rear. Uncertain about the low-floor diesels. Is there a condenser up there? The route number will also help because that also will offer info on the bus yard location and what series of buses are in use.