It has happened to all of us: you’re talking on the phone when you go underground to the Copley T station and the call gets dropped, or you’re trying to send a friend a very important text message while on the Green Line when you realize you don’t have any service. Those few moments when you’re disconnected and isolated from civilization are excruciatingly frustrating. But there’s good news! The Boston Globe has just reported that by the end of the year, the MBTA’s Green and Blue lines will feature cell phone service. Underground cell service is already available on the entire Orange line and part of the Red line, so it was only natural that passengers on the Blue and Green lines would someday be able to gab on the phone while riding the T too. Unfortunately, the Prudential and Symphony stations on the Green line’s E branch will not be getting cell reception until the end of 2012, along with the still unserviced areas of the Red line. However, installation of cell reception on the rest of the Green line and all of the Blue line should be completed by the end of 2011. All of the MBTA’s 35 underground stations and 19 miles of tunnels are expected to feature cell phone service by the end of 2012. So Blue and Green line riders, get ready to talk, text, and check email while riding the T. You can even use the new cell service to Text a Librarian and get help from a librarian at Snell! But please, be courteous while talking on your cell phones. Just because nothing will be stopping you from chatting obnoxiously loud to your friend on your phone about what you did last weekend doesn’t mean you should do it. If you are respectful of others around you while using your phone, riding the T can be a pleasant experience for all. To find out more read the Boston Globe article and for research and books about the history of the MBTA, search NUCat, Northeastern’s library catalog.
How is everyone commuting these days? The price of gas is going up, and I keep reading articles about people who are switching to bicycles and scooters and public transportation for their commutes. Not sure I’m seeing much difference in bike/foot traffic around here, since I think many people switch to bikes in the summer anyway. I usually take the T myself, but what prompts me to think about change is that today I decided to try a different route that took me directly to the Orange Line. Turns out that was a great plan on two fronts: it was a shorter commute AND there was a fire or something at Porter Square that caused a lot of delays on the Red Line. Too bad I didn’t think about checking for alternative routes earlier! Anyone else making a change?