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Old 11-17-2017, 02:24 PM   #2761
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Short explanation: All door entry for Green Line/Bus, tap payment only (no cash, nothing magnetic/mechanical like a CharlieTicket). Should work pretty well, IMO.
All of this can be implemented with current Charlie Card technology. None of these improvements need an "AFC 2.0" project. If the front door of the bus and Green Line can read Charlie, why can't the back door? And if fare inspectors can carry handheld Charlie readers, why can't CR conductors (especially on the Fairmount Line)?

I'll never understand why they're kicking this stuff down the road to AFC 2.0. Why not implement them today instead of waiting for an entire fare system redesign?

We really need a dedicated AFC 2.0 thread, so I'm not going to get into the details, but whenever I hear about AFC 2.0 I get fearful of significant mission creep. The T seems to have some grand vision of redesigning payment systems as we know it with AFC 2.0. I'd rather them take the (good!) Charlie system that we have and focus on incremental improvements.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:42 PM   #2762
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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All of this can be implemented with current Charlie Card technology. None of these improvements need an "AFC 2.0" project. If the front door of the bus and Green Line can read Charlie, why can't the back door? And if fare inspectors can carry handheld Charlie readers, why can't CR conductors (especially on the Fairmount Line)?

I'll never understand why they're kicking this stuff down the road to AFC 2.0. Why not implement them today instead of waiting for an entire fare system redesign?

We really need a dedicated AFC 2.0 thread, so I'm not going to get into the details, but whenever I hear about AFC 2.0 I get fearful of significant mission creep. The T seems to have some grand vision of redesigning payment systems as we know it with AFC 2.0. I'd rather them take the (good!) Charlie system that we have and focus on incremental improvements.
Charlie is not "good" by any stretch of the imagination. The biggest concern is that it is wildly insecure. It makes no sense to invest in more outdated, insecure Charlie technology like RFID pads at rear doors. That would truly be a waste of money. As it stands now, you can't pay with a phone/NFC wearable, contactless cc, etc. These technologies aren't the future anymore. They are NOW. The CharlieCard itself will be replaced for those who still want a card by a much more secure card with NFC/contactless technology (TBD). AFC isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. And it's coming into revenue service in 2020.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:01 PM   #2763
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Charlie is not "good" by any stretch of the imagination. The biggest concern is that it is wildly insecure. It makes no sense to invest in more outdated, insecure Charlie technology like RFID pads at rear doors. That would truly be a waste of money. As it stands now, you can't pay with a phone/NFC wearable, contactless cc, etc. These technologies aren't the future anymore. They are NOW. The CharlieCard itself will be replaced for those who still want a card by a much more secure card with NFC/contactless technology (TBD). AFC isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. And it's coming into revenue service in 2020.
For an American public transit system it's definitely good. It's better than MetroCard.

As far as security, I understand that CharlieCards are "wildy insecure" in theory, but have a hard time believing that they are in practice. Is this actually a problem? Or is it a problem according to cyber security professionals who get paid to address said "problems". It may be possible to maliciously copy Cards, but it's still way harder than piggybacking at a turnstile or waving something in front of the exit sensor. What percentage of trips are paid for with fraudulent Charlie Cards? I bet it's pretty damn close to zero.

AFC 2.0 might be ready in 2020, and they've already been holding off on improvements for years waiting for it. Even if investing in rear RFID pads in 2018 doesn't make sense, investing in them back in 2015 (or 2013 or 2010 or etc.) probably would have. But even then we were holding out for a grand redesign...
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:12 PM   #2764
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Does anyone know where we go from here?
Is there another 6 months of design work to come up with the new stations? Do they start track work as soon as this gets the final stamp of approval?
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #2765
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Does anyone know where we go from here?
Is there another 6 months of design work to come up with the new stations? Do they start track work as soon as this gets the final stamp of approval?
They vote to approve the findings of today on Monday, Nov 20th, I believe. Then, the "Notice to Proceed" to GLX Constructors will occur on Dec 11th(?) I think? These dates are from memory and I think are correct.

Regardless, within a few weeks, GLX Constructors will get the "go ahead" to begin construction!

They are a design-build team, which is literally what it reads. They will "design" and "build" simultaneously. The construction isn't blind, however. Each of the bidders were given guidelines from the GLX interim redesign team, of what the MBTA expects the GLX to look like. The contractor is expected to follow those guidelines, and supposedly they can do it for whatever cost they bid for.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:03 AM   #2766
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:36 AM   #2767
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

What's a reasonable guess for what we might see this fall? Here are my guesses:

1) Additional right of way widening (if they've picked a method for retaining walls)

2) Additional CR track-relo (once the space is there)

3) Retaining walls for new bridges?
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:38 PM   #2768
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

I feel like Im taking crazy pills.

The entire D branch had special machines installed to allow PoP.

The entire Green Line was set up so monthly pass holders could enter the back doors while those needing to tap or pay entered the front.

All of that was eliminated because the MBTA hates their riders.

JumboBuc is 100% correct. Spending half a billion for a new payment system will not make PoP any more likely to happen as long as the mission is to provide slow and unreliable service
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:12 PM   #2769
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

The Charliecard is pretty much at its end of life at this point, though, and this replacement isn't really out of nowhere. The MBTA's announcement itself also said as part of it they are doing PoP on the green line for better service.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:42 PM   #2770
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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The Charliecard is pretty much at its end of life at this point, though, and this replacement isn't really out of nowhere. The MBTA's announcement itself also said as part of it they are doing PoP on the green line for better service.
10 years is not end of life unless you are being paid to say it is end of life.

SEPTA tokens? Yeah, end of life.

Metrocard? Yeah, end of life.

WMATA fare system that has been around for 40 fucking years? Maybe.

One of the newest fare payment systems in the US is not at end of life.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:50 AM   #2771
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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10 years is not end of life unless you are being paid to say it is end of life.

SEPTA tokens? Yeah, end of life.

Metrocard? Yeah, end of life.

WMATA fare system that has been around for 40 fucking years? Maybe.

One of the newest fare payment systems in the US is not at end of life.
Yeah, as far as transit in the usa goes, we're pretty modern. I'm always a little stunned by old school ticket systems in other us cities when I travel.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:56 AM   #2772
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

So, we've got a whole new thread on AFC 2.0, so at least it seems reasonable that by that by the end of 2020 we'll have the fare-collection system we need for a barrier-free GLX by mid-late 2021. (so maybe move the discussion of AFC to there?)

Meanwhile, I hope to stop by College Ave today and confirm that the Lowell Line is entirely in its new "outer" slots through the "beyond Ball Sq: to "beyond- College Ave" stretch
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:23 AM   #2773
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Yesterday the FMCB formally accepted the 1.08B design build contract to build the GLX. Notice to Proceed is projected for mid December.

EDIT: Arlington, any interesting news at the GLX2MVP meeting?

Last edited by FitchburgLine; 11-21-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:04 PM   #2774
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Sorry if this has been answered I haven't followed this as closely as other threads. From what I gather the green line seems like once it goes underground in the back bay its grade separated all the way through Cambridge and the extension terminating at college ave. Is this correct? If thats true this will be much better than when heading westbound and exiting the tunnel where you end up waiting at red lights and even within traffic at some points out toward Allston and Brighton. This would make this portion of the green line much faster, more efficient, much less of a hassle, and all around just a better option for people going to and from Cambridge/Medford to downtown and back vs heading out west toward Allston Brighton Newton etc... This is what I seem to gather from looking at the renderings and video that have been shared of the project and extension. This will be much more of a true subway line for these people than the western portion where its an at grade trolley affected by pedestrians and traffic. This seems like a big win for those areas affected by the extension.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:17 PM   #2775
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Sorry if this has been answered I haven't followed this as closely as other threads. From what I gather the green line seems like once it goes underground in the back bay its grade separated all the way through Cambridge and the extension terminating at college ave. Is this correct? If thats true this will be much better than when heading westbound and exiting the tunnel where you end up waiting at red lights and even within traffic at some points out toward Allston and Brighton. This would make this portion of the green line much faster, more efficient, much less of a hassle, and all around just a better option for people going to and from Cambridge/Medford to downtown and back vs heading out west toward Allston Brighton Newton etc... This is what I seem to gather from looking at the renderings and video that have been shared of the project and extension. This will be much more of a true subway line for these people than the western portion where its an at grade trolley affected by pedestrians and traffic. This seems like a big win for those areas affected by the extension.
Yes, the GLX has its own dedicated ROW.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:40 PM   #2776
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Here's hoping the approval is a good stepping off point to get some of the Union Square projects we're waiting on to get started.

Looking forward to getting to know that area better soon.

Might also help Northpoint finally land a commercial tenant as well.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:47 PM   #2777
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Also, I finally reviewed/familiarized myself with the Phase II plans to Rt 16/MVP. I didn't realize just how close the Phase I contract ends to the proposed station. It's crazy not to just build it all at once. Hopefully the newfound $200m can be applied to this to get it all done together.

http://greenlineextension.org/docume...esentation.pdf


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Old 11-22-2017, 02:21 PM   #2778
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

^ You are seeing that it was a political phasing, not an engineering or project thing--just simply that Tufts and ward politics could drag the GLX as far as College Ave but that slightly-less-dense neighborhoods beyond were transit-sceptical (2007 - 2012 ish) and the solution was to put MVP in Phase II rather than either side force a build/no-build and risk losing a fight.

Maybe credit the switch from a disused Wild Oats to a busy Whole Foods and Complete Streets in West Medford--but the station catchment demographics are now ready to build and it would be sweet to see it before 2025.
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:52 PM   #2779
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Re: West Medford Station, etc

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I'm also convinced that the Green Line was never getting across the Mystic: The bridge work on the two spans (over the parkway and over the Mystic) was going to be too expensive.

If West Medford is ever going to get frequent transit, the money will be better spent on whatever it takes to put a 3-track tunnel under Route 60 for two side "NSRL" platforms and a center freight-clearance and express track. I don't see how you'd ever squeeze that and a two track GLX into West Medford Square.
If you start at the east edge of Mystic Valley Parkway and continue past the west edge of the Mystic River, it's less than 400' long, times two tracks of width.

If you're proposing to dig out two 800' platforms plus at least 800' for a center track, when tunnels are typically more expensive than bridges, I don't see how it would be at all likely that converting West Medford to surface Green Line with commuter rail / Amtrak / freight in a platformless two track tunnel would come out more expensive than your three track tunnel with depressed platforms. (I'm assuming this would mean that West Medford Station would no longer be a commuter rail stop with the Green Line stop there providing the replacement service.)

There's also the question of how many commuter trains per hour plus Amtrak trains per hour can be run between the Charles River and Woburn if we want every Acela serving Anderson Regional Transportation Center in the NSRL future, and having commuter rail stops without quad tracking gets to be challenging in that regard; if we could provide the local service with the Green Line extended out to Winchester and run the commuter trains express, they'd mix in better with Amtrak service.

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And if there's going to be a NSRL-to-GLX transfer station somewhere, it seems like Tufts or Gilman or Washington St are better places.
Beyond that, for at least the useful life of the MVP station (til, what, 2065?) there are going to be more-deserving, more-receptive places to run a green line branch to places not slated for NSRL service, like beyond Riverside, or on the Urban Ring to Chelsea.
The key thing to think about for that commuter rail infill station is where to put it to best offer bus connections to Harvard, Kendall, etc. I suspect along the current 86 bus route may turn out to be best.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:43 PM   #2780
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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It should be the case, yes. Return the money for Phase II, or put it toward Red/Blue or Fairmount Urban Rail.
I'm wondering whether Orange Line to Roslindale Village would have better return on investment than Green Line to Mystic Valley Parkway.
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