MBTA Command Center

I discovered a few months ago that our local subway offers tours of its command center!
Super exciting!

Wandering among large buildings in the early mornings, I stood at the front door of the serious-business office, staffed by officials in subway uniforms. I was impressed by the variety of people that showed up and acquainted myself with the hodgepodge tourists.

“C’mon in.”
A lady, donning a sunflowery dress and a lanyard-badge, signaled for us for follow her.
mbta tour lady
One by one, we trailed behind her and sardined ourselves in an elevator.

The elevator opened up to a gleaming hallway, not unlike any esteemed hotel.
The lady gripped the handlebars of a large wooden door, and with the sweeping extension of her arm, turned the knobs and revealed a large conference room, overseeing the the entire command operations on the floor below.
MBTA command center
It was incredibly movie-esque: the wide of cameras, the light-up display boards, and the radio hum seeping through the conference room’s glass walls.

The lady began to explain some of the intricacies of being a subway command center operator.
She excitedly articulated what I thought was the coolest tidbit: the “East to West” phenomenon.
“East to West” was the guarantee that the very last subway trains of the night made all of their possible connections! The amount of planning for it to happen was incredible!
last train
The tour was enlightening. I learned a lot about the subway.
Now, I’ll view them in a interesting light on my everday ride.

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