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Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM   #1101
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Hey All-

Well it's been quite the ride to say the least, but the Silver Line is now open. It opened this morning at @ 5:02am, and I was on the first ride and did a picture set, of course.

As far as construction, there's really three key things left that were not done for opening day.

1. Ramp connecting the inbound platform of Bellingham Sq Station to Washington Ave. Estimated time of completion: Fall 2018
2. Signals at Everett Ave, Spruce, and Arlington @ Fifth. Estimated time of completion: Summer 2019
3. The move of the Commuter Rail Station to behind Market Basket. Estimated time of completion: Summer 2020

So TBA on those.

As far as the first ride, there were maybe 10 of us waiting. It was pretty clear we were all transit fans who wanted to ride the first route.

I was able to strap my new GoPro to a bar (after a brief delay) so I have the entire run to Chelsea and back recorded. I am going to edit the video next so expected lots of videos over the next few days. I also am working on some time lapse videos, it's just time consuming to do (since I have to sort thru photos), so even more TBA on that too.

HOWEVER.. I did shoot one clip of two buses arrive at Box District Station, and you can click here to see that on YouTube.

If you'd like to see the previous photo sets they can be found here by clicking on the links below:

Pics from 4/25/15
Pics from 6/20/15
Pics from 8/1/15
Pics from 9/19/15
Pics from 10/31/15
Pics from 1/9/16
Pics from 3/12/16
Pics from 4/16/16
Pics from 5/15/16
Pics from 6/26/16
Pics from 8/13/16
Pics from 10/5/16
Pics from 11/10/16
Pics from 12/14/16
Pics from 2/2/17
Pics from 3/23/17
Pics from 4/20/17
Pics from 6/3/17
Pics from 7/22/17
Pics from 9/9/17
Pics from 12/16/17
Pics from 2/17/18
Pics from 3/31/18

And if you'd like to see the ALL of NEW photos, you can click here

I'm not going to post many photos, since mot much as changed. But I urge folks to check out the link above.

-----

Incase you haven't seen it yet yourself (or are not local). The new map with extensions at South Station:




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The bus...



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At Cottage Street



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A bus servicing (drop off) Chelsea Station



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A bus coming inbound to Eastern Ave Station as seen from the Bellingham Street Bridge



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Box District Station



-----

And that's it. Like I said, I urge folks to check out the link above to see all the photos. (Sorry but I want to edit video now!!)

Anyways, let me know what you think

Last edited by cybah; Yesterday at 01:02 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM   #1102
tysmith95
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Just my personal opinion, the silver line should have bus fares and not subway fares. With SL4 and SL5 to Roxbury and SL3 to Cheslea they serve low income areas. And despite the bus lanes they're still buses and still get stuck in traffic on portions of their route.
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Old Yesterday, 01:32 PM   #1103
citylover94
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

I completely agree that seems like a very reasonable idea considering what the service is.
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Old Yesterday, 01:53 PM   #1104
tysmith95
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by citylover94 View Post
I completely agree that seems like a very reasonable idea considering what the service is.
Actually I stand corrected, SL4 and SL5 pay the standard bus fare. I'd say that should be extended to SL3, although there are issues with South Station and sharing the entrance with the Red Line.

Maybe charge bus fares for all stations at SL3 other then South Station. I'm sorry but I still don't think it is true bus rapid transit other then for small sections, and it's definitively inferior to the rail lines.

Last edited by tysmith95; Yesterday at 02:06 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:19 PM   #1105
jklo
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Don't disagree but given that most are going to just going to transfer to the Blue at Airport it almost doesn't matter. They'll end up spending the extra money for the subway pass anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM   #1106
Charlie_mta
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybah View Post
Hey All-

Well it's been quite the ride to say the least, but the Silver Line is now open. It opened this morning at @ 5:02am, and I was on the first ride and did a picture set, of course.

Anyways, let me know what you think
That's a beautiful project, and a lot of bang for the buck. Thank you for the fantastic photos.
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Old Yesterday, 10:27 PM   #1107
whittle
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Actually I stand corrected, SL4 and SL5 pay the standard bus fare. I'd say that should be extended to SL3, although there are issues with South Station and sharing the entrance with the Red Line.
The issue with the common entrance at South Station is that you can't charge a transfer between the SL1-3 and RL without a tap-on/tap-off system.

Quote:
and it's definitively inferior to the rail lines.
I'd argue that it's of similar service quality to the street-level parts of the green line.
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Old Today, 12:12 AM   #1108
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Hi Folks,

Quick update @ 1am. I uploaded some more videos..

Incase you didn't get to ride it today, you can still see what it's like to ride by clicking on the links below. Let me know what you think




Last edited by cybah; Today at 06:31 AM.
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Old Today, 10:38 AM   #1109
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

https://www.milesonthembta.com/2018/...on-via_21.html is a review of the route. The parts I found most surprising:

Quote:
the interaction with the 77s at Eastern Ave is awful. I was on a bus that got stuck behind a 77 that was boarding, and I've heard reports that this has been happening all throughout the day.
(This is apparently Logan route 77 and not the MBTA 77 that goes from Harvard Sq to Arlington along Mass Ave.)

Quote:
if the route bunches, there's no place to lay over in Chelsea, so that bunch is sticking around all the way back to South Station! Maybe even beyond South Station, since having only two layover spots in the tunnel with three routes is tough to work with...
But from one of the videos I saw I got the impression that if five buses show up at Market Basket all at once, the first could pull in to the inbound platform, collect passengers, and immediately depart; the second could then sit at the inbound platform and wait; the third could stop in the middle of turning around; the fourth could pull forward a bit on the outbound platform, and the fifth bus could probably pull into the back of the outbound platform. It's probably even possible to store one or two buses more than that in the turnaround area.

And regarding the South Station layover, it looks like the buses are all interchangeable; I think I've seen a video of an SL3 bus with a Massport logo on the side, and I thought the Massport logo corresponded to the buses with extra luggage racks that are supposed to be used exclusively for SL1. If South Station can have whichever bus is at the front of the line run whichever route they want departing next, that helps a lot with dealing with the limited layover space vs keeping each vehicle dedicated to a specific route.
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Old Today, 11:09 AM   #1110
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
https://www.milesonthembta.com/2018/...on-via_21.html is a review of the route. The parts I found most surprising:

(This is apparently Logan route 77 and not the MBTA 77 that goes from Harvard Sq to Arlington along Mass Ave.)

But from one of the videos I saw I got the impression that if five buses show up at Market Basket all at once, the first could pull in to the inbound platform, collect passengers, and immediately depart; the second could then sit at the inbound platform and wait; the third could stop in the middle of turning around; the fourth could pull forward a bit on the outbound platform, and the fifth bus could probably pull into the back of the outbound platform. It's probably even possible to store one or two buses more than that in the turnaround area.

And regarding the South Station layover, it looks like the buses are all interchangeable; I think I've seen a video of an SL3 bus with a Massport logo on the side, and I thought the Massport logo corresponded to the buses with extra luggage racks that are supposed to be used exclusively for SL1. If South Station can have whichever bus is at the front of the line run whichever route they want departing next, that helps a lot with dealing with the limited layover space vs keeping each vehicle dedicated to a specific route.
Layovers are as follows for the SL3

Chelsea Station (yes, there's layover room), plus a busway exit into Market Basket's parking lot for buses to join or leave the route.

Courthouse Station, this is the general Silver Line Layover facility where the T keeps a few buses.

Silver Line Way - Again, another layover facility

So there's a few spots

As far as the rest of his review, I wish I had know one of those guys was him because I could have squelched a lot of what he had to say. That first ride wasn't perfect, nor did I (or anyone should) expect it to be. I don't expect the first week or so to be very good to be honest.

It's a new route, new timetable, new drivers, new everything. I'm not trying to be all silver line cheerleader, but give it a few days before passing hard judgement. Let them get the kinks out. Its very different than testing when you're in revenue service.
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Old Today, 11:13 AM   #1111
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Okay... 2 final videos.

These you will like. If you were unable to ride, here's your chance.

Video 1 - First-Run ride, from South Station to Chelsea, in a time lapse. (Sped up from 29 minutes to ~5 minutes)



Video 2 - First-Run ride, from Chelsea to South Station (as the driver turned around and went inbound from video above), in a time lapse (Sped up from 28 minutes to ~5 minutes)



Let me know your thoughts

(and yes, if you awake at 3am and saw these appear and then they were gone, you weren't seeing things. I had a production snarfu so I re-did both of them with station titles)
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Old Today, 11:35 AM   #1112
datadyne007
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

As a former Chelsea resident whose schedule was ruined daily by the Chelsea Street Bridge, I'm very much looking forward to the future Globe article freaking out about the abysmal OTP of SL3 so we can finally have a serious dialogue about restricting bridge raises during rush hours as well as transit priority.
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Old Today, 12:08 PM   #1113
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
As a former Chelsea resident whose schedule was ruined daily by the Chelsea Street Bridge, I'm very much looking forward to the future Globe article freaking out about the abysmal OTP of SL3 so we can finally have a serious dialogue about restricting bridge raises during rush hours as well as transit priority.
Data, It's already happening. The City and State really want to push for all of this, especially the bridge.
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Old Today, 12:23 PM   #1114
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by cybah View Post
Data, It's already happening. The City and State really want to push for all of this, especially the bridge.
Is a state going to let the silver line buses to use the Silver Line way instead of doing a weird loop by the state police barricks?.
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Old Today, 12:32 PM   #1115
datadyne007
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by cybah View Post
Data, It's already happening. The City and State really want to push for all of this, especially the bridge.
Really? All I used to hear from the City about the bridge was that it couldn't be done and they didn't even want to try. That's encouraging at least.
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Old Today, 01:00 PM   #1116
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Is a state going to let the silver line buses to use the Silver Line way instead of doing a weird loop by the state police barricks?.
Maybe, see below

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Really? All I used to hear from the City about the bridge was that it couldn't be done and they didn't even want to try. That's encouraging at least.
Well Yes, it is a federal rule so not much the city can do... HOWEVER, what's promising is the T (and probably to a lesser extent MassDOT) said in a public meeting at Chelsea City Hall about the SL that they were working with city, state, and federal leaders to see about getting a waiver.

I also was approached at a city meeting the day before (a Re-Imaging Broadway meeting) from a city transit manager about connecting with a group like TM to see if we could rally the troops, so to speak, to really try to push for a waiver.

Frankly with all the SL stuff going on I haven't had a chance to talk to TM yet, and i didnt want to say it here but I wanted to reply here to.. but..

I'd also like to see this be big group effort, and maybe we can rope this into a bigger "Let's fix the Silver Line" movement. This way we can group the Bridge, the State Police On-Ramp, the D street light, and.. what I'd like to see.. signal prioritization thru the airport area for the SL (and to a lesser extent massport). I think this will really fix this part of the SL (all parts).

Plus if everyone works together.. TM, Chelsea & Boston residents & officials, The T, MassDOT, and hopefully MassPort.. we can really push to get the bridge restrictions and fix the other bottle necks of this line.

It's just hopeful because I was approached, then heard about the next day.. and the T and MassDOT's now warming up to signal prioritization, busways, and buslanes and how they can improve service greatly.

Maybe we are on to something here..

(And sorry TM if you read this, you'll get a message soon about this)
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Old Today, 01:10 PM   #1117
datadyne007
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by cybah View Post

(And sorry TM if you read this, you'll get a message soon about this)
I'm a board member. We're working on coordinating our efforts internally at the moment as we're trying to plan out how to best approach this, but the partnerships have been discussed and we're of course open to working together.

Thanks for the explanation of the situation btw. Appreciate it.
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Old Today, 01:13 PM   #1118
cybah
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
I'm a board member. We're working on coordinating our efforts internally at the moment as we're trying to plan out how to best approach this.

Thanks for the explanation of the situation btw. Appreciate it.
Yeah as most people I know (you, marc, gus.. )

I've just been bizzzy. But I hope we, the city included can work together. Just reach out after all of this calms down on tuesday.

I hope we can have the momentum to make this work. It can work.
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Old Today, 01:44 PM   #1119
Jahvon09
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Interesting ride!!!
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Old Today, 03:00 PM   #1120
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Silver Line to Chelsea

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybah View Post
This way we can group the Bridge, the State Police On-Ramp, the D street light, and.. what I'd like to see.. signal prioritization thru the airport area for the SL (and to a lesser extent massport). I think this will really fix this part of the SL (all parts).
Does SL1 go through any traffic lights on the east side of the harbor?

I hadn't thought about signal priority for SL3 for the airport area lights until you mentioned it here, but you're certainly right that at some point they should set up transit signal priority.

I get the impression that there may be a limit to how fast the T is prepared to deploy transit signal priority to more intersections (outside of Boston's central traffic light control system, someone from the T has to install a cellular router at each intersection), and it may turn out that there are other higher ridership intersections the T should be concentrating on first. I'm not sure what the current status of Green Line transit signal priority is.

However, how modern the existing traffic light controller is and how enthusiastic the traffic light owner / operator is about transit signal priority are probably also factors.
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