Anyone that rides the commuter has a strategy for getting the seat they want. I’m lucky in that I go end to end Worcester to Boston (and vice-versa) so the selection is usually wide open. In this regard, I have the pick of the liter.
The daily conundrum I face is which car to pick. Let me break down my seat requirements first. I like the double-decker cars with the tables in the middle, outlets under the tables(but I can go without) and good WiFi connection. The only way I can justify living in Worcester with offices in both Boston and Worcester is by making productive use of the 90+ minutes (each way) I have on the train. Leisure reading would be nice but mine is a 100% working commute. In all honesty, I enjoy it(most of the time) because I’m locked in to the task at hand with virtually no distractions. But I also need to get settled in quickly by taking my coat, hats, gloves, face cover, etc off, get out my computer and get to work ASAP.
Nothing can derail this finely tuned working machine as fast as a spotty to no WiFi connection in the car. In fact, I prefer none to sporadic so I can just move on and focus on some financial, energy analysis or other spreadsheets that I’ve been putting off.
A fact of riding the commuter rail is that, even in my situation, you have a finite amount of time to find your coveted seat and once you commit to a seat the window to change is limited. During the rush hour trains, you might have until the next stop but only if you are moving seats within the same car. If you can’t see the actual seat you’re moving to, that super risky!
My Daily Conundrum: Which Car Do I Pick? It’s nerve-wracking because the true lynchpin of my working commute can’t be seen, felt or touched. Initially, I tried to go by the giant signs on the outside of the cars but that’s not been great. Next, I’d check the entry way for a router relay but even that has failed me. Considering millions of people commute every year and we all have our own strategies, someone out there must have a better system to determine the best car for WiFi.
If you do, I’d love to know your secret!