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Old 03-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #1261
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Commuting Boston Student View Post
Or, you could take the reasonable course of action and keep the Cabot Yard leads feeding into layover space only for the Red Line, clean up the JFK/UMass - Savin Hill clusterfuck by shifting JFK to have two commuter rail tracks and three Red Line tracks, and use two of the three platforms for continuing service while the third is exclusively for trains reversing direction or proceeding into Layover Hell.
Terminate at JFK? How exactly do you propose to sell that turkey? And busting Red to 3 tracks harms headways and kills the grade separation that currently exists there.

The simple course of action is Braintree-under-Ashmont. Shallow box tunnel...tunnel roof supports the Ashmont tracks on bare concrete...combined electrical/signaling plant.

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There's no need to pull a zany proposal to cripple the Rail Link so that a rapid transit branch can do absolutely nothing that the Greenway trolley will/would do about one hundred times better into this conversation.
You think a Greenway trolley stopping at light after light in heavy traffic is going to outperform rapid transit through the Link? Good lord.

The only thing that's going to cripple the Link is Central Station. Penn Station somehow hasn't ground to a halt with only 2 tracks feeding Amtrak and NJ Transit into it for the last century. 2 tracks through the considerably lighter Link ridership is nothing...especially since it's in a single bore with crossover redundancies. The T's fantasy map of thru-running everything is bullshit. There won't be enough platforms below ground at NS and SS to apportion every single line thru slots, especially with Central Station's crippled capacity. And there's little chance they can justify building the Fitchburg, Fairmount, and Old Colony portals with those chewing up half the project cost for a sharp minority of the traffic.

It's a non-issue.

And RL trains every 3-5 minutes will absolutely shred the wildest dream commuter rail ridership going through there. Red today has 241,000 daily boardings. The entire commuter rail system has 132,000 daily boardings. Which do you think would move more people around the city, especially if it kept going north?


Scream "zany" all you want. Math is math.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:24 PM   #1262
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Even if you run Red Line-class vehicles through the North-South Rail Link, I don't know if that's really still the "Red Line"... Personally, I'd classify colors based off of their downtown tunnels (kind of like NYC), it just so happens that in Boston those also correspond to incompatible vehicle classes.

Personally, my preferred rapid transit-through-link south side routing is to use the Fairmount and create new paths, but you could easily take over the Ashmont or Braintree branches, and leave the other full use of the red line tunnel. It would have to accompany a lot of new development in Dorchester and Quincy to justify, though. You can and probably should use Red Line equipment and maintain everything at Cabot, but I'd brand them separately with a transfer at JFK.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #1263
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

F-Line, I've noticed you used to tout a new rapid-transit line using Red Line stock using Fairmount. Have you since determined that the Fairmount is too valuable to freight to turn over to true rapid transit? The best option then would seem to be your Red "X" with the new line taking over the Medford GLX and running it to Anderson, going into the N/S Link and meeting the Red Line at Broadway beneath(?) the existing tunnel and then assuming the Ashmont route, possibly extended to Mattapan, Readville or Dedham.

Last edited by BussesAin'tTrains; 03-02-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #1264
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Hey, what would it take for all three heavy rail lines to use interchangeable trains? I have a vague recollection of reading that, in theory, you could run Red and Orange line trains on the same track.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #1265
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Hey, what would it take for all three heavy rail lines to use interchangeable trains? I have a vague recollection of reading that, in theory, you could run Red and Orange line trains on the same track.
You can run Blue Line trains on every line, I think- the problem is you can't go the opposite direction, so you lose the advantage of wider and longer trains where you can run them. (And there's no need for pantographs on the other lines)

I think the Orange and Blue dimensions are pretty much set in stone by the Washington St. and East Boston tunnels, respectively.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #1266
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Here's my latest full build map.

Red Line out to Burlington via Arlington and Lexington to the North under the Minuteman and then along the utility RoW to Burlington Mall. Possibly short-turned at Broadway if feasible.

To the south Braintree would be maintained (on this map it's running to Route 24 via Randolph -- more trouble that its worth, but fun to imagine). Ashmont is extended to Mattapan, from there bore tunnel to Fairmount RoW and paralleling to Readville, and then splitting to Dedham. Short-turning at Alewife.

Blue Line up to Salem via Lynn and Swampscott. Terminating at South Salem by Jefferson Ave rather than attempting to deal with altering the downtown tunnel. I run it through Revere via Cedar Point rather than cutting up to the Newburyport Commuter Rail line after Wonderland.

To the Southwest it completes the RedBlue connector via Cambridge St, then runs along the Storrow footprint to Kenmore Square. There are a number of options from there, mostly elevated or taking over a Green Line branch, but I ended it at Kenmore.

Orange Line north to Reading, taking over the Haverhill Line. Pricey nuking at the at-grade crossings. Drop a park-ride at Quannapowitt by Rte 128.

To the south run to Millenium Park hitting all the Needham CR stops to that point.

Indigo Line: Using Red Line stock, upgrade GLX to HRT and run north to Anderson Woburn. Enter N/S Line at OL portal. Join Red Line route at Broadway and assume the Fairmount corridor south to Westwood/Rte 128.

DMU/EMU service on the Framingham and Fitchburg lines, short-turning at Riverside on Framingham, and Cedar Park/Rte 128 on Fitchburg.

Green Line:

Continue the Union Square extension to Porter, and then take the Watertown branch to Watertown Square.

Reestablish the A to Oak Square, if not to Watertown.

Reestablish the E to Arborway/Forest Hills.

Branch off the D after Newton Highlands to Needham. Terminate at Needham Junction.

Branch off of Boylston Station via Tremont Tunnel to Dudley. After that follow Warren and Blue Hill Ave to Mattapan.

Allow revenue runs between the Comm Ave, Beacon St and Riverside branches between Reservoir, Cleveland Circle and Chestnut Hill Ave.

Bury the B to Packards.

Bury the E to Brigham Circle, then tunnel a branch to Brookline Village.

Convert Transit Way to the waterfront to Green Line. Connect it to the rest of the system by tunneling under the NEC to connecting with the Tremont Tunnel line and continuing to Back Bay Station assuming the Huntington Ave route.

Use the Green Line to form the Urban Ring:

Run off-wire trains through the TWT to the Airport.

Street run branches from World Trade Center to Southie, one to City Point, one to UMass.

Link the Airport to Chelsea over the Chelsea Bridge and then alongside the Eastern Branch RoW to Sullivan Square.

Continue from Sullivan to Grand Junction, join the B branch inbound at BU West.

Run a branch from Harvard, under the river and through Beacon Yards to junction at BU West.

Other street-running lines would be possible off of the norther portion, especially in Everett and Revere. Completing the UR below Brigham could utilize SL style busses to avoid pricey tunnels through Roxxie and Dot.


The most speculative part of it is Red Line to Rte 24 (which I don't really think worth it anymore, but I don't feel like redrawing the Red Line on the map...) and the Southie street runnings lines.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #1267
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Updated my map a bit, included a GL Waltham Loop, ran the OL up through to Reading (obv, lots of grade crossings need to be fixed first), and the BL up through to Beverly (ditto).

- Thinking of running the BL on a spur over to Danvers/Peabody. There's three different RoWs there that could work, one running parallel to 128 south, one to 128 north, and one just straight on perpendicular to it.
Really hard to get the Blue line to Beverly. Expanding the Salem tunnel is a mega-project.

Quote:
- Do anyone see any other existing RoWs inside 128 that I haven't taken over in my map?
Not sure that you posted a link to the map in your post, but guessing you covered all the functional ones. Did you get Watertown Branch? How did you get to Waltham? Watertown Branch or Fitchburg? Fitchburg's a no-go because you can't fit another pair of tracks next to the CR line in Belmont and Waltham Center. Belmont would never allow such a thing anyway.

As an aside, I always presume when making these maps that NIMBY's from Dedham to Winchester to Arlington to JP to Brighton are defeated. But I never presume to defeat the Belmont NIMBYs haha

Quote:
- Anyone have any ideas for Quincy? I'd like to try to expand their coverage somehow. My craziest idea at the moment is a spur off the MHSL over to Quincy somehow.
What's the MHSL?

Short of its own LRT system, street-running, grade-separated or tunneled, I don't see other ways of getting Quincy more service. Certainly not via the Red Line.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:30 PM   #1268
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
Not sure that you posted a link to the map in your post, but guessing you covered all the functional ones. Did you get Watertown Branch? How did you get to Waltham? Watertown Branch or Fitchburg? Fitchburg's a no-go because you can't fit another pair of tracks next to the CR line in Belmont and Waltham Center. Belmont would never allow such a thing anyway.
Same map as on the prior page:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...03067,0.066433

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As an aside, I always presume when making these maps that NIMBY's from Dedham to Winchester to Arlington to JP to Brighton are defeated. But I never presume to defeat the Belmont NIMBYs haha
But the ones in Milton will allow heavy rail?

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
What's the MHSL?

Short of its own LRT system, street-running, grade-separated or tunneled, I don't see other ways of getting Quincy more service. Certainly not via the Red Line.
The Mattapan High Speed Line. I figured LRT would be the way to go in Quincy.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #1269
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Ah very nice. The north side of the Waltham Loop can't accommodate both rapid transit and commuter rail unfortunately. Also, the NEC has no room for rapid transit through Hyde Park. That corridor's full. Probably no room for any rapid transit to Newton via Framingham line either. That's why I have DMU or EMU service on the Fitchburg and Framingham. There's just no space for rapid transit. I'd also keep the Union Square part of the GLX Green Line. The Medford portion should convert to HRT, but probably not the Union Square portion.

EDIT: I see that you did leave the Union line as Green. I mistook the spur to Davis Square as the Union branch. That's an ambitious cut too

Quote:
But the ones in Milton will allow heavy rail?
For one stop in Milton Village when they already have LRT rumbling through? Much more likely than Belmont. Belmont fought the commuter rail and still fights the trackless-trollies. There's no room on that corridor for rapid transit anyway. Milton Village would be a straight-forward conversion, bringing anything to Belmont, whether LRT or HRT would be a mega-project and severely disrupt downtown Belmont and Waltham.

Quote:
The Mattapan High Speed Line. I figured LRT would be the way to go in Quincy.
Ah shoulda guessed it. The city of Quincy could definitely use LRT to supplement the Red Line trunk. Beefing up bus networks is a good first step.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:00 PM   #1270
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
That ROW to Dedham Ctr. is T-owned and has been held by them and the MTA since 1945 when the OL Dedham extension was first proposed. Then in '08 they granted easements to build Belle Ave. houses on top of the ROW. Total...dick...move. It's now obliterated forever. The only way Dedham Ctr. could ever get rail transit now is west out of Readville on the properly landbanked and unencroached Dedham Branch. Rather far away to be reachable from any available rapid transit line, unless you forked it off Fairmount/Indigo with DMU's.
Yeah, but now that I look at it on Google Maps, I'm not sure that would have been the best way to serve Dedham Center anyway. It could, however, be host to an OL terminal at Baker St, before the houses, which might resolve that awkward question of how far bast WR to go if you don't want to cross 128 through the park. That would serve the neighborhood while leaving Dedham service to the better spur.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #1271
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Ah very nice. The north side of the Waltham Loop can't accommodate both rapid transit and commuter rail unfortunately. Also, the NEC has no room for rapid transit through Hyde Park. That corridor's full. Probably no room for any rapid transit to Newton via Framingham line either. That's why I have DMU or EMU service on the Fitchburg and Framingham.
One thing thats always confused me: What distinguishes your proposal of EMU service from normal heavy rail subway cars? As far as I understand, subway trains are just a specific use of EMUs. What would be different about yours?
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:35 AM   #1272
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Terminate at JFK? How exactly do you propose to sell that turkey? And busting Red to 3 tracks harms headways and kills the grade separation that currently exists there.

The simple course of action is Braintree-under-Ashmont. Shallow box tunnel...tunnel roof supports the Ashmont tracks on bare concrete...combined electrical/signaling plant.
The same way I propose to sell any other short-turn. Extra service for the part of the corridor that sees the highest amount of demand.

And busting Red to 3 tracks doesn't do anything. It's useless to have separate platforms for Braintree Trains and Ashmont Trains, especially when somehow they manage to get along just fine sharing platforms everywhere northbound in the system.

Busting Red to 2 tracks would pose a significant issue if you plan to keep JFK/UMass around as a terminus, mind you. At three tracks, you can have Tracks 2 and 3 dedicated to through inbound/outbound trains (respectively) while Track 1 is reserved for trains terminating and reversing direction.

Of course, there's also the fact that Braintree and Ashmont share the same ROW to and through Savin Hill station. If you're really that concerned about forcing Braintree and Ashmont to share platforms at JFK, it'd be trivial to install two more platforms at Savin Hill. That's probably a better place for the split, anyway, considering the absurd stop spacing on Braintree today between JFK and North Quincy.

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
You think a Greenway trolley stopping at light after light in heavy traffic is going to outperform rapid transit through the Link? Good lord.

The only thing that's going to cripple the Link is Central Station. Penn Station somehow hasn't ground to a halt with only 2 tracks feeding Amtrak and NJ Transit into it for the last century. 2 tracks through the considerably lighter Link ridership is nothing...especially since it's in a single bore with crossover redundancies. The T's fantasy map of thru-running everything is bullshit. There won't be enough platforms below ground at NS and SS to apportion every single line thru slots, especially with Central Station's crippled capacity. And there's little chance they can justify building the Fitchburg, Fairmount, and Old Colony portals with those chewing up half the project cost for a sharp minority of the traffic.

It's a non-issue.

And RL trains every 3-5 minutes will absolutely shred the wildest dream commuter rail ridership going through there. Red today has 241,000 daily boardings. The entire commuter rail system has 132,000 daily boardings. Which do you think would move more people around the city, especially if it kept going north?


Scream "zany" all you want. Math is math.
Math is math, but your math relies an awful lot on disingenuous assumptions and doesn't work if we dispel the myths that:
  • The sum total of all boardings across an entire line or an entire system have any bearing whatsoever on the number of boardings going to a specific location. We don't have any way to track those numbers, and it's somewhat foolish to equate demand for point-to-point rides with total system utilization, or draw a conclusion about one based on the other.
  • Separate portals must be assigned to the various north-side Lines. There's plenty of leading room on the final approach to place one portal for all four North Station lines, and this has the added bonus of allowing us to tunnel under the river crossing, minimizing the impact of that draw bridge we can't replace with a fixed span. Separate portals for any North-side lines is a deliberate cost inflater and one of the first things that will be compromised away into a single portal after the sticker shock hits.
  • "Fairmount isn't important enough to justify its own portal." Actually, we both know that Amtrak wants to kick as many commuter rail trains off of the NEC in Boston as it possibly can, and Fairmount is the relief valve where most of the Franklin Line trains can be exiled to. Because Fairmount Station exists, Hyde Park Station can be busted out of existence, and Readville can be grade-separated again with 90% of its traffic no longer needing to move from the NEC to the Franklin Line. Furthermore, this isn't even beginning to touch on the "Indigo Line," which people want to see as a full-scheduled _MU service. DMUs or even EMUs running up and down the Fairmount Line every 20 minutes in each direction, and that's not "important" enough to extend to North Station at the least?
  • There's no possible way to fan out into more platforming tracks underneath the station. You seem to be convinced that there's no room for any more than 4 tracks and 2~4 platforms underneath South Station and North Station - when, in fact, there's easily room for 8 tracks and 4 platforms. The crossover merges will be a bit tight, but it's far from the worst engineering challenge associated with the Link.
  • You need to through-run all the lines to get to the point where there's a train in the Link every three minutes or less. BET is still on the wrong side of the city relative to South Station and isn't going anywhere, and we both know that more platform space available for dead trains to take up is a temporary solution to a real capacity problem. Every line being through-run is an incredibly doubtful proposition, but dead-heading trains through the Link into BET (or keeping them in revenue service only as far as North Station) is not.
  • The average Boston resident assigns a higher priority on what trips they take and how they take them based on what modes are available to them, and would only be willing to ride "true Rapid Transit" rolling stock through the Link. They'll turn their noses up at icky commuter rail and choose some other means of travel instead. Now, I remember when we last had this modal warfare argument... don't you?
  • A branch of the Red Line running through the Link would ONLY stop at South Station and North Station. We all know what a boondoggle proposition Central Station will be, but there's no reason to believe it'll be any less of a boondoggle as "Aquarium Under" for the Red Line Link branch. For that matter, the path of the Link passes right under Haymarket and Rowes Wharf. As a Greenway trolley, all three of these stops can be accommodated cheaply, easily, and thanks to the traffic lights you're so concerned about, without causing any undue delays relative to what would otherwise hold up the trolley. As a Red Line Link branch, you just took your one problem-causing, money-draining station and tripled it. As a Red Line Link branch that proceeds farther north up GLX, it's even worse: you've got to provide those stops, because god forbid anyone ever needs to transfer. The revolution was fought and won for our right to a single seat ride, after all!
I'm not screaming "zany" for my own health. I'm screaming "zany" because that's what any proposal for Link-running Rapid Transit is.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #1273
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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One thing thats always confused me: What distinguishes your proposal of EMU service from normal heavy rail subway cars? As far as I understand, subway trains are just a specific use of EMUs. What would be different about yours?
They difference is that they'd be sharing the track with the commuter rail. Large body, commuter rail coach style DMU/EMU working within the Commuter Rail train schedule.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:09 PM   #1274
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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F-Line, I've noticed you used to tout a new rapid-transit line using Red Line stock using Fairmount. Have you since determined that the Fairmount is too valuable to freight to turn over to true rapid transit? The best option then would seem to be your Red "X" with the new line taking over the Medford GLX and running it to Anderson, going into the N/S Link and meeting the Red Line at Broadway beneath(?) the existing tunnel and then assuming the Ashmont route, possibly extended to Mattapan, Readville or Dedham.
Yeah...if we want to get any serious container freight into Southie Fairmount's going to be needed for that. The economic price tag of precluding that is too high, and it's not like they really want freight passing through the Pike tunnel and Back Bay station every day, fouling South Station for a few minutes while it goes through Widett Circle. Also figure that CSX is quite likely to sell its Old Colony job to MassCoastal soon, meaning the daily tanker pickup at Braintree yard from the Fore River treatment plant is likely going to flip to running out of Readville via Fairmount instead of Framingham-Middleboro.

Fairmount used to be 4 tracks south of Blue Hill Ave. because of numerous freight sidings back in the day. That's where you could comfortably piggyback rapid transit. North of Blue Hill Ave. it's way too constrained, and the required property takings to do even 1 RR + 2 RT tracks kill it dead. So that swath of Dorchester probably has to settle for the best the Indigo can offer. Hyde Park...yes, you do have options if they're willing to tunnel (cut-and-cover under street or deep bore under property lines) the few-blocks gap between Mattapan Sq. and the Fairmount ROW. Unfortunately Mattapan was always a dead-end and never connected to the Fairmount even when it was a steam RR.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #1275
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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The same way I propose to sell any other short-turn. Extra service for the part of the corridor that sees the highest amount of demand.
And you plan to quell the angry pitchfork-and-fire wielding mob of South Shore commuters who lose their guaranteed one-seat to downtown...how? That is insane. How about doing no harm to the two busiest branches on the rapid transit system.



Quote:
Math is math, but your math relies an awful lot on disingenuous assumptions and doesn't work if we dispel the myths that:[*]The sum total of all boardings across an entire line or an entire system have any bearing whatsoever on the number of boardings going to a specific location. We don't have any way to track those numbers, and it's somewhat foolish to equate demand for point-to-point rides with total system utilization, or draw a conclusion about one based on the other.
Then offer up your empirical evidence.

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[*]Separate portals must be assigned to the various north-side Lines. There's plenty of leading room on the final approach to place one portal for all four North Station lines, and this has the added bonus of allowing us to tunnel under the river crossing, minimizing the impact of that draw bridge we can't replace with a fixed span. Separate portals for any North-side lines is a deliberate cost inflater and one of the first things that will be compromised away into a single portal after the sticker shock hits.
At 2% grades--already steep, and just about the max allowable--the incline has to be 1 mile long from the station platforms. The portal for the NH Main, Western Route, and Eastern Route just barely hits the surface where the NH Main tracks split from the others, 100-200 feet shy of where this I-93 billboard is. They can't bring it any closer or the trains can't climb it. So Fitchburg's got to have a separate portal on a curve, at an easier grade around the curve. Is that worth the ridership loss in the towns of Belmont, Waltham, Lincoln, Concord, Acton, and Littleton when Ayer-Wachusett is easily accessible out of Lowell? Probably not.

Quote:
[*]"Fairmount isn't important enough to justify its own portal." Actually, we both know that Amtrak wants to kick as many commuter rail trains off of the NEC in Boston as it possibly can, and Fairmount is the relief valve where most of the Franklin Line trains can be exiled to. Because Fairmount Station exists, Hyde Park Station can be busted out of existence, and Readville can be grade-separated again with 90% of its traffic no longer needing to move from the NEC to the Franklin Line. Furthermore, this isn't even beginning to touch on the "Indigo Line," which people want to see as a full-scheduled _MU service. DMUs or even EMUs running up and down the Fairmount Line every 20 minutes in each direction, and that's not "important" enough to extend to North Station at the least?
For $1.5B extra. Hell no. The ridership doesn't even come close.

But they don't have to tri-portal to incorporate Fairmount. The 19th century ROW used to hang a right, go through what's now the shopping center parking lot, and join the Old Colony just after the Boston St. curve. You can see on Google the basic outline of it is still there given how the property lines interact. The OC portal would be roughly by Southampton St.

Did it occur to anyone why build 2 when 1 + an easy realignment will do? Of course not.

But I still don't think they'll be able to afford to build that right off the bat. So put a tunnel cut where it merges with the NEC and revisit 10 years later. I can support an eventual OC portal add-on way more than doing anything ever with a Fitchburg portal.

Quote:
[*]There's no possible way to fan out into more platforming tracks underneath the station. You seem to be convinced that there's no room for any more than 4 tracks and 2~4 platforms underneath South Station and North Station - when, in fact, there's easily room for 8 tracks and 4 platforms. The crossover merges will be a bit tight, but it's far from the worst engineering challenge associated with the Link.
North Station somehow manages to stay wholly within capacity cramming 10 active tracks through two 2-track movable bridges despite a pronounced layout skew onto only 1 of the bridges. The Link, having a symmetrical track layout, is easier to handle than that. So long as you're not dropping that Central Station turd in the punchbowl.

And yes, the crossovers are tight, compounded by the steep grades, and constrained by things like the NEC and OC lead tunnels splitting very soon after the platforms. It's likely to take a little bit of the luster off what traffic levels they can cram through there and may necessitate 2-tracking for sheer simplification purposes. The initial studies stated no preference for # of tracks because this hasn't been studied out.

Quote:
[*]You need to through-run all the lines to get to the point where there's a train in the Link every three minutes or less. BET is still on the wrong side of the city relative to South Station and isn't going anywhere, and we both know that more platform space available for dead trains to take up is a temporary solution to a real capacity problem. Every line being through-run is an incredibly doubtful proposition, but dead-heading trains through the Link into BET (or keeping them in revenue service only as far as North Station) is not.
There will never be trains that frequent through there. Conflicting movements at the crossovers alone will prevent that. This is going to be a slow ride with those grades. Probably something like 15 MPH and an even slower crawl out of the platforms where the trains really have to work hard to pull through the crossovers. If the engineering kneecaps the speed because of acceleration issues, they may only be able to run EMU's and Amtraks (which have power cars at both ends). No push-pull for the diesel branches that would have dual-mode locos running through.

This is why the studies state no preference in # of tracks. And this is why they're being unrealistic as hell calling for +3 extra portals and a Central Station. You may not be able to run Fitchburg, Haverhill, Franklin, Needham, South Coast, Old Colony, etc. etc. through there push-pull. Those are the lines on the system that may not support electrification because of freight clearances (Haverhill, inner Franklin, outer Fitchburg, maybe South Coast if container freight makes its way to ports of FR/NB) or will be waiting many decades down the priority pile for the full treatment behind the biggies Worcester, Lowell, Newburyport/Rockport (definitely forcing the issue with Needham and Reading about full rapid transit conversion).

If you've got 3 or 4 lines that can't swing EMU's because of freight, 2 that probably shouldn't be CR at all, and end-to-end/EMU-supporting electrification that may not make economic sense outside the NEC, B&A, NH Main, and Eastern Route...the surface terminals are going to outslug thru traffic by a wide margin.

Quote:
[*]The average Boston resident assigns a higher priority on what trips they take and how they take them based on what modes are available to them, and would only be willing to ride "true Rapid Transit" rolling stock through the Link. They'll turn their noses up at icky commuter rail and choose some other means of travel instead. Now, I remember when we last had this modal warfare argument... don't you?
I have no bloody idea what you're even saying here. But let's talk math.

-- Rapid transit trains on 3-min. headways feeding from branch sources with some of the highest ridership on the system (or potentially, in GLX's case) slay the ridership of the entire commuter rail system. The existing Red Line does that. If you're going to dismiss that out-of-hand, at least show something empirical to back it up. A theory about how the numbers would shape with the service patterns.

-- Penn Station has survived for 100 years on 2 tracks from NJ with thru traffic levels that dwarf our entire commuter rail system. What is so different here with stations that can only physically fit 6-8 berths and can't run a majority of the CR traffic???

-- What is modal warfare about fitting 2 modes through there? You explain that one.


Finally, they are not going to have money right off the bat for a full build. Central Station almost certainly a casualty. The extra portals likely needing to be punted off later to prioritize NEC/Worcester, NH Main/Western Route/Eastern Route. Not nearly enough lines will be 100% end-to-end electrified with the priority order pretty firmly established, and engineering still has to bear out whether single-loco push-pull has enough power to make the grades.

Who says they have to fill all 4 track berths first, or says there's going to be a single pile of money to put something on Tracks 3 & 4...rapid transit or otherwise? It's quite likely we're looking at a minimum build, then debating the add-ons. Sort it out accordingly.

Quote:
[*]A branch of the Red Line running through the Link would ONLY stop at South Station and North Station. We all know what a boondoggle proposition Central Station will be, but there's no reason to believe it'll be any less of a boondoggle as "Aquarium Under" for the Red Line Link branch.
No. Because "Aquarium Under" would be a simple 6-car/450 ft. island platform with single set of elevators and escalators. Central Station is 3 800 ft. islands...set on a partial incline...with egresses from each. That's like 2-1/2 times the cavern to bore out. "Aquarium Under" is like Broadway.

I don't know if it'll still be a boondoggle. But it is most definitely 2-1/2 times less a boondoggle than Central Station.

There...there's an empirically-argued compromise for the need to have a Blue connection that milks better value-for-money.

Quote:
For that matter, the path of the Link passes right under Haymarket and Rowes Wharf. As a Greenway trolley, all three of these stops can be accommodated cheaply, easily, and thanks to the traffic lights you're so concerned about, without causing any undue delays relative to what would otherwise hold up the trolley. As a Red Line Link branch, you just took your one problem-causing, money-draining station and tripled it. As a Red Line Link branch that proceeds farther north up GLX, it's even worse: you've got to provide those stops, because god forbid anyone ever needs to transfer. The revolution was fought and won for our right to a single seat ride, after all![/list]I'm not screaming "zany" for my own health. I'm screaming "zany" because that's what any proposal for Link-running Rapid Transit is.
Yeah, so build a Greenway heritage trolley San Fran Market line style and unseal the Green Line Haymarket portal. Do something useful while supporting the local tourism industry. The Link's going to move much, much more people than a street-running trolley that has to stop at every light and doesn't have cross-platform terminal access.

You're the one arguing this on modal warfare grounds.




Look...I am tired of having these arguments every page. If you want to throw a tantrum about how it *has* to be done your way or the highway and any other way is a civil engineering abortion, start offering up some compelling empirical evidence for why things must be so. And how you plan to get it built--laying out what's compromisable--that doesn't involve tactical nuclear strikes, overriding the stringent objections of commuters and property owners, and printing money the likes of which have never been amassed before. This indignant absolutism is a waste of everyone's time.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #1276
Commuting Boston Student
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
And you plan to quell the angry pitchfork-and-fire wielding mob of South Shore commuters who lose their guaranteed one-seat to downtown...how? That is insane. How about doing no harm to the two busiest branches on the rapid transit system.
I don't have to, because they won't be losing their one-seat to downtown. Trains coming from Lexington would terminate at JFK/UMass. Trains coming from south of JFK/UMass would terminate at Alewife. In this way, the busiest section of the Red Line sees the most service, without impacting any one-seat rides that exist today, and without creating an onerous demand on the Red Line rolling stock to run the full length of the corridor after having been extended to 40+ miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Then offer up your empirical evidence.
Offer up your empirical evidence that the number of people boarding Red Line trains at Broadway to go to Park Street, or at Downtown Crossing to go to Porter Square, or at Ashmont to go to South Station, has any bearing on the number of hypothetical people who would get on a Red Line train (but not a Green Line train and not a Commuter Rail train) at South Station to go to North Station.

We don't have those numbers, because that study hasn't been done yet - but shot-in-the-dark guesswork where we try and divine the number of people who would utilize the Link in this fashion but not that fashion based on the total utilization of an entire line or an entire mode of travel makes no sense. That's my point. "The Red Line sees twice as many daily boardings as the entire commuter rail system!" has no bearing on whether or not the Red Line should travel through the Link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
At 2% grades--already steep, and just about the max allowable--the incline has to be 1 mile long from the station platforms. The portal for the NH Main, Western Route, and Eastern Route just barely hits the surface where the NH Main tracks split from the others, 100-200 feet shy of where this I-93 billboard is. They can't bring it any closer or the trains can't climb it. So Fitchburg's got to have a separate portal on a curve, at an easier grade around the curve. Is that worth the ridership loss in the towns of Belmont, Waltham, Lincoln, Concord, Acton, and Littleton when Ayer-Wachusett is easily accessible out of Lowell? Probably not.
A one mile incline at 2% grades puts the Link platforms just about 105 feet underground - are you absolutely certain they need to go that deep? This can work just as well at 90 or 85 feet deep instead, and the extra 750~1000 feet means we can just barely manage to place the portal on the correct side of the Fitchburg Line's split.

Of course, they could elect to keep the mile-long tunnel and reduce the grade instead, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
For $1.5B extra. Hell no. The ridership doesn't even come close.

But they don't have to tri-portal to incorporate Fairmount. The 19th century ROW used to hang a right, go through what's now the shopping center parking lot, and join the Old Colony just after the Boston St. curve. You can see on Google the basic outline of it is still there given how the property lines interact. The OC portal would be roughly by Southampton St.

Did it occur to anyone why build 2 when 1 + an easy realignment will do? Of course not.

But I still don't think they'll be able to afford to build that right off the bat. So put a tunnel cut where it merges with the NEC and revisit 10 years later. I can support an eventual OC portal add-on way more than doing anything ever with a Fitchburg portal.
You'll note that I didn't mention ridership at all in that bullet point. In fact, I cited traffic redistribution and an improvement to overall system efficiency.

This isn't about Link ridership. The untapped ridership potential of the Link is a tremendous bonus, yes, but that's not the only reason to build this thing. In fact, I'd be willing to say that the new ridership wouldn't be enough to justify this project if it was disconnected from the benefits to the system itself.

The ability for us to shuttle southside trains off to BET without using the Grand Junction is a zero-ridership proposition. Realigning Fairmount is a zero-ridership proposition. Grade-separating Readville is a zero-ridership proposition. Hell, shifting most of the commuter rail traffic on the NEC over to the Fairmount Line is probably a short-term ridership losing proposition!

But all these things are necessary. All these things simplify ops and free up more capacity for us to run more trains and to run our trains more efficiently. The end result being far more riders generated across the entire system - not just the number of people who happen to use the Link. The vast majority of people who benefit from the Link are never going to ride through it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
North Station somehow manages to stay wholly within capacity cramming 10 active tracks through two 2-track movable bridges despite a pronounced layout skew onto only 1 of the bridges. The Link, having a symmetrical track layout, is easier to handle than that. So long as you're not dropping that Central Station turd in the punchbowl.

And yes, the crossovers are tight, compounded by the steep grades, and constrained by things like the NEC and OC lead tunnels splitting very soon after the platforms. It's likely to take a little bit of the luster off what traffic levels they can cram through there and may necessitate 2-tracking for sheer simplification purposes. The initial studies stated no preference for # of tracks because this hasn't been studied out.



There will never be trains that frequent through there. Conflicting movements at the crossovers alone will prevent that. This is going to be a slow ride with those grades. Probably something like 15 MPH and an even slower crawl out of the platforms where the trains really have to work hard to pull through the crossovers. If the engineering kneecaps the speed because of acceleration issues, they may only be able to run EMU's and Amtraks (which have power cars at both ends). No push-pull for the diesel branches that would have dual-mode locos running through.

This is why the studies state no preference in # of tracks. And this is why they're being unrealistic as hell calling for +3 extra portals and a Central Station. You may not be able to run Fitchburg, Haverhill, Franklin, Needham, South Coast, Old Colony, etc. etc. through there push-pull. Those are the lines on the system that may not support electrification because of freight clearances (Haverhill, inner Franklin, outer Fitchburg, maybe South Coast if container freight makes its way to ports of FR/NB) or will be waiting many decades down the priority pile for the full treatment behind the biggies Worcester, Lowell, Newburyport/Rockport (definitely forcing the issue with Needham and Reading about full rapid transit conversion).

If you've got 3 or 4 lines that can't swing EMU's because of freight, 2 that probably shouldn't be CR at all, and end-to-end/EMU-supporting electrification that may not make economic sense outside the NEC, B&A, NH Main, and Eastern Route...the surface terminals are going to outslug thru traffic by a wide margin.
These are valid concerns that should be looked at in further study - but I don't think that the Link will end up being built in a configuration that prevents push-pull operation through it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
I have no bloody idea what you're even saying here. But let's talk math.

-- Rapid transit trains on 3-min. headways feeding from branch sources with some of the highest ridership on the system (or potentially, in GLX's case) slay the ridership of the entire commuter rail system. The existing Red Line does that. If you're going to dismiss that out-of-hand, at least show something empirical to back it up. A theory about how the numbers would shape with the service patterns.
The existing numbers are the existing numbers, representing existing commute patterns and existing ridership. They have no bearing on the potential numbers being put up by any part of the Rail Link.

What does have a bearing on the Link's potential numbers are the number of people moving between South and North Station, and how they are arriving at one or the other. These are numbers we don't have, numbers we would need a study to get. And that's a study that I think we need to see.

In fact, since any Link-running branch of the Red Line has no real way to rejoin the existing Red Line, such a branching pattern represents directing a significant percentage of the Red Line away from Cambridge. So, in addition to the numbers on South Station and North Station, I think that we need to see the numbers on Red Line commuters whose ultimate destinations are Kendall Square, Central Square, Harvard Square. See what shifting half of the Red Line's traffic over to the Link would do to those numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
-- Penn Station has survived for 100 years on 2 tracks from NJ with thru traffic levels that dwarf our entire commuter rail system. What is so different here with stations that can only physically fit 6-8 berths and can't run a majority of the CR traffic???
Gateway Project.

The current state of Penn Station isn't exactly "surviving" even without the fact that they are legitimately maxed out on capacity and need a second tunnel, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
-- What is modal warfare about fitting 2 modes through there? You explain that one.
The argument that it MUST be 2 CR tracks and 2 HRT tracks. The insistence that the rapid transit needs can't be met by a branch of the Green Line (and I believe that they can). The insistence that 4 and 0 is an impossibility and shouldn't even be considered.

That's the modal warfare component of this discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Finally, they are not going to have money right off the bat for a full build. Central Station almost certainly a casualty. The extra portals likely needing to be punted off later to prioritize NEC/Worcester, NH Main/Western Route/Eastern Route. Not nearly enough lines will be 100% end-to-end electrified with the priority order pretty firmly established, and engineering still has to bear out whether single-loco push-pull has enough power to make the grades.

Who says they have to fill all 4 track berths first, or says there's going to be a single pile of money to put something on Tracks 3 & 4...rapid transit or otherwise? It's quite likely we're looking at a minimum build, then debating the add-ons. Sort it out accordingly.
I'm more than happy if only 2 tracks get built. I'm confident that it'll quickly become apparent that the other tracks are needed for Commuter Rail.

Regardless, if we really are looking at the minimum build, then a Red Line component isn't even in the discussion yet, which sort of nullifies this entire argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
No. Because "Aquarium Under" would be a simple 6-car/450 ft. island platform with single set of elevators and escalators. Central Station is 3 800 ft. islands...set on a partial incline...with egresses from each. That's like 2-1/2 times the cavern to bore out. "Aquarium Under" is like Broadway.

I don't know if it'll still be a boondoggle. But it is most definitely 2-1/2 times less a boondoggle than Central Station.

There...there's an empirically-argued compromise for the need to have a Blue connection that milks better value-for-money.
The Red-Blue connection that milks better value-for-money is the one that needs to be built yesterday over at Charles/MGH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Yeah, so build a Greenway heritage trolley San Fran Market line style and unseal the Green Line Haymarket portal. Do something useful while supporting the local tourism industry. The Link's going to move much, much more people than a street-running trolley that has to stop at every light and doesn't have cross-platform terminal access.

You're the one arguing this on modal warfare grounds.
Cross-platform terminal access, I'll give you, but with the distances involved and the number of stops being made anyway, I think the lights are a non-issue.

And I'm not entirely sure why you're so dead set on branding this as a "heritage trolley," either. The Greenway corridor needs a real transit component, deserves a real transit component, and can actually get a real transit component without having to be branded as a cheap gimmick whose primary market is stupid tourists, because it won't be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Look...I am tired of having these arguments every page. If you want to throw a tantrum about how it *has* to be done your way or the highway and any other way is a civil engineering abortion, start offering up some compelling empirical evidence for why things must be so. And how you plan to get it built--laying out what's compromisable--that doesn't involve tactical nuclear strikes, overriding the stringent objections of commuters and property owners, and printing money the likes of which have never been amassed before. This indignant absolutism is a waste of everyone's time.
I'm not throwing a tantrum, and I don't think I'm being absolutist either. I'm pointing out that this isn't nearly as straightforward as I'm sure we'd all like it to be, and I'm arguing my opinion - which is that it's far more likely that we'll see a Link with 4 commuter rail tracks, or even only 2 commuter rail tracks, and 0 rapid transit tracks.

I don't think Joe Public, the average commuter, is really going to care whether they're riding a Commuter Rail or a Red Line train from one terminal to the other. And no matter what we do, the Link is going to require an absurd amount of investment. So let's do it right.

Let's see the studies, let's start with the minimum build and provision for expansion later. I don't have a problem with that at all.

I just don't expect that, when all is said and done here, we'll be able to make this work at just two tracks. And I don't expect that a branch of the Red Line is really what's needed to meet the transit needs of this corridor.

But we can always agree to disagree.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #1277
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
I don't think Joe Public, the average commuter, is really going to care whether they're riding a Commuter Rail or a Red Line train from one terminal to the other. And no matter what we do, the Link is going to require an absurd amount of investment. So let's do it right.
Not to interrupt your debate, but many city-dwellers I know are DEARTH to board a commuter rail train for intra-city travel. It may not make any logical sense (people who dislike busses don't make sense either) but it seems to be a real sentiment.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:25 PM   #1278
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
Not to interrupt your debate, but many city-dwellers I know are DEARTH to board a commuter rail train for intra-city travel. It may not make any logical sense (people who dislike busses don't make sense either) but it seems to be a real sentiment.
I get the impression city-dwellers prefer to rely on "unscheduled" transit modes- that is, I can go to the station at any time and know that the wait to the next train won't be too bad. But when I lived in the suburbs, if I wanted to take the commuter rail, I have to go look up the schedule or I could be stuck on the platforms for hours, which is a big inhibitor of short trips. (of course the MBTA subway is still scheduled behind the scenes, but it's frequent enough for that not to matter) I think this is also a friction point with buses, for the most part.

If enough trains go through the link that you don't need to rely on the schedule, it seems like it should be fine.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:41 PM   #1279
Matthew
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Actually no, the MBTA measures schedule adherence for subways on the headway-based method. Service Delivery Policy:

Quote:
Light Rail & Heavy Rail Schedule Adherence Standards: As with frequent bus
services, passengers on light rail and heavy rail do not rely on printed schedules, but
expect trains to arrive at prescribed headways. Therefore, schedule adherence for light
rail and heavy rail is measured similarly to the way in which frequent bus service is
measured. The percent of individual trips that are on time is calculated, based on a
measure of how well actual headways correlate to scheduled headways. In addition, the
percent of trip times that correspond to scheduled trip times is measured.
But that's a minor point.

What stands in the way of using commuter rail for intra-city travel is: lack of frequency (as you say), fare collection (no CharlieCards), and few possibilities (no N/S RL). Even so, I've noticed that options like Yawkey inbound get used, and BBY-SS travel is officially sanctioned.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #1280
fattony
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by novitiate View Post
I get the impression city-dwellers prefer to rely on "unscheduled" transit modes- that is, I can go to the station at any time and know that the wait to the next train won't be too bad.
I think this is the heart of the preference for subway/trolley/tram and against buses, commuter rail, etc. I ride the 1 bus because it has <10 min headways. I can show up to the stop and expect a bus within a few minutes. If a train has short headways it doesn't matter what you call it, people will ride.

Unrelated to the link - I also happen to know where the 1 bus goes without needing a map, something I cannot say for many bus routes. A HUGE ding against buses in Boston is that the lack of grid makes it difficult to take any bus until you memorize it's route and schedule. For daily commutes (one route) that is fine, but for getting around town people will always ride the subway for 20 minutes longer than take 10 minutes to research a faster bus route. Smartphones are helping, but only a little.
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