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Old 05-11-2018, 01:22 PM   #5201
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

I think the Type 10 cars should be designed with the assumption that they might have a human operator in the beginning who might become unnecessary at some point during their life. The partition between the operator cab and the rest of the car should probably be installed with something like a dozen bolts so that it can be removed if / when the time comes.

The operator should only be removed if the technology to do so is successfully developed and demonstrated elsewhere and it becomes a matter of integrating existing, known technology with the Green Line trains. There just aren't enough people working as Green Line operators in the first place for automation to be worth making a major investment in; there are a bit fewer than a hundred two car trains, so if we can get down to one operator per train, there are a few hundred full time jobs.

However, we also started this discussion of whether to have a human operator when I was bringing up the question of how precisely the train can be aligned on the platform, and that might be worth automating even if we can't automate the stopping for a pedestrian functionality.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:27 PM   #5202
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Economically, the highest paid drivers are at greatest risk first because their high wage rate makes it easier to justify expensive sensor packages (LIDARs and things to infer density (life forms) vs empty shapes (boxes and bags).

Uber drivers will come next because eventually computers will underprice them as "employees" Your personal car will come last (except it already has FCW and AEB, which are most of the game for tracked vehicles) because it still has to be priced as a car, not an economic tool.
I think I've been reading that LIDAR has traditionally been around $50,000 per vehicle. That's approximately free for a Green Line train car that costs millions of dollars, and probably less than the cost of a full time employee for one or a few years, but not affordable for a typical Nissan Leaf buyer.

There is also some work being done to try to reduce the cost of LIDAR, and Elon Musk seems to think full self driving can be done without LIDAR. (Indeed, humans do driving with little more than a pair of optical sensors.)
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:18 PM   #5203
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
There is also some work being done to try to reduce the cost of LIDAR, and Elon Musk seems to think full self driving can be done without LIDAR. (Indeed, humans do driving with little more than a pair of optical sensors.)
I don't put too much faith in what Elon Musk thinks, given that he seems to have no issues releasing an autopilot system to the general public when it can't even figure out how to not drive into a concrete divider.

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Old 05-11-2018, 08:57 PM   #5204
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Sounds like they're flipping all the platforms to the north side (track 1). This has construction advantages (minimal impact on current low-level platforms while work is going on) and also design advantages (handicap access could be cut into the embankment vs having to use the overpasses for access).
That's pretty much it though, the space to work with is really tight where it is now alongside the Pike. It would be much easier I imagine to build new platforms on the other side. Now both platforms would be nice to accommodate Indigo but not necessary.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:09 PM   #5205
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Sounds like they're flipping all the platforms to the north side (track 1). This has construction advantages (minimal impact on current low-level platforms while work is going on) and also design advantages (handicap access could be cut into the embankment vs having to use the overpasses for access). But, it retains all the operational headaches of only being able to offer good service in one direction. Also, if the PM peak opposite-side boarding scheme is retained for the Wellesleys and Naticks, all PM locals would have to cross over at CP-11.

The current plan could work as a phased approach, but when if this moves forward there needs to be a plan for high-levels on the south side as well. I'm guessing that money is the issue here, but condemning this corridor to low-frequency operations seems like a huge disservice given its proximity to the city and potential for good TOD.
We've since learned that Alt 1 is essentially the same as Phase 1 of Alt 2 and Alt 1 doesn't preclude Alt 2. Selecting Alt 1 allows the project to get moving & funded and then Alt 2 to eventually get built later with another round of funding.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:43 PM   #5206
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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We've since learned that Alt 1 is essentially the same as Phase 1 of Alt 2 and Alt 1 doesn't preclude Alt 2. Selecting Alt 1 allows the project to get moving & funded and then Alt 2 to eventually get built later with another round of funding.
Yep, that was my thought too. There will just need to be a sustained push once the new platforms are done to go back and add the second set.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:16 PM   #5207
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Yep, that was my thought too. There will just need to be a sustained push once the new platforms are done to go back and add the second set.
And rest assured, we at TransitMatters will be making a hell of a lot of noise.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #5208
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

They wouldn't need to move the tracks, would they? Now that I actually read the PDF, seems like $43M is a lot for what I am imagining would be needed.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:51 AM   #5209
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

I can't figure out what project you're talking about. Move tracks for what? I read back and before mention of these mysterious Alts there were only posts about self driving cars??
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:08 PM   #5210
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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I can't figure out what project you're talking about. Move tracks for what? I read back and before mention of these mysterious Alts there were only posts about self driving cars??
Making the Newton stops on the Worcester line accessible.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:50 PM   #5211
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Will late night T service ever return to the city? Even on weekends?
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:57 PM   #5212
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Will late night T service ever return to the city? Even on weekends?

That is probably the furthest thing from their minds. Dose not seem to be in the cards.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:22 PM   #5213
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Will late night T service ever return to the city? Even on weekends?
FMCB & the T service planning are finding a way to have overnight bus service on limited routes. It's not if anymore, it's how.

Our statement from the 10/31/17 FMCB meeting:
Quote:
UPDATES

2017 October 31 The FMCB yesterday agreed to advance the Overnight Transit Service pilot program sponsored by TransitMatters, Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Cambridge and Somerville. The service, called NightBus, is structured to provide transit service to the nearly 50 thousand workers who leave jobs between 1am and 4 am.

The FMCB decided to delay final approval of the pilot to determine how to implement Nightbus in the most cost-effective manner.

The options that will be considered include:
  • Private Operators servicing the route via a RFP.
  • Utilizing MassPort "Sunrise Service & Longwood Medical Area shuttles to service the routes in the early morning hours.
  • Seeing if private operators could utilize shorter buses to reduce the cost of operation.
  • Working with Carmen's Union to utilize part time employees to service the route at a reduced cost.

The Chair of the FMCB also set a target date of July 2018 (FY19) for it to be implemented.

TransitMatters is committed to seeing NightBus through to implementation. Nightbus is on the Horizon!

https://transitmatters.squarespace.com/nightbus/?p
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Last edited by datadyne007; 05-13-2018 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:32 PM   #5214
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Newton commuter rail

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Originally Posted by Uncivil_Engineer View Post
Yep, that was my thought too. There will just need to be a sustained push once the new platforms are done to go back and add the second set.
Where does having usable Newton platforms on both sides fit in the priority list relative to the Worcester Union Station second platform?
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:21 PM   #5215
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Saw this on the South End facebook page. Thought it might interest someone here:

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Ever wanted to explore an abandoned T Tunnel? Well, now is your chance! In celebration of Preservation Month, the Boston Landmarks Commission and City of Boston Archaeology Program will be hosting the first public tours of a segment of the abandoned 1898 south-bound subway tunnel between Government Center/Scollay Square Station and the former Adams Square stations, now under City Hall Plaza. The tour is free and begins with a 5-minute talk by the City Archaeologist followed by 15 minutes of free exploration. We will be hosting no more than 100 individuals on five timed 20-minute long tours on Monday, May 21, between Noon and 1:20 pm. Signup is required at the following link:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080...4-preservation
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:38 PM   #5216
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Saw this on the South End facebook page. Thought it might interest someone here:



https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080...4-preservation
All filled. :-(
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:38 PM   #5217
datadyne007
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by reverend_paco View Post
Saw this on the South End facebook page. Thought it might interest someone here:



https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080...4-preservation
Was already sold out by noon today.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:44 PM   #5218
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

Dumb question about the Newton stops. Do they have to build the high level platforms to be considered accessible? It just dawned on me that might be the case.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:19 PM   #5219
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

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Dumb question about the Newton stops. Do they have to build the high level platforms to be considered accessible? It just dawned on me that might be the case.
Yes they absolutely have to be high to be accessible, but that's not why the Newtons are costing so much. There's a lot of bloat in there and also some bridge reconstructions that Newton should be helping to pay for.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:29 PM   #5220
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Re: General MBTA Discussion Thread

https://twitter.com/adamtvaccaro/sta...13671474597888

MBTA to test out a $10 weekend commuter rail pass this summer.
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