Should we continue to subscribe to the Globe?

A few days ago I came back from a rare early-morning run and noticed an old car slowly easing its way up our street, drive-by style. The man was clearly lost. He was also delivering the Boston Globe.

That’s yet another reason to cancel our subscription to the Globe: the horrible environmental impact of the delivery guys driving around town. Add that to the amount of time I waste every morning reading the paper (which is the same stuff I’d be reading online, plus all the other crap I really needn’t be reading, like the op-eds), not to mention the actual cost of subscribing.

There’s only one and a half reasons to keep subscribing:

One: I can’t think of any other way to support many of the comic strips I love so much, especially the less popular ones like Arlo & Janis.

Half: I really hate contributing to the continuing decline of the daily newspaper, even if the Globe continues to waste too much of its resources on unnecessary coverage. (The nation and world will march on if the Globe drops its national and international desks).


FTA: mandate a whistleblower SMS number on buses

I wrote this sitting on the 1pm Peter Pan bus from New York back to Boston:

I’m noticed some pretty disturbing things:

  1. The bus driver has been on the phone for a good portion of the drive.
  2. Greyhound / Peter Pan doesn’t post a “How’s my driving?” phone number inside the cabin.
  3. Even if they did, I’d be uncomfortable making that call in earshot of the driver. If I had the temerity to do that, I’d just tell the driver to his face.

Solution? Well the bus operators themselves ought to provide an SMS number for us to silently report bad driver behavior for immediate followup. But I don’t trust voluntary participation. This is one realm where the FTA should step in.

Greyhound drops “convenience fee,” ups NYC discount fare

With Greyhound’s own BoltBus funneling off the crazy bargain shoppers, Greyhound’s Boston-New York discount fare (the one you have to click “Can I get a lower price?” to get) is now up to $45. But in a victory for transparency, they’ve also dropped the “convenience fee” of $3. So, compared with a month ago, the price is now UP $2, but at least there’s no bait-and-switch pricing going on any more.

(BoltBus runs fewer trips than Greyhound — I needed something around 8pm and BoltBus only runs until 5pm. And once again I needed to be Midtown, West Side).

Another dirty trick in the Boston-New York bus wars

So, hoping to get to Long Island in time for Passover, I was shopping for tix that would put me somewhere near Penn Station, so the Chinatown buses were out. Amtrak’s still too expensive, so the old gray mare, Greyhound, was my next option. Turns out the standard price for Boston-New York is $32… but if you click on the “Can I get a cheaper ticket?” button, the answer is “Yes” — a $20 ticket. Nice, right? Well, after going through that whole process, I find that Greyhound’s picked up some tricks from its airline cousins:


Yup, a $3 “convenience fee” — for ME printing out THEIR ticket and avoiding THEIR line and horrible service. Nice bait-and-switch. Let’s see you do that trick again NEXT TIME I DON’T TAKE GREYHOUND.