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Old 02-20-2018, 12:20 PM   #1001
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Good stuff. Saw you posted on the FB group too. IDK why it didn't get more of a response. Nearly $100MM infrastructure project, a handful of likes. Someone gets two tickets on their car, hundreds of likes.
I no longer question that in "Chelsea MA What's Happening" Facebook group anymore. I just don't..

what people get all upset about and what they SHOULD get upset about are two very different things.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:41 AM   #1002
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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I no longer question that in "Chelsea MA What's Happening" Facebook group anymore. I just don't..

what people get all upset about and what they SHOULD get upset about are two very different things.
Agreed. That page has gone from being an informative FB group to a complaining group; most of the times people getting fined brought it upon themselves.

I hope for the best for this new service in town.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:49 AM   #1003
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Agreed. That page has gone from being an informative FB group to a complaining group; most of the times people getting fined brought it upon themselves.

I hope for the best for this new service in town.
Yes. Someone on there coin'd the new name for that group

"Chelsea, MA: What's your complaint"

its what they ALL do on there. East Boston group isn't much better. It would be better if the moderated posts and didn't allow some of the idiotic questions. A similar group for my hometown in NH is run in that manner, and it stops 99% of the idiotic questions.

To keep this on topic to this thread, I've given up trying to reply to people on there. Everyone is so quick to dog the service that hasn't even started. I work with a few transit oriented groups, and there's a few neighborhoods that would have LOVED to see 400million go into a busway into their neighborhood. No, MassDOT and the MBTA decided to give Chelsea service, because it's needed so badly.

Yet people on that page are STILL complaining it's not a subway or its not light rail. People forget the whole picture, and frankly, if 99% of the same people who complain about how 'bad it's going to be', showed up at the planning meetings eons ago, they'd have a clear understanding why we got what we got.

Hate to be like this but "ungrateful people" sometimes..
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:55 AM   #1004
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

On a related note..

A buddy of mine who drives the Silver Line, decided to go try to drive for the SL3. He gave me a few tidbits.

1. They've been testing the line for the weekends and its working out well

2. I asked about the stop lights that were not installed. His reply, currently Transit Police will be there directing traffic initially to make the buses go faster. Lights will be installed in the next few months, but the T and MassDOT wanted to get the service up and running sooner than later

(also this coincides with other nearby projects such as the N Washington Bridge and the US 1 Viaduct project which both are 111 effecting)

3. I also got times for the first run on April 1st. First run leaving South Station @ 6:17am, First run leaving Chelsea Station (Mystic Mall) is at 6:30am

Now the bigger question is.. which one should I be on? :-) And who wants to join.
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:28 PM   #1005
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by cybah View Post
Yes. Someone on there coin'd the new name for that group

"Chelsea, MA: What's your complaint"

its what they ALL do on there. East Boston group isn't much better. It would be better if the moderated posts and didn't allow some of the idiotic questions. A similar group for my hometown in NH is run in that manner, and it stops 99% of the idiotic questions.

To keep this on topic to this thread, I've given up trying to reply to people on there. Everyone is so quick to dog the service that hasn't even started. I work with a few transit oriented groups, and there's a few neighborhoods that would have LOVED to see 400million go into a busway into their neighborhood. No, MassDOT and the MBTA decided to give Chelsea service, because it's needed so badly.

Yet people on that page are STILL complaining it's not a subway or its not light rail. People forget the whole picture, and frankly, if 99% of the same people who complain about how 'bad it's going to be', showed up at the planning meetings eons ago, they'd have a clear understanding why we got what we got.

Hate to be like this but "ungrateful people" sometimes..
Why did we get what we got? I think it makes a lot of logistical sense tbh
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:19 PM   #1006
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Why did we get what we got? I think it makes a lot of logistical sense tbh
It really boiled down to cost and it being an 'easy win'.

When this project was original spec'd out in 2013, it was positioned as a really easy win and relatively cheap to build. MassDOT already owned the ROW so no land to buy (or ROW to acquire).

All the bridges, except for 1, were wide enough for the busway AND in new condition. The only one, the Washington Ave bridge was already slated to be replaced, so they sped up that project to work along side this one. And the funding was separate, so the SLG project did not have to pay for any bridge replacements.

The stations themselves were kept at a very low cost. They are nice stations (as you've seen from the photos) but very basic. They use concrete vs brick/tile/stone. And just have basic amenities (fare equipment, police box, maps, lighting). Again basic not to cheapen it, but cheap to keep costs down.

And as far as service, there were no new buses to be purchased to provide service. The T had the buses (which were refurbished in Maine), so that kept cost down.

And as far as the Easy Win?

Time. This is a project that started in April 2015. 3 years later we have a working BRT line now. I call that a win. I can't say that about any other project right now (i.e GLX)

This project also was "shovel ready". MassDOT owned the land so construction could start right away. Plus much of the initial planning (i.e. environmental, CTPS, MPO, etc etc) were done long ago as apart of the Urban Ring project. Remember, once this line opens, and is eventually extended to somewhere along the Orange Line, it will complete a arc of the Urban Ring.

And as far as the pivotal question? Why not light rail or an extension of the blue line.

Out of the scope of the project. The main scope of this project was to provide a low cost, shovel ready, service for Chelsea. I just point to Exhibit GLX to see how well that's working out. Plus we've all talked about on here the logistics in this very thread about trying to get rail over the bridge (either on the bridge or under/over it).. it's just too costly, which defeats point number 1 of this entire project.. "low cost".
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:30 AM   #1007
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

I recently wrote a post on my blog how it's better to build new transit based on demand verses where it's easiest or cheapest to build. The thing about this project is that it dovetails between the two. The line runs through existing residential neighborhoods and lands in desperate need of rezoning (as opposed to a new line through an industrial area). If this was a Blue Line extension it would require more room for tracks and a new tunnel from Eastie to Chelsea.

This COULD attract more riders as BL but it doesn't need to. This is exactly the kind of project that BRT is perfect for. A new line with good ridership potential but one that might not justify fixed rail just yet. It would be a much harder project to push if it cost $1 billion due to tunneling. For a smaller cost you can build ridership to the point that sometime in the future it will make sense to replace it with the BL.

What I'm curious to see is if demand shifts from the north meaning that are riders on bus lines from Revere going to switch to the SL? What about using the busway as a trunk line? All things to study before fixed rail is laid.

It's not a perfect project, the SL from the Airport to South Station is still a mess but most likely you'll see most of the ridership transferring at Airport BL, more justification for a future BL extension.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:01 AM   #1008
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
I recently wrote a post on my blog how it's better to build new transit based on demand verses where it's easiest or cheapest to build. The thing about this project is that it dovetails between the two. The line runs through existing residential neighborhoods and lands in desperate need of rezoning (as opposed to a new line through an industrial area). If this was a Blue Line extension it would require more room for tracks and a new tunnel from Eastie to Chelsea.

This COULD attract more riders as BL but it doesn't need to. This is exactly the kind of project that BRT is perfect for. A new line with good ridership potential but one that might not justify fixed rail just yet. It would be a much harder project to push if it cost $1 billion due to tunneling. For a smaller cost you can build ridership to the point that sometime in the future it will make sense to replace it with the BL.

What I'm curious to see is if demand shifts from the north meaning that are riders on bus lines from Revere going to switch to the SL? What about using the busway as a trunk line? All things to study before fixed rail is laid.

It's not a perfect project, the SL from the Airport to South Station is still a mess but most likely you'll see most of the ridership transferring at Airport BL, more justification for a future BL extension.
I agree with everything you said. Because if we go back to my point about the Urban Ring. I'm not sure who on this group was around then, but this project was heavily studied. At the time, it was a very big deal.

But one of the main points was it was a three phased approach to building it. The idea was, let ridership build and decide what to mode to use after. Initially there were three phases (if I recall)

Phase 1 - ITS implementation and creation of CT routes
Phase 2 - Creation of BRT line(s)
Phase 3 - Migration of BRT lines to Light Rail on certain segments

So the UR Had a plan to do this. So it's very well possible that these same plans are in place for SLG. Let's see where this goes before throwing more money at it.

And a good point. Sure it's a bus (which is another big argument I have with people on FB) but if its done right, it can provide a low cost way to get transit to people faster.

Many cities are doing this right now, its easier and cheaper to build BRT right now. Some cities already have much of the facilities to covert current bus lines to BRT, so its not much of a jump. Its easier to get smaller amounts of funding quickly so why not. Let ridership build, then go back in 10-15 years and say "We need light rail now, here's our transit studies to prove we need it. Now give us money"

It really is a no brainer.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:29 AM   #1009
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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I agree with everything you said. Because if we go back to my point about the Urban Ring. I'm not sure who on this group was around then, but this project was heavily studied. At the time, it was a very big deal.

But one of the main points was it was a three phased approach to building it. The idea was, let ridership build and decide what to mode to use after. Initially there were three phases (if I recall)

Phase 1 - ITS implementation and creation of CT routes
Phase 2 - Creation of BRT line(s)
Phase 3 - Migration of BRT lines to Light Rail on certain segments

So the UR Had a plan to do this. So it's very well possible that these same plans are in place for SLG. Let's see where this goes before throwing more money at it.

And a good point. Sure it's a bus (which is another big argument I have with people on FB) but if its done right, it can provide a low cost way to get transit to people faster.

Many cities are doing this right now, its easier and cheaper to build BRT right now. Some cities already have much of the facilities to covert current bus lines to BRT, so its not much of a jump. Its easier to get smaller amounts of funding quickly so why not. Let ridership build, then go back in 10-15 years and say "We need light rail now, here's our transit studies to prove we need it. Now give us money"

It really is a no brainer.
The Globe (I think it was the Sunday magazine) had an interesting piece a few months ago actually arguing against big new rail projects, in view of the coming automatic/driverless pods of the future rendering them unnecessary in 20-30 years.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:22 AM   #1010
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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The Globe (I think it was the Sunday magazine) had an interesting piece a few months ago actually arguing against big new rail projects, in view of the coming automatic/driverless pods of the future rendering them unnecessary in 20-30 years.
There's some truth to that. Not so much killing rail projects, but the thought that we would move to driverless pods. You'd just go to a location, put in your destination, and off you go. You'd just be 'routed' automatically to your destination.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:35 PM   #1011
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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There's some truth to that. Not so much killing rail projects, but the thought that we would move to driverless pods. You'd just go to a location, put in your destination, and off you go. You'd just be 'routed' automatically to your destination.
Yup, that is eventually where we are going. However, even with everything fully automated, streets still have a finite capacity which is less than rail (especially using the 1-4 seater pod concepts), especially in urban places that will still need lights/etc for pedestrians.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:43 PM   #1012
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Yup, that is eventually where we are going. However, even with everything fully automated, streets still have a finite capacity which is less than rail (especially using the 1-4 seater pod concepts), especially in urban places that will still need lights/etc for pedestrians.
And essentially a pod is car, so are we any better? Sure its driverless and probably by then will be renewable energy, but it is better? Prob not

(and I know, we're getting off topic here)
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:48 PM   #1013
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Looks like it's been delayed to April 21

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/tra...ches-april-21/
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:45 PM   #1014
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Why am I not surprised?!!
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:46 PM   #1015
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Why am I not surprised?!!
Why would you be? Project has been reasonable on time/budget this entire time and is still opening roughly on time.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:47 AM   #1016
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Looks like it's been delayed to April 21

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/tra...ches-april-21/
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Why am I not surprised?!!
Actually it's not. I said April 1 here because that was what bus drivers told me as a pick-able route. The T has since made an official announcement last week stating it was 4/21. They even admitted there was some confusion.

The construction contract ends 3/30 so it's still on target.

I think the small delay is more because they want traffic lights to go up (they aren't up yet) and the ramp at Bellingham Sq still needs to be finished.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:27 PM   #1017
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Actually it's not. I said April 1 here because that was what bus drivers told me as a pick-able route. The T has since made an official announcement last week stating it was 4/21. They even admitted there was some confusion.

The construction contract ends 3/30 so it's still on target.

I think the small delay is more because they want traffic lights to go up (they aren't up yet) and the ramp at Bellingham Sq still needs to be finished.
Yeah, but, are you normally up at 6:47 in the morning?
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:23 PM   #1018
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Yeah, but, are you normally up at 6:47 in the morning?
I'm up at 515 usually. Sometimes earlier. My body clock is permanently set to wake that early. I even do it on weekends.

Which is why I grocery shop at Market Basket at 530a on Saturdays. No one there.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:36 AM   #1019
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

At the four new bus stations, is wheelchair loading going to require flipping out the wheelchair ramp through the front door of the bus, or did they figure out how to make level boarding work? (I'd thought I'd seen a promise of level boarding at one point, but as I've been looking today I can't find anything promising level boarding for the buses, just level boarding for the commuter rail.)
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:47 AM   #1020
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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At the four new bus stations, is wheelchair loading going to require flipping out the wheelchair ramp through the front door of the bus, or did they figure out how to make level boarding work? (I'd thought I'd seen a promise of level boarding at one point, but as I've been looking today I can't find anything promising level boarding for the buses, just level boarding for the commuter rail.)
I'm going to say level boarding. The platforms are raised. And remember buses do have a ramp that does come out so it could be used if its not quite level.

But I can assume it is because the station would not be ADA compliant. And since it is 'rapid transit', ADA rules apply. (unlike bus stops which are not 'stations', so different compliancy rules apply)
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