Commuter Rail Riders ‘Upset’ With Service Before Bruins Parade

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Beautiful weather and a weekend day brought a record number of people out to the Bruins’ parade. Fans anticipated a parking nightmare, but public transportation became a rude awakening.

“As soon as we got on the train it shut down,” said Kevin Wiggins, who took the Commuter Rail in from Lawrence. Wiggins and his sister thought they’d have a head start leaving at 9:30 a.m. but said they didn’t get to Boston till 2 p.m.

“Had the trains not taken so long, that I was upset about,” said Wiggins. “But you live and you learn you know.”

Other commuter rail riders reportedly had a less forgiving attitude.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

Mike Brooks says he was lucky enough to get on a packed train leaving from Lowell but their train passed a lot of stops on the way because it was too full.

Photos: Bruins Stanley Cup Parade

“People were pretty upset. We were just driving by and every stop we’d get to this sea of angry black and gold,” said Brooks. “People were actually punching the train and everyone was flipping the bird. It was pretty bad”

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said there were a record 120,000 inbound riders on the Commuter Rail Saturday. That’s more than the double the 67,000 passengers during an average weekday.

“We ran “super-sized” trains with more coaches to increase capacity. We more than doubled the number of trains that operate on a typical Saturday. We worked very hard to meet the unprecedented demand. It was a tremendous effort by the MBTA and MBCR,” said Pesaturo.

Despite the complaints, many riders who left before 8 a.m. reported good service.

  • Italo

    But I think that neither they nor the regular MBTA trains ran on a regular weekday rush-hour schedule, only what I believe they announced would be a “near” weekday rush-hour schedule. It would’ve only made sense for them to anticipate they should have as normal a rush-hour scheduling and number of trains as possible, given the event and expected numbers–but this is Boston and Massachusetts, and common sense not usually being a priority is the norm. (And, also, probably the burden of having to be beholden to all the strict union-set overtime staff hours and wages..) Sorry to hear about the fans who didn’t get to the Parade at all or on time, but here’s to a hopeful second consecutive Cup-winning season, and the chance for another such Rally, next year again!

    • Jim Haines

      They said they were running the subways and Buses at weekday rush hour schedules, not the commuter trains. Remember, the MBTA contracts the MBCR to run the trains and should have run them on a weekday schedule. This is why the trains are a joke. DUMP THE MBCR!

  • Don Armstrong

    Once again someone complains because they left at 9:30 from Lowell to get to a parade that started at 11. The last sentence says it all “Those who left before 8 AM got there on time with no troubles”. Over a million people showed up at the parade and I bet the majority left early and got a good spot. I think many of the complainers have also left their house at 7 PM on a 4th of July and assumed they could get a spot up in front of the Esplanade to watch the 4th of July show with the Boston Pops. Failure to plan is a plan for failure. By the way one of my friends daughters lives in Tewksbury and she took the T and had a front row view of the entire parade that she posted on Facebook so I gather she left with plenty of time to spare.

    • peter99889


      The trains were a joke. The 7:00 train from Fitchberg blew by all the stations from Acton on, and left riders stranded. I was at the train stop at 7:15. The MBCR sent a second train, but bu that time we could not drive to Boston. I should have been in Boston by 8:30. I did not arrive until 9:45.

      Davey should be ashamed of himself for not anticipating this.

  • chickenparm

    Oh Mr. Davey…Where were you??? Were you and the governor at the parade
    yesterday kicking back wine coolers while the commuter rail trains were packed on unsafe trains?

  • Peg

    What the heck did you expect???? A million people, 90+% of them taking the T, you leave 1 1/2 hours before the parade starts without expecting delays? LEAVE EARLIER YOU FOOLS!

    • strafe

      Idiot, we left our house at 7:15. You must be a T employee or should I just say that you’re “on the dole?”


    Gee sounds like they are late for everything.. RULE OF THUMB<< dont leave late for something that will be extremely busy and expect to get there on TIME.. GEE you dont leave at rush hour need to drive even ten miles and expect to get there on time… In many cases IT WONT HAPPEN…. PLAN AHEAD NEXT TIME…..

    • Ron

      While I’m not normally a fan of the T, your post was spot on. Especially relevant for the first guy interviewed given that, if you look at the posted schedules for that line, it’s normally about 1 hour for the trip to North Station from Lawrence. If there had been a Weekday schedule in place on Saturday, even if he got to the station at 9:30, he would’ve missed the only one that would get there before 11:00. When he said “You live, you learn,” maybe he learned to read and check a publicly available schedule. It’s like the folks I see crowding around Park St station on Saturdays at 12:50 trying to get to Fenway for a 1:00 game. Listen for some of them to whine that they’re going to miss the opening pitch.

      • peter998899

        Your right Ron, people could not leave at 9:30 and expect to get on time But there were many of us who tried to take early trains that never arrived, or blew by stations leaving travelers stranded

        Then when a train (totall unscheduled) arrived, there was one conductor to open doors for all six cars. The conductors and management are total idiots.

    • turkiamoore

      stfuu ‘ ; :]

  • RJ

    The T is running out of chances to prove it is worthy of our trust and support. Was management so blind and unaware of popularity of the Bruins not to realize how many hundreds of thousands of people would want to see the parade? MassDOT even sent out warnings to take public transportation. Simple utter incompetence. So very disappointing.

  • Concerned Citizen

    HERE’S A THOUGHT, HAVE EXTRA TRAINS LIKE YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TOO. And pay the works enough money so they want to do there job. Mayor Menino should have been waiting 2 hours in line with us, cause we had a 2 year old with us, screaming and overheating cause we were packed like sardines in the terminal waiting to get back to Franklin.

  • Jim Haines

    My complaint was them forcing us to stand outside North Station after the parade and wouldn’t let us in to sit down, shop in the Pro Shop or get something to eat/drink inside the station! You call that good customer service????? A lot of people were ready to pass out from the sun beating down on us in that Ally way! Over TWO HOURS I waited to get into that station. THAT WAS TOTALLY UNEXCEPTIONABLE!!! We should have been aloud into the building where we could sit down out of the sun and wait for train. Then when they let us in, the only opened ONE OF THE FOUR DOORS!!!!! THE MBCR CAN SHOVE IT!

  • emom

    But the T wants you to buy their ware’s,,,,,,,,,, GET YOUR T-SHIRTS HERE,,,,,,,, ONLY $35 GET YOUR COMMUTER MUG,,, only $15……………. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOO they cant get us a few extra trains…….. they would have made way more money than the sales of their warte’s…. AHHHHHHHHH another HUGE mistake curtisy of the MBTA……………..

  • Zib

    West Medford Station: Waited 40 minutes past the scheduled arrival time and watched a train go by us at warp speed. Nobody flipped the bird since we were so surprised. A few minutes later a train going outbound toward Lowell blew by the station /people waiting to go to Lowell still no fingers. Another half hour passed (with erroneous messages on the message board) yet it kept us amused yet repulsed. Still another train went by heading toward North Station, again no luck. We ended up catching a bus to Davis Sq.
    Several hours later we arrived at North Station, I’ll cut out the details but there at the station there was NO communication and when they finally announced anything
    we couldn’t understand because the PA system was terrible and echoed so badly that it was impossible to hear. We waited there for 2-3 hours with T employees useless since they “knew nothing” of which train, which track and what time there were leaving. We bought our $5.00 tickets and yet nobody ever asked to see them when we finally boarded the train. All in all a great day yet it was stained by the “T” authorities inefficiency and lackadasical attitude toward me and the other taxpayers /farepayers waiting for service. This is an example of a governmental authority gone amuck. It’s disappointing that in this day and age of rapid everything we have such a lumbering, fumbling authority and bureaucrats making life harder than it has to be. It used to be that people making a living on the taxpayers generousity had the courtesy of at least trying to deliver what we pay for but today there is a disdain for keeping ones word and excuses are rampant. The MBTA should have known that there would be extremely large crowds from past experience but as usual they let down the public. The funniest part of this whole experience is that the T wants to expand operations. They can’t handle what they are supposed to be delivering now yet they want to expand. Heads should roll for this latest slap to the publics face but as usuall we’re the ones with the slapped faces adding insult to injury.

  • BC

    I drove to Wonderland fron Swampscott and took the T to Chinatown. Left my house at 9AM. Had no problem at all. I don’t think the commuter rail is able to accommodate large crowds. Why, I don’t know.?? I think the T did a good job!

  • MV Macin

    I was catching the 9:07 AM at North Billerica, the Lowell train blew by us – full. But oh yes they had a ticket lady who was selling $12.50 round trip tickets. SHe knew nothing and the man who pulled up with his PA system couldn’t be heard. Nothing on the info board. FInally we were told train would be 25 minutes late. There were 400 people at the station. On the way back -terrible customer service- waiting outside – no bathroom, no water and couldn’t hear announcements. Train was packed – at age 60 sitting on floor, not one young college kid ever offered me a seat. No conductors to be seen, no one opened the stairway to get down – kids were jumping – terrible service.

  • Mott

    What kind of math makes 120,000 “more than double” 67,000??

    • signalchick

      I had the very same thought!

  • Megan

    We took the train in from Franklin at 8:30 and got in at 10…no problems, but our train was almost completely full in Franklin, but they let more on along the way. My only complaint is that they TOLD EVERYONE TO TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION and we abided by that. My complaint is how they ran the service especially with outbound commuter lines. We were at the Back Bay station at 1:15 to catch the 1:25 train out, but the place was so full we waited for over an hour with ten thousand other people in an unventilated and extremetly crowded line. People were passing out from heat exhaustion everywhere. How fortunate that the crowd on Saturday was awesome!
    There is no question that the MBTA should have put more trains and commuter lines in service! How can you ask people to use their service and then NOT be prepared to accomodate them?????????????????

  • KC

    We got to Reading station at 7:30 am for the 7:52 train. The train showed up at around 8:30 and flew right by us. We waited another 15 minutes for the next train. This one was packed as well, but stopped.It was standing room only on the train. Only half of us at Reading station got on, and the rest were left behind. We blew by all the other stations on the way to North Station. I saw a lot of angry people as we went by. On the way back, we saw the MASSIVE line out in the hot sun, and decided to take the orange line to Oak Grove and get a ride to Reading from there. The Orange line was extremely packed as well, but running very efficiently. I think the commuter rail was a disaster.


    left a little after 7 took the orange line to downtown crossing and was in my front row seat by 8 and that included standing in line for 20 mins for the bathroom at the corner mall. waited about 2 mins for train in. Walked to Chinatown after the parade–to avoid crowded downtown crossing–plenty of room on the platform and got seats on the train after waiting maybe 5 mins. was home by 1:00!! I think they did an excellent job!!!!!

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