Yeah it's cold, which has made recent rides on the perpetually late Fitchburg commuter rail bone-chilling.
But it's not the cold and tardiness that are the big issues. It's the so-called "digital updates" that are annoying.
One day last week as we stood in zero degree temps waiting for the early train, the rolling update on the sign read "the train is on or near schedule ... due to the weather, the train is 15-20 minutes late ... the train is on or near schedule ... due to the weather, the train is 15-20 minutes late."
Choose one. It's called editing.
The next day I arrive at North Station for the outbound train to see the conveniently posted sign above the entrance doors that declared my train was "boarding." I was pleased to see this as I had not intended to get the earlier train, which obviously was boarding a few minutes late.
So after doing my best George Costanza imitation of fleeing a burning kitchen, nearly knocking several people over as I bolted to Track 10, I arrive at the gate to find the train was long gone. Incredulous, I look up at the sign to see the train is "boarding."
Obviously, someone was playing solitaire.
A few days later, on a minus-6-degree morning, we waited for the train. And waited. And waited. The sign read "the train is on or near schedule," but it was now 20 minutes late. Once it arrived, the conductor made the announcement that there were "air pressure" issues that needed to be resolved.
But no update on the sign.
We could have gone back to our cars for a few minutes to warm up our frozen extremities if we had known the train on a minus-6-degree morning was going to be 20 minutes late.
Memo to the MBTA: If you're going to have signs, make sure they are updated.
We forgive you for being late (it's the culture). We understand stuff happens.
Just pay attention to the signs. We certainly do.