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Old 03-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #421
mass88
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Signal priority will be nice, but in some areas it won't make that big of a difference.

For example, on the C line, the stretch between St. Paul Street and Summit Ave. We're talking 3 stations and 5 spots where trains will have to yield to cars, pedestrians and cyclists. I used to work in that area the time it took a train to move not even a mile always amazed me.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #422
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Reasonable pitch: Either run the 39 up Mass Ave (connection with 1 bus and Hynes Station), or just run right to Back Bay, no need to hit Copley. I don't understand the Belvidiere slight back-track.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #423
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Reasonable pitch: Either run the 39 up Mass Ave (connection with 1 bus and Hynes Station), or just run right to Back Bay, no need to hit Copley. I don't understand the Belvidiere slight back-track.
In my ancedotal experience with the 39 bus Copley always seemed like a fairly busy stop- sure the Orange Line also goes downtown but it doesn't go everywhere the Green Line does, and Copley Square itself is a notable destination with the BPL and all.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:08 PM   #424
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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In my ancedotal experience with the 39 bus Copley always seemed like a fairly busy stop- sure the Orange Line also goes downtown but it doesn't go everywhere the Green Line does, and Copley Square itself is a notable destination with the BPL and all.
I take the 39 and Copley is by-far more popular. The bus empties out save for a few passengers that continue on to either the stop at Clarendon St or Back Bay. It doesn't matter if it's rush hour or 10 PM. The traffic patterns are always the same. That awkward jog down Belvedere and Dalton to Boylston is well worth it.

This also allows the 39 to properly serve the Hynes Convention Center, unlike the T stop of the same name that is wicked far away from the damn place.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:49 AM   #425
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

So why not just run up Mass Ave instead of Belvediere...? Makes more sense, IMO. Is traffic just too terrible on that little stretch of Mass Ave?
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:59 AM   #426
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

The #39 serves the Prudential Center better this way.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:15 AM   #427
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Is traffic just too terrible on that little stretch of Mass Ave?
Yes. Just, yes. Mass Ave really can't handle a single extra car, let alone a bus route.

And as Ron said, that would totally bypass the Huntington Arcade stop (which is by far more popular than the Boylston Arcade stop) at the Prudential Center.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:42 PM   #428
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Signal priority will be nice, but in some areas it won't make that big of a difference.

For example, on the C line, the stretch between St. Paul Street and Summit Ave. We're talking 3 stations and 5 spots where trains will have to yield to cars, pedestrians and cyclists. I used to work in that area the time it took a train to move not even a mile always amazed me.
It would seem that the high boarding on those stops make that stretch exactly the right place to institute signal priority. The schedule already gets knocked out of whack at the stops themselves -- best to do all you can to smooth out the kinks in between.

That said, the stretch between St. Mary's and Hawes is my pick for most maddening example of dumb lights, and there are probably gains to be had there as well. Carlton St. has decent car volume from both directions -- I at least understand the relatively long light there, though I don't think a 10-second disruption would lead to auto bedlam. But on a full train, it feels like cars coming from Hawes St. get decades to turn left onto Beacon outbound, even though history has yet to record an instance of more than three cars queued at that street. And then there's a separate step in the cycle for Beacon U-turns. Just do a signal priority pilot on that one light, for all I care.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #429
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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It would seem that the high boarding on those stops make that stretch exactly the right place to institute signal priority. The schedule already gets knocked out of whack at the stops themselves -- best to do all you can to smooth out the kinks in between.

That said, the stretch between St. Mary's and Hawes is my pick for most maddening example of dumb lights, and there are probably gains to be had there as well. Carlton St. has decent car volume from both directions -- I at least understand the relatively long light there, though I don't think a 10-second disruption would lead to auto bedlam. But on a full train, it feels like cars coming from Hawes St. get decades to turn left onto Beacon outbound, even though history has yet to record an instance of more than three cars queued at that street. And then there's a separate step in the cycle for Beacon U-turns. Just do a signal priority pilot on that one light, for all I care.
All of the Beacon signals are computer-controlled, so town of Brookline can send 1 guy out there, open up the control box, and have the signal reprogrammed in 5 minutes flat.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:58 PM   #430
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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All of the Beacon signals are computer-controlled, so town of Brookline can send 1 guy out there, open up the control box, and have the signal reprogrammed in 5 minutes flat.
Brookline has also done a good job with their Citizens Connect implementation, the hideously named BrookOnline. I've gotten results there before pointing out some screwy street signs.

(Putting 2 and 2 together...time to post a friendly request for a smarter cycle at Hawes. No need to wait for the T to come to the table on this one. To action!)
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #431
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Let us know if you have any luck contacting BrTD.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:37 PM   #432
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I was going to pitch extending the Springfield Regionals or some of the Springfield Shuttles out to Worcester or Boston, demonstrating a demand for BOS - SPG service that could then be leveraged into the badly, badly needed upgrades to the B&A Main Line.

Then, while checking to see just how much time this "should" tack onto those trains, I discovered your fascinating Lake Shore Limited fact of the day:
The train out to Chicago is scheduled to leave South Station at 11:55 AM, arriving in Framingham at 12:28 PM, Worcester 12:58 PM, and Springfield at 2:10 PM. 33 minutes, 30 minutes, 72 minutes.
The train back into South Station from Chicago, on the other hand, departs Springfield at 5:53 PM, arrives in Worcester at 6:57 PM, Framingham at 7:35 PM, and Back Bay at 9:03 PM. 64 minutes, 38 minutes, 88 minutes.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong... is it that unreasonable to pitch that Amtrak at least fix the Lake Shore Limited's times down to their usual level of onerous padding? This is extreme, even by their standards.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:35 AM   #433
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I was going to pitch extending the Springfield Regionals or some of the Springfield Shuttles out to Worcester or Boston, demonstrating a demand for BOS - SPG service that could then be leveraged into the badly, badly needed upgrades to the B&A Main Line.

Then, while checking to see just how much time this "should" tack onto those trains, I discovered your fascinating Lake Shore Limited fact of the day:
The train out to Chicago is scheduled to leave South Station at 11:55 AM, arriving in Framingham at 12:28 PM, Worcester 12:58 PM, and Springfield at 2:10 PM. 33 minutes, 30 minutes, 72 minutes.
The train back into South Station from Chicago, on the other hand, departs Springfield at 5:53 PM, arrives in Worcester at 6:57 PM, Framingham at 7:35 PM, and Back Bay at 9:03 PM. 64 minutes, 38 minutes, 88 minutes.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong... is it that unreasonable to pitch that Amtrak at least fix the Lake Shore Limited's times down to their usual level of onerous padding? This is extreme, even by their standards.
Freight. CSX is more active late-afternoon/early-evening. All of the shortline and regional RR's that they interchange with--a half-dozen on some busy days--deliver their loads to West Springfield, Palmer, Worcester, and Grafton in the afternoon. So CSX is gearing up to move that stuff out of the filled yards and drop off the next-day's interchange cars in the early evening. And the two yards in Framingham are at their most active late afternoon/early evening when the Northborough/Leominster local and Everett Terminal produce train are returning home and the Attleboro/Middleboro/Braintree local is departing for its overnight run. They're considerably more flexible when running their own intermodal stuff to/from Albany, West Springfield, Worcester, Readville, etc. But the shortline interchanges and the locals are shaped by customer business hours and 'clump' a lot more on the schedule.

Doesn't affect the Worcester Line very much now that Beacon Park's closed, and an MBCR train going all-stops Worcester-Framingham won't get backed up by a 40 MPH freight running nonstop because of the stop dwell times. But it fucks up the LSL hard. That problem goes away when the B&A gets double-tracked to Springfield for the Inland Regionals. Not only because of the increased capacity, but they're going to add several crossovers en route for nimble passing. Springfield-Pittsfield has a pretty healthy quantity and spacing of double track segments, so that segment snaps into better shape when the LSL sheds its required schedule disaster padding points east.


All about the Inlands. LSL--especially the Boston flank--is nobody's idea of a priority route. It's one of those LD's that only exists for purposes of political triangulation.

Last edited by F-Line to Dudley; 03-20-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #434
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

When I look at the T map and think about the BLX to Lynn, I wonder, but don't know the pros and cons of the following. Hopefully a more informed poster can fill me in.

Would it be better from both an ease of installation standpoint and net transit access benefit to run a DMU from north station to lynn via chelsea? I would think you only need to double track the line and then you just run in back and forth between the CR on the haverill line? I imagine you could set up 3 units and just loop them at 15 minute headways- skipping one for when the CR runs thru.

This brings more rapid transit to both Chelsea and Lynn and doesn't have the same downtown crush as BLX with no Blue-Red Connection. Also, when I see the current Wonderland terminus, it looks like it would have to make a pretty costly jump to the ROW over the marsh. This 'fairmounting' may preclude some of that.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #435
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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When I look at the T map and think about the BLX to Lynn, I wonder, but don't know the pros and cons of the following. Hopefully a more informed poster can fill me in.

Would it be better from both an ease of installation standpoint and net transit access benefit to run a DMU from north station to lynn via chelsea? I would think you only need to double track the line and then you just run in back and forth between the CR on the haverill line? I imagine you could set up 3 units and just loop them at 15 minute headways- skipping one for when the CR runs thru.

This brings more rapid transit to both Chelsea and Lynn and doesn't have the same downtown crush as BLX with no Blue-Red Connection. Also, when I see the current Wonderland terminus, it looks like it would have to make a pretty costly jump to the ROW over the marsh. This 'fairmounting' may preclude some of that.
It's nowhere near enough headways to satisfy demand to such a humongous bus terminal like Lynn. And the Revere station that would kinda-sorta link to Wonderland garage is a long walk across desolate windswept parking lot. Either they build a long-ass Wellington style indoor walkway connecting the two or nobody's going to make the walk to/from the CR station. They've studied it; the ridership blows.

Even if they fixed the speed restrictions on the Eastern Route due to grade crossings and the drawbridges, the line still shares a single lead track with Haverhill/Reading for about a half-mile around Sullivan where it + Orange are pinned in between I-93 pilings. Not expandable, and already an on-time performance bottleneck for the end-to-end Haverhill schedule (Newburyport/Rockport gets priority in a train meet because Eastern Route's got its own problems to deal with re: the Chelsea speed restrictions).

Now, if you're going to invest big $$$ in a DMU fleet at all you're only doing it if they can run on several lines at once to achieve justifiable economy of scale. The Reading Line inside 128 is tailor-made for that application because of its stop density and surrounding residential density of all-day transit users. If Haverhill trains were booted back to their pre-1979 Lowell Line/Wilmington routing an all-Reading short-turn schedule would probably afford 25+ min. DMU headways without problems at the Sullivan merge. Extrapolating off Blue Book boardings it's slam-dunk the highest ridership proposition for northside 'Fairmounting', so if you're doing it anywhere north you're doing it to Reading first.

OK...you can do it to Reading. And if the Eastern Route got its speed restriction stressors fixed you can do it to Reading without crimping a full, crisper Newburyport/Rockport schedule. Because with Haverhill moved Reading's short enough that it can still cede train meet priority to Newburyport/Rockport without crimping DMU headways. But you most definitely can't do DMU headways on both lines at once plus a full Newburyport/Rockport schedule through the Sullivan squeeze. There'll be something stopped at BET or one of the Mystic bridges waiting for a train to clear the single track nearly all the time, and it's going to destroy OTP to Newburyport and Rockport as first casualty. Newburyport and Rockport fetch more total ridership than a short-turn that hits only 3...maybe 4 stops...so that plan flunks the do-no-harm test on revenue.


The only way that goes away is if the Orange Line goes to Reading and the Western Route traffic outright disappears. No Western Route...sky's the limit to what they can send out there underneath 93. But Orange-Reading is absolutely not happening before Blue-Lynn.


I've written/argued more elsewhere the other reasons why Eastern Route's a compromised choice for DMU's even with the obvious Chelsea fixes. But this is the capacity brick wall that'll put the kibbosh on it, because if revenue via service density is the goal for purchasing an expensive-ass DMU fleet...Reading gets top northside billing full-stop. There's no rational revenue argument for prioritizing the Eastern Route at the expense of the Western other than institutional self-loathing about fulfilling the promise to build @#$% Blue already.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #436
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Thanks, F-line!
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #437
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Pitch: Salem to Worcester and Worcester to Salem. Twice a day (once per peak service hours). Shoot right behind BET and don't stop at North Station. Slip in a short high level on the south side of Maffa Way for Orange Line transfer at Sullivan, put a stop in the Kendall area somewhere. Express past certain Worcester Line stations. ???. Check results and determine if its worth it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:22 PM   #438
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Once RIDOT takes over Rhode Island's commuter rail operations, they should provide a stop-heavy local service between Westerly and South Attleboro which then expresses through every stop except Route 128 (and possibly Mansfield) on its way into Boston. The MBTA/MBCR, on the other hand, should provide the stop-heavy local service between Boston and Providence, but then express trains through every stop built between Providence and T.F. Green Airport (Cranston, Elmwood (maybe?), Olneyville).
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:37 PM   #439
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

My initial impulse would be to ask if there is enough capacity/tracks to pull that off, sharing with Amtrak as well.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:54 PM   #440
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

If RIDOT is preparing for this, as has come up numerous times on the board, they ought to take advantage of the luxury of starting their service from scratch. They should skip the diesels and order some M8 EMUs just like those Connecticut/Metro North has under construction. Their whole route is electrified. They could buy power from Amtrak and do better for air quality. Plus they would have common equipment that is compatible with NY and CT.
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