Music and the MBTA

Yesterday morning, as part of a special Sunday service, I did some solo work on Chris DeBlasio's The Best Beloved with Old South Church (and some of you were there!). There had been a rehearsal Saturday morning for which we trekked through much rain so we could rehearse certain pieces with a string quintet, a horn, and an excellent harpist with a gorgeous instrument. All the instrumentalists are students at Harvard, I believe. The performances went well, with a variety of featured musicians and singers, and very interesting repertoire composed by three fascinating composers, all of whom died as a result of complications of the AIDS virus, including Kevin Oldham and Calvin Hampton.

Prior to the service, though, I spent quite a bit of energy unnecessarily, waiting for the bus. I live in a metropolitan area and I try to take advantage of the public transportation that is provided, as it is reasonably priced when compared with car ownership costs, it's better for the environment, and I don't have to worry about remembering where I last parked. These are a few reasons why I use a CharlieCard. One flat monthly fee and as many train/bus/ferry rides per month as I wish will get me just about anywhere I need to go. No, it's not as efficient or glamorous as the Tube or the Metro, but it works.

Typically, I get to the bus stop about 10 minutes before it is scheduled to arrive, to ensure I've provided an adequate window for not missing the bus. Well, this particular morning, in 20 degrees and a gusting wind I waited for 18 minutes. Somewhat fed up and freezing, I called the MBTA to find out where the bus might be. I spoke with "Karen" who told me that the bus "should be on time", and that it was "only 8 minutes late". (Only 8 minutes late? Why bother having a schedule?!) I asked her if she could contact the driver to find out where the bus was currently located. She told me "no such technology exists". I guess the MBTA has not been enlighted about the wonders of radio, nor the advent of cellular phone technology. I thanked her for her time and ended the call.

Where was the bus? Who knows! Perhaps it was one of those buses that had been arbitrarily cancelled despite the posted schedule. I didn't have time to wait around and find out. Instead, I hailed a taxicab with a very nice driver (he offered to drive me to NYC for a fare of coffee and a doughnut!) and forked over $7.00 for the ride. Later, I emailed the MBTA requesting a reimbursement be mailed to me in check form. I'll let you know how this scheme turns out.

1 comment:

ellen said...

I think the MBTA is a few dollars in debt so good luck getting your seven bucks.