johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,

Bad Pass, Biotch

I got befuddled while in South Station on Wednesday trying to catch the Silver Line to the airport. I've done it before, I don't know why I got confused. (embarrassing account of one man's total inability to follow simple signs and instructions removed to protect the inadvertent.) In my confusion, I wandered back outside the fare gates, and actually asked an MBTA employee for help. He pointed me to an elevator inside the gates.

I tried to go back in, but the machine rejected my pass with an intimidating "BAD PASS" message. But my pass is not bad. My pass is good. It's a Zone 1 Commuter Rail pass. It eats little subway passes for lunch.

I interrupted a conversation between a T employee -- who I'd coincidentally seen busting up a gang of toughs three years ago inside Downtown Crossing, and who I still think looks like the dude who wears the earmuff things and has something to do with firing the Death Star gun -- and a plainclothes person about "WTF are the WMDs?".

"Why won't it take my pass?"

"You have to wait 20 minutes."

"Are you serious?!"

"Yes. I was just telling him that too."

(No, you were just telling him where the WMDs are, Captain. Fire when ready.) "But I've got a plane to catch! I'll miss my flight!"

He grumbled and waved a magic wand next to the gates. They opened. We rode the elevator down to the platform together. He didn't seem to hold a grudge.

Anyway, I'm worried about the attempts at access control in the new pass system. I know they had something like this before with the old passes too, but it didn't work like this.

20 minutes is way too long of a lockout. I have definitely had 2 legitimate non-confusion-inspired uses of my pass within 20 minutes. Exit, go into a restaurant, pick up takeout, reenter going the same direction.

On a side note, I doubt the wisdom of having to follow the signs toward WORLD TRADE CENTER in order to get to the airport. Can we skip that stop please?
Tags: boston, diary, mbta, south station, travel
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