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Old 02-06-2019, 04:08 PM   #5721
North Shore
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
But therein lies the rub. . .

The T could do a lot of things, but someone on the event logistics side has to be an equal partner in that planning because the T doesn't have the authority to act alone on someone else's behalf. And City of Boston didn't do that here. Didn't even advise on the matter. They pretty much just said "do what you did for the other 10 title parades" even though the crowd predictions were running close to a half-mil HIGHER because of the weather...then continued to blitz the airwaves with "Take the T!" advisories aimed at drivers. The T ran all the service it could with the equipment it had, and ended up melting down in exactly the proportion the crowd was an above-and-beyond blowout.

How exactly are they, as a 175-municipality chartered service district of the Commonwealth, supposed to act alone to fill all gaps that event planners in the City of Boston and/or state government would not do? Remember...we had our "Pope vs. SEPTA" moment during the 2004 Democratic Convention where all parties joined hands and immaculately planned for the service disruptions. And we have the annual statewide holiday status of Patriots Day smoothing over jurisdictions between the towns affected by road/transit closures on the Marathon route. Whether individual offices in downtown Boston were closed or not yesterday because of compromised access, it was still a regular Tuesday workday for the extreme majority of the T district. If the extremeness of the crowd AND the needs of daily commuters couldn't be accommodated by achievable train service, then the event planners should've had something to say about blunting that risk instead of just letting the entirety of the CR system drown a gruesome death.
This. All of this.

People love to sh*t all over the T for what happened yesterday. They used all available rolling stock, added extra trains and set up queues at North Station.

Could they have done more? No question.

South Station was a total cluster. Daily commuters were majorly impacted.

There should have been additional staffers at stations to help with crowd management for starters.

But where were the media blasts Sunday night and Monday advising people that trains would be probably be crowded and to make alternate plans (WFH, flex scheduling) if possible. They do that in advance of major snowstorms, why not here?

Last edited by North Shore; 02-06-2019 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:29 PM   #5722
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

I have no criticisms for how the T/Keolis handled yesterday.

It took a few consecutive blizzards for us to create standard, templated plans for winter weather operations. Now we have such plans, and can turn them on and off based on the weather, right?

Presumably if a Philadelphia team ever has a huge championship celebration downtown, SEPTA may reach into its "Pope file" and rerun that plan.

Also if CR does have things it does when it is crushed with people (such as running a whole series of Lowell trains Express to downtown)... If that worked out well, it should be part of any plan. If that turned out to be a bad strategy it should not be part of any plan.

All I am suggesting is that there should be a "super crush" plan--probably coming from the Governor's Office-- and all I am asking is whether SEPTA's limited stop strategy might be applicable here? (Particularly given that up thread the first social media observation was that three trains in a row went through Anderson without stopping)
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:35 PM   #5723
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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All I am suggesting is that there should be a "super crush" plan--probably coming from the Governor's Office-- and all I am asking is whether SEPTA's limited stop strategy might be applicable here? (Particularly given that up thread the first social media observation was that three trains in a row went through Anderson without stopping)
Essentially, the Pope plan was that a shit ton of suburban people would drive to the stations with the most parking, pack the train, and thus there was no point stopping on the way as no one could get on.

Which is exactly what happened with the Pats parade, so yes, it makes sense to copy that. Pre-planning the express runs avoided people being left behind on platforms and also allowing trains to finish their runs faster and thus go out for another round.

HOWEVER, the Pope plan completely screws over regular transit riders who do not have the luxury of driving to a park and ride because they walk or take the bus to their local station. In that regards, it is incredibly unfair because advance notice does not solve the "I dont have a car" issue.


My solution: Theyre called the New England Patriots, not the Boston Patriots. Hold their parade in Worcester or Providence.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:40 PM   #5724
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

There is absolutely no way Worcester or Providence could host such a parade. Part of being the only big city in New England means Boston gets all of the only in big city events.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:15 PM   #5725
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Essentially, the Pope plan was that a shit ton of suburban people would drive to the stations with the most parking, pack the train, and thus there was no point stopping on the way as no one could get on.

Which is exactly what happened with the Pats parade, so yes, it makes sense to copy that. Pre-planning the express runs avoided people being left behind on platforms and also allowing trains to finish their runs faster and thus go out for another round.

HOWEVER, the Pope plan completely screws over regular transit riders who do not have the luxury of driving to a park and ride because they walk or take the bus to their local station. In that regards, it is incredibly unfair because advance notice does not solve the "I dont have a car" issue.
It seems that the really simple solution to that would be to make ever other (or every third) run an express run.

Since the T put on extra runs they should have made those runs express. Not sure why they didn't do that.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:43 PM   #5726
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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There is absolutely no way Worcester or Providence could host such a parade. .
Why not? Plenty of parking. Let them figure out the rest.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #5727
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

My biggest gripe with Keolis on Tuesday was the lack of communication. They could have told people on the Anderson platform that there wouldn't be a train picking up there anytime soon, or any other part of the system in a similar situation.

Your 9-5 monthly pass holders were unable to get to work, and they want to raise prices .
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:04 PM   #5728
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

What's the rationale behind an 11am parade? What if it were pushed back to, say, 2pm with additional trains running at peak frequencies later into the morning? Would lessen the burden on the earlier trains for the 9-5 holders.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:36 PM   #5729
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

^ To be honest, I doubt it. I understand trains were filling up at 7, which I interpret as people showing up pretty much as early as possible. A 2pm parade would have just meant that many more people trying to leave during the afternoon rush.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:40 PM   #5730
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

I think it's fair for Keolis to take some blame for the conditions on the commuter rail during the parade. I tried unsuccessfully to get into work via train from about 8 to 8:30 a.m. I live on the Worcester/ Framingham line. The trains filled up way out by Worcester etc. after the first stop or two. People were not allowed to board trains due to crowding anywhere east of Natick. As a back up, I drove to Riverside, but the parking lot was full and the streets were gridlock around the station. I then returned home.

The trains only have so capacity so I get that, but communication to passengers leaves a lot to be desired. Also, from what I understand, the trains were chaos, chuck full of high school kids in mob mentality mode, quite a bit of drinking and smoking pot, etc. Trains were trashed early in the a.m and not cleaned all day. Afternoon commute only got worse, trains were still a mess from the morning but now add in quite a few drunk teens and adults etc. Most of the trains had extremely long delays. On the Worcester/Framingham line a few fights broke out on some coaches, bathrooms were locked to avoid problems, apparently people were apparently pissing in bottles, some on the floor, and allegedly someone even took a crap inside one of coaches of one of the worcester trains.

The conductors are stretched very thin on a normal commuting day, there is no way at normal staffing can they adequately handle an influx such as this. Perhaps Keolis needed to have the functional equivalent of school bus monitors on each train car to avoid some of these problems. Anyone that started a fight or became extremely disruptive should have been removed at the following stop. Not to mention, despite record breaking crowds, little to no fares were collected on the trains that day so the commuter rail actually collected much less fare revenue that a normal commuting day. With adequate staffing, they could have mitigated the most disruptive behaviors and collected fares to boot.

Last edited by commuter guy; 02-08-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:05 PM   #5731
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Rough evening at the MBTA, power outage has basically taken out the Orange/Green/Blue lines in the core section (N. Station to Copley/DTX & Govt. to Airport)

https://twitter.com/MBTA/status/1093969534623584257

Can't wait for the "how dare you raise fares when you had a power outage" tweets and outrage to follow.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:06 PM   #5732
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Am I remembering correctly that there is a substation under City Hall? Would that be the source of the problem?

Was just on some Orange Line platforms as I walked to the Redó definitely crowded. One train was stopped midway up the platform when I arrived. It eventually slowly moved forward.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #5733
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

And the icing on the cake for Friday evening's commute... now Red Line delays due to a medical emergency at JFK/UMass.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:29 PM   #5734
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

There's a substation accessible through Government Center, I believe. Unclear if that's the source of the issue
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #5735
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

It seemed like from my commute that the third rail was working fine, but the power outage shut down the signal system. There were workers waving flashlights at State and Haymarket that I believe were acting as a human signal system. DTX had full power but State and Haymarket looked dark.

Orange Line was slow and packed, but I got home. I guess the green line might have been worse, probably because the central subway is congested even without signal issues. Orange Line has trains that come every 6 mins or so during rush hour so the signal issues weren't as bad.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:16 PM   #5736
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Correct, they lost power for the signals system, and trains were still operational (though other systems also don't have power and stations are pitch black). They switched over to manual signals as you note. Quite a shit show. Should also note that the electrical systems that don't deal with third rail power are an absolute nightmare to deal with. They've followed the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" rationale because the countless repairs, alterations, quick fixes to power supply nightmares like tonight, and whatever else has happened over the past 40/50 years have made it nearly impossible to understand what's going on.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:25 AM   #5737
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloBostonHi View Post
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ine_Train.webm

Spotted the a Type 9 (#3901) testing on the B branch and C branch today which is cool, only seen in revenue service on D so far...
Not sure what's taking 3901 so long to get accepted for revenue service. They've had to play keep-away with car 3900 during most of the peak period with it being a singlet, so odds of catching a ride on the latest/greatest aren't going to improve until it's got a pair to run with.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:36 PM   #5738
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

So I was thinkin... *IF* Fairmount and maybe even West Station DMUís running to South Station is a viable idea... Then would not the line running from Lynn-Chelsea-Everett-North Station be as well? Couldnt this be a much easier way to get rapid transit to Lynn than having to extend blue? Then Brandeis-Waltham-Belmont-North Station could be viable too. Lynn, Chelsea, Everett, and Waltham would be major players to get faster service to. It just seems weird they kicked around Fairmount and West station... even track 61, but no mention of North Station lines when Blue-Lynn is such a hot topic.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:05 PM   #5739
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Urban Rail on the Eastern Route isn't a drop-in substitute for BLX. The audiences are too different.

BLX serves 3 primary functions:
  • Fixes the brokenness of Lynn bus ops. Lynn currently has to send every route down to Wonderland to find a rapid transit transfer...and express about half of them from Wonderland to downtown through the Airport tunnels. It maims Lynn Terminal's equipment rotations by preventing Lynn from being restocked quickly enough with buses, and thus headways on the entire North Shore end up suffering greatly from this drain which gets worse at peak as the roads get more crowded. With rapid transit brought out to the bus terminal (like Quincy Center) to end all that distended running down Route 1A, buses can be turned immediately back outbound as additional frequencies. The increase in last-mile frequencies then starts a positive feedback loop of additional ridership coming into the extended Blue Line, such that the multimodal coattails give it a really big bang. Urban Rail on the Eastern Route can't exploit that ridership, because it doesn't touch the bus supply vs. frequencies issue.
  • North Shore to Logan demand. There is no easier way to go than direct on Blue. SL3 out of Chelsea isn't nearly as reliable because its one critical flaw is that it's subject to regular Chelsea St. bridge openings. Past proposals for a commuter rail stop near Wonderland got met with very cool reception because of the nearly 1300 ft. walk it would take to get from Purple to Blue at closest pass. Urban Rail options from North Shore to Logan consistency rate out more underwhelming than Blue or bus-to-Blue.
  • Intra- North Shore demand. Lots of trip demand to Revere and Eastie by way of Lynn Terminal and all the boosted bus routes coming out of it to points north. Think Suffolk Downs redevelopment, which is going to draw heavily from the North Shore. Urban Rail on the Eastern Route can't touch these areas.
Urban Rail on the Eastern as a wholly unique audience separate from BLX is primarily going to serve. . .
  • North Shore to CBD. Obvious constituency there.
  • Chelsea/Everett-North Shore. That's a distinct constituency that BLX doesn't touch. And because of the equipment drain on Lynn terminal there's not a lot of bus connectivity between Lynn + points-north and Chelsea.
  • North Shore to other bus anchors...if the Sullivan superstation gets a commuter rail platform someday. See also: jobs access to Assembly.
  • Salem as a bus anchor. More frequent service to Salem opens up potential to expand the range and frequency of bus routes that touch that station. Would be helped enormously if BLX were built because then the equipment would be available, but you could if some equipment were shuffled to Salem start running more useful last-mile connections out there with that stop acting as a quasi-terminal instead of everything way up there running through Lynn/Wonderland/Downtown before it gets a chance to turn.

Ultimately to tap the whole of the North Shore's potential we need BLX-Lynn, fully-cooking Urban Rail, and an encore Better Bus reboot of the entire 400-series route network with supersized last-mile frequencies and lots of new connections. They're all big, critical cogs in the wheel driving the most proportionately transit-underserved region of Greater Boston. The reason this is so tough is because there's no way to kill more birds with fewer stones and still meet the North Shore's needs. They need it all, and each of these transit projects feasts off the other's bounty in such a way that they're each greatly diminished without the others.

--------------------

Urban Rail is an obvious enhancement. Enough so that we shouldn't wait for things like the currently comatose DMU market to wake up before moving in that direction. If they make a large enough bi-level coach procurement to replace the single-levels, then all they need to do is:
  • Set aside the 50+ auto-door equipped cars in the 200-series Pullman single-levels, which are the best-condition flats in the commuter rail fleet and can last the longest in extended-life service if their daily mileage is limited to inside Route 128. Add ASA screens, but otherwise they're up-to-date as-is.
  • Touch up a "best of the rest" selection of the 1600-series Bombardier cab cars with a light refresh from parts stripped from the rest of the scrapped Bombardier and MBB coaches. Install auto doors and ASA in them.
  • Put together 4-car trainsets of 3 Pullman trailers + 1 Bombardier cab. Add AFC 2.0 tap surfaces to the doors. Comes out to about 16 trainsets total...maybe less if some select schedules need 5 cars instead of 4.
  • Lease some additional locomotives if necessary. Amtrak will have plenty of decent-condition GE Genesis units being leased/sold out to commuter rail operators now that it's replacing those with a big new order of Siemens power. Set aside some F40's for these because they'll show more zip on acceleration pulling short, non-full sets. Group the higher-horsepower HSP-46's and Amtrak beaters with the bi-levels pulling fuller/heavier trains out to 495.
On the Southside for Fairmount and Riverside we're of course going to want to maximally push for electrification and EMU's on bang-for-buck purposes...skipping the diesel middleman altogether. But for applying RER practices as a system we don't want to wait on technology before giving the northside any love with similarly frequent service to Salem, Reading, and Waltham/128. Planting the electrification flag doesn't make dollars or sense up north until the southside is nearly all-wired, so that will take awhile. And the market for FRA-compliant / Buy America DMU's is ice-cold right now, so we want to avoid falling into a "The vehicle IS the service" rhetorical trap (which the T was already guilty of once re: Fairmount) by doing nothing just because the shiny thing isn't very easy to procure right now. Push-pull can make the schedule margins. It's sub-optimal cost effectiveness over the long term, but you can absolutely run the service for better part of a decade with equipment on-hand before figuring out some transition to better things. And that's better than having to preface every plan with pause to wonder how many more years it'll take for the DMU market to thaw.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:04 AM   #5740
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

I know that thats what NEEDS to happen and I know blue-Lynn has many more benefits and is the line we ultimately need. I wasnt saying do DMUís in place of BLX. We both know how this actually plays out. If red-blue is projected for 2040 blue to Lynn is probably 2060. DMUís obviously arent the ideal solution, but in all honesty its probably the only option that we would realistically do, for now. Transit projects take decades and only come around one at a time. It may not be perfect, but Id much rather have that than nothing. Fairmount as of now only has the DMU option there is not even a real electrification plan yet. The Fairmount DMU plan has atleast been looked into. Its the same with West station and when there is its an entirely separate project with separate funding and construction. That is until the commuter rail network is electrified, again probably 60 years out. So if we were to use DMUís on fairmount I think it could be a great stop gap to get rapid transit via DMUís from North Station to Lynn, Chelsea...etc soon.

We could get North Station Dmuís running in 10 years. That would give these lines an option until the permanent solutions were implemented. The DMU market is cool in the US, but if we were in on it we could do something like what we did with the new red/green/orange cars. In the case of Waltham, Chelsea there are no other plans, yet. I think this would be the most reasonable way to drastically increase rapid transit until they can be replaced by permanent solutions. I know its going to be shit on because of x, y, z, but what better solutions are there right now that could get all of these lines running at the same time this quickly? Just build it all is great, but its not happening currently. DMUís were at least being explored and can be added to all these different existing commuter rail lines, where the permanent solution means each of these are their own individual massive projects. I think its a completely reasonable idea that at least deserves consideration to see if it could be done. If it can Id say go for it while we wait around for the rest of the expansion to take place.

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