The T whipped out the ancient electric buses tonight, I guess because they assumed that bad things would happen with the ice and didn’t want to beat up the new buses they got last year. I didn’t even know they kept the old ones around. I guess the motors don’t really go bad, or anything, so.
It amused me to note that even these old, old buses got the brand new fare machines with Charlie Ticket and such. I don’t know how much it costs to install one, and I’m sure the T got a mass buyer’s discount, but still.
What was less amusing was that our driver had clearly not been trained on the old buses. We spent 10 minutes getting out of the portal at Harvard Square, with several overhead wire detachments, before we got going. I would guess the (by my count) 5 buses behind us (there were probably more) were less than happy.
We took out time down Mt. Auburn… we seemed to be sparking a lot, I suppose because of ice crusted on the lines. I was amazed at the speed with which some vehicles passed us.
We got the to the Star Market, where I was getting off to make some purchases anyway, and there was a transit policeman pulled over, stopping the electric buses. When I came out of the store, after finishing my shopping, the other folks from my bus (destination: Watertown square) were still waiting on the bus. They had their standard diesel buses on the inbound routes. I would guess that as rush hour peaked, more non-electric buses were freed up for use on the 71 and 73 routes.
On my brief walk home, no sidewalks were cleared, and the crosswalk buttons were non-functional because they were sealed in ice. But thanks to the miracle of GORE-TEX®, I am quite dry.