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Old 04-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #41
stellarfun
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

The T can't find the money to build parking garages for commuter rail at Salem or Beverly. I believe those two stations have the greatest number of passengers on the Rockport / Newburyport lines. At Salem, commuters park perhaps a third of a mile away because the existing lot is full. And they are about to build a $100+ million courthouse across from the Salem station... with no additional parking.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #42
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I think before making this investment coordination of existing Boston-bound services passing through central Lynn should be explored. Between 6am and 9am there are 33 trips departing Central Square for either North Station (via rail), Haymarket (via 441, 442 or 455 buses) or Wonderland (ditto). That works out to a trip departing every 5.5 minutes. Unfortunately, these services are not coordinated.

The schedules of the three bus routes are not coordinated. For example, two of the routes are scheduled to depart Lynn at 740am and two trips on the same route are scheduled to depart at 809am and 811am. This results in too-long gaps in service at other points during the peak.

To my knowledge, the scheduled times for Central Square are not time points, so inbound buses are not required to hold until the scheduled time if they are early, reducing the ability for passengers to confidently plan trips.

Real time information (or at least, scheduled information) on the next trip to Boston (by rail or bus) and expected travel time for that service to Wonderland (or downtown via Wonderland), Haymarket or North Station, should be provided on LED signs at the street level of Lynn station.

Inbound stops for the three bus routes with direct service to Wonderland or Haymarket should be located at the same departure bay.

The fare structure should be aligned so that a trip to downtown is the same fare regardless of whether it's made on commuter rail, bus only, or bus to subway.

No doubt a Blue Line extension would result in a faster trip to downtown Boston for most Lynn travelers. But since even with the extension Lynn is unlikely to have service frequency as good as they already have it when combining existing services, and since many Lynn riders are not originating from points within walking distance of Central Square and may have to rely on these routes as feeders anyway, it seems to make sense to spend short money on maximizing the efficiency and user friendliness of existing service before spending $600 million on an extension.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:07 PM   #43
PaulC
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I would prefer that the Blue Line be extended to Lynn before building a Charles St connector. In the short term the goal should be to increase the usage of public transit and the extension to Lynn will add far more riders. It would also do a lot to help boost Lynn as a suburb of Boston and as a destination. There is a North Shore Community College campus there already. At one point downtown Lynn was being prompted as a center for computer software companies.

There has been talk of connecting the Downtown Crossing Station and State St with an underground passage. This would take some of the pressure off the Green and Orange lines. Passengers could walk from the Red and Orange Lines. This would never replace the red/blue connector but it would be a relatively cheap and easy short term fix.

I believe that the rebuild of Charles St allowed for this connection. Any know for certain?
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:09 PM   #44
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I don't think a pedestrian connection between those two stations would be easy, because Downtown Crossing has right-side platforms while southbound State (really Milk) has a left-side platform.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:43 PM   #45
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

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Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
The Red-Blue connector would do little for people going to the airport (we've already got the Silver Line for that), but it would greatly improve the usefulness of both the current Blue Line and any extension to Lynn. Imagine being able to live in downtown Lynn and work in Kendall Square -- or live in Davis Square and work in Revere.
i imagine that if a connector were to be built at Charles, that most people going to the airport would transfer to the blue line. the silver line is an awful solution for getting to the airport (although the fact that it goes to each terminal is a plus).

I would guess that a trip from charles to the airport via the blue line vs continuing on to SS to catch the silver line is a good 20 min time savings.

Back to the original topic, BOTH the connector and the extension to lynn should be built. this is obviously a dream and not reality but i will make another post about how the T and Massachusetts should think about funding these projects going forward...something radical that needs to be proposed and considered.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:01 PM   #46
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

taking the blue line would require waiting outside for a bus at airport station. I prefer to take the silver line to the airport.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:20 PM   #47
pescamaaan
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
taking the blue line would require waiting outside for a bus at airport station. I prefer to take the silver line to the airport.
taking the silver line requires:

a)waiting for a bus at SS
b)traveling @ 15mph
c)stopping at stations that have few, if any, riders
d)stopping at the end of the tunnel, taking down the panto's and firing up the engine


then you get to the terminals.

i agree, neither solution is ideal (i don't know why they didn't build a monorail or something similiar from airport station to the terminals).

but we digress....extend the blue line!
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:38 PM   #48
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Last week I took the Blue Line to the airport, instead of the Silver Line.

Not that anyone probably cares, but here's the difference in travel:

Silver Line:

Start: Orange Line, Back Bay / South End station

Take commuter rail to South Station
Take Silver Line bus to airport, which entails, as you say above:

a) waiting for a bus at SS
b) traveling @ 15mph
c) stopping at stations that have few, if any, riders
d) stopping at the end of the tunnel, taking down the panto's and firing up the engine

Getting to Terminal

Blue Line

Start: Orange Line, Back Bay / South End station

Take Orange Line to State Street
Switch to Blue Line
Take Blue Line to Airport
Take shuttle to Terminal

Either way, I leave the house at the same time. Which is easier / faster? I'd say the Blue Line, although I didn't time it.

I really have no patience for the Silver Line. It is a billion-dollar boondoggle if there ever was one.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:41 PM   #49
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Silver Line wins big if you're coming from the Red Line, though. One transfer instead of three. (And if you didn't time your trips, how can you be sure which was faster?)

Someone above is forgetting that even if you could transfer from the Red to the Blue at Charles, you'd still have to transfer again to a bus at Airport station. (I suppose one could walk from the T station to Terminal E, but not reasonably to the other terminals.)
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:50 PM   #50
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I have an internal clock?

Ron, it's just so SLOWWWWW. I mean, if you look up after ten minutes from leaving South Station .... South Station is still in your view and you haven't yet gone under the harbor!
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:08 PM   #51
pescamaaan
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
Silver Line wins big if you're coming from the Red Line, though. One transfer instead of three. (And if you didn't time your trips, how can you be sure which was faster?)

Someone above is forgetting that even if you could transfer from the Red to the Blue at Charles, you'd still have to transfer again to a bus at Airport station. (I suppose one could walk from the T station to Terminal E, but not reasonably to the other terminals.)

i agree, coming from the red line today would make no sense transferring to the blue line. the fact that the blue line does not currently meet the red line is the problem.

my argument was that if the blue line were to meet at charles then red line travelers would have, IMHO, a better option for reaching the airport.

anecdotally it appears to me that even with the bus transfer at airport station, you're still better off. obviously without hard numbers i can't back this up.

but i agree with Jimbo....the silver line seems soooo sloowww. even if the travel times are nearly identical (We don't know) it seems as though travel in that silver line tunnel has some time warping effect where you know you're moving but you are not actually going anywhere.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:25 PM   #52
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Haven taken both the silver line and the blue line (with a walk from S. Station to either State or Aquarium preceeding the blue line trip) at various times of the day between once and 4 times per week for the last several years, anecdotally, I would say that it is generally a bit quicker to take the silver line. I will also say that despite this, I seldom (and only under specific circumstances) elect to take the silver line because I find it it is about as pleasant as punching myself in the face for half an hour.

However, there are two related factors which will erode if not reverse the minor time advantage the silver line seems to provide relative to the blue line (from South Station): What terminal are you going to/from and what time of day are you traveling . . .

The massport shuttle from the 4 terminals to the blue line stop is, more often than not (and always when it is busy) split so that passengers going to/from terminals A and B get on one bus and those going to/from terminals C and E get on another.

The nubbins silver line busses make all the stops at all the terminals all the time. When the airport is not crowded this has little adverse impact on how long it takes to get through. However, when the volume of vehicular traffic is heavy (roughly coniciding with rush hour on the highways during the work week) you can spend upwards of 20 minutes just dicking your way around the airport property fighting with the hotel shuttles, rental car shuttles, various other busses, cabs and privately-owned vehicles clogging the roads up. To speak nothing of the actual act of picking up and discharging passengers at each terminal--it is a show watching travelers (especially amateur travelers) lugging all their shit on and off the silver line when it is crowded, not to mention you can only board the silver line from the front-most single door by the driver (so you can pay--the massport busses are free so passengers can get on and off from both sets of doors, AND the busses themselves are smaller so it never seems to be quite as miserable an experience) . . . I kid you not, you can wait 5 minutes at a single stop just for people to get on and off the damned thing!

Personally, I'd rather get the exercise and walk from either Aquarium or State to South Station (on nice days when I am not in a particular rush, I'll even walk to the blue line station from the terminal) and avoid the soul-draining experience of a crowded silver line bus.

The only exception I typically make to this is if the weather is particularly rotten (very cold when I am not appropriately dressed to be outdoors for more than a minute at a time, or pouring rain).
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #53
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I wonder how much it would be to create a spur off the Blue Line to the Airport. It does, however, make more sense to connect South Station with Logan without having to make people transfer a hole bunch of times.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:18 AM   #54
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Agreed. If the silver line was rail vice bus, I suspect it would be a faster and more consistent trip (not to mention have a higher volume capacity, depending on the frequency of service).

Even if such a railed silver line used the existing blue line station/track--thereby requiring usage of the massport shuttle busses--it would still be a lot better than the current configuration.

The reasons I say this [about using the current station/track] is that given the layout of the terminal buildings, parking structures, and utilities, it might be a tough hill to climb to run a rail anywhere near there to put a stop or two.

That said, I have not thought about (much less thoroughly investigated) what would entail making the silver line rail and tying it into the blue line tracks somewhere on the inbound side of the airport station . . .
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:31 PM   #55
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I like where this discussion is going. I do a lot of work at the airport and relying on those shuttle buses is a pain.

As of now, morning shuttle buses stop at each terminal/cargo/employee parking stop (running every 5 minutes or so). It's really annoying. After 10AM, the buses begin to break down into several routes: 1. Terminals A,B 2. Terminals C,E 3. Blue Line 4. Employee Parking/Chelsea (all running at 10-15 minute intervals).

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday about the possibilities of a people mover, or extending the Blue Line to the airport. He said that Massport had already done a report in the late 90's on the possibility of a tram/monorail to all of the terminals and back to Airport station. As usual, cost (and lack of ridership?)was the deciding factor in shelfing the project.

But here's an interesting tidbit: All of the Central Parking circulation shafts connecting the terminals were designed and built to support excess weight from above. Meaning in the future, if Massport decided to build a people mover at Logan ... it could easily be added to the existing structure.

Only problem is that it'd be 30-40ft high.

I think extending the urban ring down the existing Chelsea tracks through Wood Island and down to the airport that way would be more feasible.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:47 PM   #56
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

One good thing: the new Airport station is much closer to at least one terminal (E) than the old one was. Without heavy bags, E is within walking distance. And I think you can now reach all the other terminals indoors from E.

It wasn't safe to walk anywhere from the old station; there weren't even sidewalks beyond the bus stop area.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:07 PM   #57
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

You can get to all the terminals through Central Parking.

I think the most practical idea would be to extend the Blue Line to Central Parking and have a central distribution point at which people can get on high speed walkways to their respective terminal.

Walking through every terminal would be a total pain, considering that the radius from A - E is about a mile.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:11 PM   #58
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Or just build a high-speed walkway from the Blue Line station to Central Parking (and leave the Blue Line where it is now). I recall that it is a straight shot walking indoors from E to A by way of Central Parking.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:22 PM   #59
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

I remember reading that the new blue line station was supposed to be closer, but taxi unions stopped it.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #60
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Re: Blue Line extension to Lynn

Where did you read that? The Blue Line station could not be closer without actually moving the tracks.
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