By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Growing up in Cambridge, I took the T everywhere, commuting by bus, Red Line train, and Green Line trolley every day to and from high school.

I learned the hard way to hate the experience – the annoying breakdowns and delays, the lack of information, the jam-packed cars at rush hour.

I couldn’t wait to buy a car and escape it, not that driving around here is any day at the amusement park.

Decades later, not that much has changed.

redlinesmoke2 Keller @ Large: All T Riders Can Do Is Suffer

Smoke at Andrew Station on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. (Photo credit: John Orrison)

In the wake of Wednesday’s scary episode when some kind of equipment failure filled a Red Line train at Andrew with smoke and shattered glass, my Twitter feed is filled with outraged riders, decrying what a nightmare their daily commute has become and sarcastically wondering if the T would once again blame the problems on bad weather.

Whatever the reason, it seems many T customers are no longer interested in the usual excuses about aging infrastructure and lack of funds, however valid they might be.

So far, polls suggest that most voters aren’t blaming Governor Baker for the MBTA’s failure, giving him credit for trying to fix an inherited mess. But during this election year you’ll be hearing plenty of criticism of Baker’s refusal to raise new tax revenues to help repair the T, and at this rate some of it will surely stick.

In the meantime, what is a disgruntled T rider to do?

Mostly, suffer.

newredline Keller @ Large: All T Riders Can Do Is Suffer

An artist rendering of a new MBTA Red Line car. (WBZ-TV)

The entire Red Line fleet is being replaced, but the new cars won’t be delivered until the end of 2019 at best.

A frustrating wait — just like riding the T itself.

Share your opinion with me via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.


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