archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Transit and Infrastructure

Transit and Infrastructure All things T or civilly engineered within Boston Metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #221
Deetroyt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 353
Re: General Infrastructure

Not sure if this belongs here, but in case anyone's interested:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...:Main_headline
Deetroyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 02:08 PM   #222
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deetroyt View Post
Not sure if this belongs here, but in case anyone's interested:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...:Main_headline
Yes, well...they *just* ended the 23-year retirement package like last year. So if you get a job for the MBTA at age 22, you can do an honest and exemplary job your entire career for a modest salary, follow every rule in the book, and be eligible to retire at 45. That fleeces...who?

Now, 23 years is probably too short in this day and age. Which is why they got rid of it. But it's a gig with great job security and promotion path to more skilled positions, so a lot of the mid-twentysomethings they hire do stick around till 55. Which is...30 years. Frame it that way and most office schlubs criticizing this would turn around and say they'd feel owed the option for early retirement if they stuck it out 30 years with one employer. The difference for them is...they're expendable and will change jobs umpteen times so the only way to hit a pension in a corporate job is with an age trigger and rolling one's retirement sayings over and over again to new accounts when they change employers.

Work in an industry where people stay with one employer for a career, and they tend to have service time-based retirement plans. Public sector institutions tend more than private sector to have longer-lasting employees. Ergo...



Gah, this is a tired talking point. Now, overpaid deadbeat employees...that's a real problem. Over-glut of managers auto-promoted who just take up space doing nothing...that's a real problem. The T is rife with both of those, and is finally starting to bend to scrutiny and clean house of that flab. Loyal employees who take enough pride in that circle-T logo to spend a whole career there doing their fucking jobs, and following the rules to an honest pension...that is not a problem.

If the local rags are going to wave this Pavlovian red meat around to rile up the usual suspects who hate public employees for all reasons...the least they could do is tell us if these early retirements disproportionately represent an overpaid management level or not. If the rolls are rank-and-file in the proportions you'd expect rank-and-file who spent a career on appropriate promotion path for a job well done enough to last X decades...that's not waste.
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #223
Kahta
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bellingham
Posts: 300
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Yes, well...they *just* ended the 23-year retirement package like last year. So if you get a job for the MBTA at age 22, you can do an honest and exemplary job your entire career for a modest salary, follow every rule in the book, and be eligible to retire at 45. That fleeces...who?

Now, 23 years is probably too short in this day and age. Which is why they got rid of it. But it's a gig with great job security and promotion path to more skilled positions, so a lot of the mid-twentysomethings they hire do stick around till 55. Which is...30 years. Frame it that way and most office schlubs criticizing this would turn around and say they'd feel owed the option for early retirement if they stuck it out 30 years with one employer. The difference for them is...they're expendable and will change jobs umpteen times so the only way to hit a pension in a corporate job is with an age trigger and rolling one's retirement sayings over and over again to new accounts when they change employers.
Aren't all existing employees grandfathered in under the 23 and out plan?

Don't forget that the health insurance obligation is another big driver of costs.

It would be nice to see some discipline and workers at cleveland circle NOT catcall young professionals and college students in the area. I don't understand how an employment culture where that behavior is acceptable exists.
Kahta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 03:32 PM   #224
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Chelsea, MA
Posts: 7,998
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahta View Post
It would be nice to see some discipline and workers at cleveland circle NOT catcall young professionals and college students in the area. I don't understand how an employment culture where that behavior is acceptable exists.
Report it to the MBTA.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeamusMcFly View Post
If it looks like a duck..... it's an office park.
datadyne007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 03:48 PM   #225
Deetroyt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 353
Re: General Infrastructure

Although this is not an issue for the MBTA alone, one big problem of industries with powerful labor unions is that it becomes difficult to get rid of employees once they join, especially relative to the private sector, even if they are not doing their job well. As an econ major i studied this and was floored by the inefficiencies that often result from union contracts. Poor job performance can be difficult to capture in metrics (or maybe easy to capture, hard to make available publicly due to contract language), and thus you have inefficiencies to go along with anecdotal "he got promoted to (an unnecessary) managerial position by virtue of being there a long time"
Deetroyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #226
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deetroyt View Post
Although this is not an issue for the MBTA alone, one big problem of industries with powerful labor unions is that it becomes difficult to get rid of employees once they join, especially relative to the private sector, even if they are not doing their job well. As an econ major i studied this and was floored by the inefficiencies that often result from union contracts. Poor job performance can be difficult to capture in metrics (or maybe easy to capture, hard to make available publicly due to contract language), and thus you have inefficiencies to go along with anecdotal "he got promoted to (an unnecessary) managerial position by virtue of being there a long time"
Absolutely. And the T does have an extreme glut of middle managers. For example, when one-man train ops got rolled out on Blue/Orange/Red reducing the ranks of doormen...they just promoted all the displaced to inspectors. Meaning too many standing around on platforms observing, and not enough reassigned to point where they could put on an extended hiring freeze until attrition rebalanced the numbers.

That's terrible waste. The patronage jobs in mid-upper management are an even bigger waste. The deadbeats at MBCR bilking the state for the last 10 years. Every capital decision that has 8 too many chefs. That stuff needs to be pared back.


A shop mechanic who gets all his certifications and is brought in as a junior apprentice at 27, then rises up the ranks to foreman and retires at 50 after 23 years of doing a high-skill job very well is not the same. They get the good union deal because the job market for that skill set is so competitive and the employees are so hard to lure away once they do get established elsewhere you have to have a top-notch bennies package and good path for advancement. That is the free market at work for railroad engineers, subway operators, mechanics, track workers, dispatchers, the engineering and procurement departments who have to spec every rivet and measurement. Everything above bus driver and disposable station attendants and customer service flaks starts to get into pretty meaty technical trade skill. That's not waste. Your transit agency is death on wheels if you hire lowest-common denominator at those positions.

I just wish every time the Globe or Herald or Hank Investigates or whoever did one of these canned pension waste stories they would *sometimes* bother to parse the numbers and tell us if the ratio of who is collecting is out-of-whack vs. the breakdown of their labor force. Tenure-based retirement is the norm for a transit agency, and skilled rank-and-file who do not exactly grow on trees get that deal and the promotion path because that's the only way they can hire the right people. That's not waste. The alternative is WAY, WAY worse than waste.

I want to know if this is disproportionately overrepresenting the fat class of middle management and encouraging more of that patronage spigot we're trying to shut off. These outlets usually don't say because they get the clicks and page views waving the slab of red meat...but, you know, that omission is the difference between there being a story and no story.
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 04:35 PM   #227
Matthew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 3,585
Re: General Infrastructure

European agencies seem to run better service with strong unions. Although, they also have more strikes. One of these days I'm going to try and understand the differences better.
Matthew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 04:50 PM   #228
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
European agencies seem to run better service with strong unions. Although, they also have more strikes. One of these days I'm going to try and understand the differences better.
SEPTA's had the most strikes of any U.S. transit agency, and if you need an example--any example--of what not to do with transit policy or ops, SEPTA always delivers Exhibit A.

Long Island Rail Road has also had a lot of labor strife, and is coming off one of the worst pension corruption scandals in memory to hit any transit agency/sub-agency. But they're still the gold standard everyone else aspires to be on safety and ops proficiency. More than their MTA sisters Metro North, who are the OTP and customer service gold standard with longstanding labor peace...but an abhorrent safety and maintenance record--and coverup therein--that's now consuming them from the inside out.



So...pretty much no correlation whatsoever. A transit agency is as good as its leadership class, as good as the politicians let it be, and as good as the resources it's given to do its job...all in some proportion or another. Find rotting fish at the top and the smell is going to waft down. Find a clog at the top that's depriving oxygen to everything below, and the agency is going to wither. Find both and...well, you get SEPTA. Same truth applies anywhere.
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #229
Matthew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 3,585
Re: General Infrastructure

I'm more interested in non-American agencies because I feel that all American agencies are covered in corruption and mismanagement. Best to look outside and see. I'm sure there's plenty of problems overseas but they do seem to run far superior service to anything here; including anything NY MTA related.
Matthew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 05:35 PM   #230
bobthebuilder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 353
Re: General Infrastructure

Interesting little article/data with some neat little graphs.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/...rdable/379084/

And whattaya know? Areas with "good" public transit can be more affordable overall despite high housing costs.
Quote:
These five metros—Washington, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Boston—share an obvious trait: good public transportation systems. Strong transit makes it possible to reduce car ownership and all the expenses that go along with it, from purchase cost to maintenance to gas to insurance. And so we find that these same cities also rank near the top in terms of both commuter transit share and households without vehicles
bobthebuilder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 06:31 PM   #231
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
Interesting little article/data with some neat little graphs.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/...rdable/379084/

And whattaya know? Areas with "good" public transit can be more affordable overall despite high housing costs.
Thick nets of transit. Radial transit outside the CBD so outermost neighborhoods and innermost 'burbs have good, frequent bus transfers into rapid transit. Genuine express buses. Not treating the city bus like a 5th class citizen on the pecking order. Fast, frequent commuter rail trips from outside the city to push back a few of the most excessive layers of commuter car traffic. Keeping the system reliable with good preventative maintenance.


I wonder if anyone's told the T these things. You know...study them, see if any of them are recommended. Surely if they'd judged any of these on the merits they would've taken action by now...if only they knew!























F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 08:32 PM   #232
Matthew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 3,585
Re: General Infrastructure

I saw a car with a "NORTH SOUTH RAIL LINK" bumper sticker parked in the Fenway today
Matthew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 09:00 PM   #233
metasyntactic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 233
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
I saw a car with a "NORTH SOUTH RAIL LINK" bumper sticker parked in the Fenway today
I see this car (unless there's more than one in Fenway) every so often myself when getting lunch. Each time I wonder if it's someone on archBoston.
metasyntactic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 10:43 PM   #234
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by metasyntactic View Post
I see this car (unless there's more than one in Fenway) every so often myself when getting lunch. Each time I wonder if it's someone on archBoston.
Fred Salvucci lives in the Fenway?
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 11:25 PM   #235
Matthew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 3,585
Re: General Infrastructure

Naw, Fred lives in Brighton. I run into him on the 57 regularly.

Maybe it's Dukakis getting lunch
Matthew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #236
underground
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North End
Posts: 2,385
Re: General Infrastructure

It's gotta be the Duke. Remember when he told MassDOT they couldn't name South Station after him without the Link?
underground is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2014, 01:20 PM   #237
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,361
Re: General Infrastructure

Duke does ride the E when he's got a class to teach at Northeastern. I used to regularly see him on sardine-packed trains at Prudential with that graying helmet hair of his standing in a thicket of riders buffeting him with their bodies because he's too short to reach the grab bars.

(And yes, he refuses a seat when offered.)
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2014, 02:44 PM   #238
matredsoxfan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 337
Re: General Infrastructure

MassDOT recently replaced a bridge in Berkley Massachusetts over Route 24 in only 4 WEEKS! Watch this time lapse video to find out how
matredsoxfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2014, 11:28 PM   #239
Downburst
Senior Member
 
Downburst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,231
Re: General Infrastructure

Another work-related story that's been tough to sit on, but here we are! We're working to illuminate the Harvard Bridge at night. Enjoy! http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/b...project-donor/

Here's the page on the Charles River Conservancy's site: http://www.thecharles.org/projects-a...idge-lighting/

__________________
"Don't ever take a city for granted. After all, it's bigger than you are; it is older; and it has learned how to wait..."
-----
Downburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 08:13 AM   #240
mass88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,667
Re: General Infrastructure

That should look nice. As it stands right now, the street lighting on that bridge is very poor and not nearly as bright as it should be.
mass88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure mass88 Transit and Infrastructure 11 01-04-2013 12:38 PM
Boston Infrastructure: A Summary omaja Transit and Infrastructure 54 06-07-2012 12:55 PM
Waterfront: Shipping Infrastructure rinserepeat Transit and Infrastructure 9 04-27-2012 12:07 AM
Shipping Infrastructure BostonUrbEx Design a Better Boston 2 06-23-2010 05:59 AM
NEU Infrastructure Conference Pierce Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 0 11-21-2009 09:12 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.