Yesterday I took the T to Boston to have lunch with a friend from Spokane. Fox News was parked in front of MGH hoping, I presume, for a breaking news photo of John Kerry or Teresa Heinz.
The ride on the T felt unusually calming. But why? Since my last ride a few months ago, the MBTA has eliminated all the ways to ride without paying. As a start, only the front door is opened so everyone has to develop a little personal relationship with the conductor: pay, or show or scan your ticket. No more getting on in the back and pretending you have a pass. I watched the conductor refuse rides to several people; one had an invalid ticket, another said she only had a twenty, a third mumbled that he was in a hurry for an appointment. The conductor just pointed to the ticket kiosk on the platform and indicated that another train would be coming soon. In response to my ‘compliment’ about it, the conductor told me that there were no exceptions. “I got in trouble for letting a homeless person on free.”
I’m wondering what was so calming about the ride? Best I can come up with is that everyone was exuding honest energy--no nervous energy of the cheating variety.