The MBTA Seems to Run Smoothly When There’s Tons of Snow

For once, people weren't complaining about how awful their commute was.

Apparently all it takes for the MBTA to provide a reasonable, nearly hassle-free commute is upwards of a foot of snow.

As the state endured yet another heavy storm that left the roadways in disarray, as plow drivers and city workers tried to clear the path for commuters, along the rails many riders seemed to be enjoying their trips to work for a change. “Smoothest [and] quickest MBTA Red Line ride in weeks. Thanks [MBTA general manager] and MBTA employees! This is how excellent you can be!,” one person said after arriving to their destination without issue.

“I was pleasantly surprised by my entire MBTA ride,” another rider said.  “Bus, Green, Red. The bus was only 10 minutes late, which is better than [normal].”

Another chimed in and wrote:  “As frustrating [as] the MBTA  is, you have to appreciate when everything runs flawlessly on a day like today.”

James Wall said it was “a pretty damn good commute in all things considered,” while he was on the Red Line, which is often met by breakdowns and overcrowding.

MBTA officials were quick to notice the change in attitude as compliments started to drop into their Twitter stream almost as quickly as the snow was hitting the ground. The kind words seemed to be a drastic change in how they handle a typical morning’s commute. “Our crews have been working tirelessly to prepare for this storm and are continuing to work through it. We’re very happy most of our customers experienced smooth commutes at the height of this storm,” said T spokesperson Kelly Smith.

A couple factors could come into play as to why commuters weren’t complaining as much as they usually do while trekking into work, and relying on the various transit lines to do so.

For one, a snowy day with school cancelations, and city and state offices shutdown means the swell of the typical amount of passengers that take the T  significantly decreased, making it easier to jam into train cars, and find space to stand while waiting for a train’s arrival at a station. “Better than any other this year,” one rider said about the Wednesday morning commute. “Turns out the problem on the MBTA is people, not the trains.”

This may be true. Not having to deal with the sniffling, sneezing, and often-ornery characters that crowd the train cars on a typical morning is bound to make the commute feel more relaxed.

But not all the blame can be taken off of the transit agency. As has been proven multiple times this season—which has been colder than most in recent memory—trains have died, time and time again. This has been happening on all of the lines, and often seems to occur during peak hours when riders are either heading into the city, or trying to escape it after a long day in the office.

But, alas, not everybody is perfect, especially the T. While trains seemed to be running on time when people needed them to be, people that rely on the Commuter Rail didn’t have as much luck in certain spots on Wednesday, and faced some setbacks due to delays. Various bus lines, which were running on snow routes, also saw some delays, according to T alerts.

And even still, some riders remained cautious about what could unfold the rest of the day. “Hopefully they aren’t jinxing the P.M. commute,” one person tweeted.