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Old 01-06-2018, 05:10 PM   #1
Arlington
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Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Fenway and Longwood probably deserve their own thread, and I'd proposed putting them together since:

1) They are connected, and the developing urban canyon along Brookline Ave sort of belongs to both

2) They are amply served by the Green Line (with an assist by Yawkey) but the rail doesn't come anywhere close to actually providing all-points transit

3) They are actually knit together by a high frequency mix of divergent low-frequency buses

4) Both are employment centers in their own right (BU & Hospitals)

5) but generate a large number of visitors from everywhere (ballgame attendees & hospital patients) and also have VIPs who expect to park (baseball bigwigs, highly-paid doctors, special needs patients & handicapped). Both have a huge amount of parking

6) Both have a large number arriving by private bus (charters for Fenway, LMA shuttles for Hospitals)

Seems ripe for

1) More bus/HOV priority
2) Consolidation of LMA routes & MBTA routes
3) Especially real quality bus that does:
  • Cambridge-Red (Harvard-Central and Central-Kendall-(Lechmere/Union?))
  • Kenmore-Green (Ideally in Ken Sq, not D-Fenway then C -St M then B-BU East, like the 47 does)
  • Fenway-Longwood
  • Huntington-Green
  • Ruggles-Orange
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Last edited by Arlington; 01-06-2018 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:35 PM   #2
tysmith95
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

You bring up a good point. For the jobs center that Longwood is the transportation options aren't great. You've got the green line on the edges but no rapid transit options that go through the center.

The region as a whole should seriously look at consolidating bus stops in places and getting rid of street parking in order to add bus lanes. It worked well in Everett and should be expanded.

Looking at google maps there are 8 bus routes that go down Brookline Ave in Longwood.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:06 PM   #3
Arlington
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Looking at google maps there are 8 bus routes that go down Brookline Ave in Longwood.
Does that include the MASCO/LMA shuttles?
https://www.masco.org/lma-shuttles/routes

As with other Key Bus Corridors, Brookline Ave gets overlooked (totally ripped off) because it has many individual routes but no, single Key Bus Route. (big map here)

This is partly the fault of the MBTA for not corridor-ify-ing ridership, and partly the fault of letting the LMA shuttles crop up but not counting or integrating them.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Does that include the MASCO/LMA shuttles?
https://www.masco.org/lma-shuttles/routes

As with other Key Bus Corridors, Brookline Ave gets overlooked (totally ripped off) because it has many individual routes but no, single Key Bus Route. (big map here)

This is partly the fault of the MBTA for not corridor-ify-ing ridership, and partly the fault of letting the LMA shuttles crop up but not counting or integrating them.
Those key bus corridors seem to be missing alot. Nothing in Everett, nothing in Somerville, no Southie/downtown routes.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:54 PM   #5
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Which Fenway are you thinking of? The one way road along the Muddy River? The baseball stadium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
  • Cambridge-Red (Harvard-Central and Central-Kendall-(Lechmere/Union?))
  • Kenmore-Green (Ideally in Ken Sq, not D-Fenway then C -St M then B-BU East, like the 47 does)
  • Fenway-Longwood
  • Huntington-Green
  • Ruggles-Orange
Can we do Ruggles-Orange by straightening out bus route 10 and increasing its frequency? I'm thinking keep its route from the Farragut / E 1st intersection (where ideally we'd build an overnight storage facility for battery buses if we could make sure it would stay well above the high water mark even at unusually high tides, rather than pseudo-deadheading along E 1st to the City Point facility) to Andrew for the Red Line connection, follow Southampton in both directions as far as Theodore Glynn Way and then deal with the one way street detour, follow Melnea Cass Blvd to Ruggles Station to Ruggles St, then probably Huntington to Longwood Ave. Once that bus route gets to Coolidge Corner, maybe it could continue to Harvard if we're focused on serving places of high demand, or maybe it could follow Beacon St until it gets to the 65 bus corridor and then it could follow the 65 corridor until it gets to the 57 corridor, and maybe it could follow the 57 corridor all the way out to Watertown Sq.

A Longwood to Kendall to Lechmere (and maybe Sullivan and casino?) bus could probably work, but if you can only run the north of the Charles part of that on 15 minute headways, the south of the Charles extension should probably be 28 and not a Longwood dead end. Maybe Ruggles could work as a transfer point between a rerouted 10 and an extended 28.

Likewise, if we end up with a Union Sq Somerville to Central Sq Cambridge to BU Bridge route, is Longwood the optimal destination south of the Charles?

Can you clarify what streets you were thinking the other bus routes should follow?
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:59 PM   #6
millerm277
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

As an entirely serious question: Is there actually a general traffic problem on Brookline Ave that needs attention? While I don't travel the corridor that often, I haven't seen major delays on it when I do.

A look through Google Maps time of day estimates and it looks pretty mild for delays. Roslindale and Everett's BRT trials are known major delay spots that obviously warrant it and have a bunch of data to support it.

I'm happy to be corrected by someone with more first-hand experience or data to support it than I've seen, though.

-------------

I will note that the street parking on the Kenmore/Fenway end of the corridor isn't allowed to be used on Red Sox game days, you could do a temporary (although not 100%, inbound over the bridge is only 1 lane wide) bus corridor for those times (which are the only time I've noticed major delays in the area) very easily and with zero controversy.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #7
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

I'm surprised there aren't many links between Fenway/Longwood and Cambridge considering they're both health/bio research hubs as well as entertainment/nightlife destinations. Of course you can do Green -> Red but that can take 45-60 minutes depending on where exactly you're starting and ending your trip.

There's the 47 bus which is provides the fastest service from Fenway/Longwood to Central Square but doesn't really have many other useful destinations on the northern half. I think this bus could be improved by extending the route north to Harvard square which would reduce the travel time from there to Fenway considerably and provide many transfer opportunities.

There's also the CT2 which has a pretty good route through MIT and into Somerville/Sullivan Square, but its frequency and schedule are horrible. Peak frequencies are 15-20 minutes and the service ends at 7pm on weekdays and does not run at all on the weekends. This one could become a major route if the frequencies and schedules were improved a bit.

As it is right now, I mostly take an Uber when I'm traveling somewhere in Cambridge since it's not that expensive ($10-15) and much quicker than the T. If there were more frequent and/or convenient bus routes I would definitely prefer to take the bus using my unlimited pass.

Last edited by FenwayResident; 01-07-2018 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:11 PM   #8
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

I suspect that a good chunk of what is needed is for the T to figure out how to run substantially more than 750 buses during peak travel times. That involves funding, and it requires more reliable buses and/or more bus garages.

CT2's routing is pretty absurdly indirect. It crosses the BU Bridge, and it serves Union Square in Somerville. If you draw a straight line from the BU Bridge to Union Square, that line goes through Central Square. So why does the bus go through Kendall instead? There are streets that provide a pretty straight and direct path from the BU Bridge to Union Square.

47 is an awkward U shape as it is, and extending it to Harvard would make that worse.

If you want ridership to justify frequent service, you probably don't want these meandering routes.

32 extended along the South St, Centre St, and S Huntington sections of 39 and then following 65's route along Brookline Ave and then making its way over to Mass Ave and then following 1's route to Vassar St to Kendall might make sense, and maybe it could continue to Lechmere and maybe Sullivan and the casino beyond that. But I also want 32 / South / Centre / S Huntington to Central and 32 / South / Centre / S Huntington to Harvard to exist, and I suspect finding ridership for all of these 32 extensions in off peak hours to offer 15 minute headways will be difficult.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:44 AM   #9
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
I'm surprised there aren't many links between Fenway/Longwood and Cambridge considering they're both health/bio research hubs as well as entertainment/nightlife destinations. Of course you can do Green -> Red but that can take 45-60 minutes depending on where exactly you're starting and ending your trip.
This linkage is pretty much the service provided by the MASCO LMA shuttles. Most of the major institutions/employers in Longwood are members. They basically gave up on the T and provide the connecting service themselves.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:56 AM   #10
FenwayResident
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
CT2's routing is pretty absurdly indirect. It crosses the BU Bridge, and it serves Union Square in Somerville. If you draw a straight line from the BU Bridge to Union Square, that line goes through Central Square. So why does the bus go through Kendall instead? There are streets that provide a pretty straight and direct path from the BU Bridge to Union Square.

47 is an awkward U shape as it is, and extending it to Harvard would make that worse.

If you want ridership to justify frequent service, you probably don't want these meandering routes.
The routes as a whole may be oddly shaped, but in terms of Fenway --> Central/MIT they're as direct as it gets. If I wanted to take an Uber to Central Square from my place it would literally follow the same route as the 47 bus. I don't see why they couldn't extend the route an extra mile to Harvard Square to provide another major destination on the route as well as additional connections. Plus it would still be faster than taking Green --> Red to Harvard Square.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:49 AM   #11
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
So why does the bus go through Kendall instead?
Probably because there are 50,000 jobs in Kendall Square...

Kendall has barely any bus service as it is. More buses need to be routed there instead of terminating at Central, certainly not fewer.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:17 AM   #12
FenwayResident
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Probably because there are 50,000 jobs in Kendall Square...

Kendall has barely any bus service as it is. More buses need to be routed there instead of terminating at Central, certainly not fewer.
Exactly. The CT2 is really three routes lumped together into one, since no one would take it the full length as there would be a much better alternative. Essentially it's:

1) Ruggles <--> Longwood/Fenway
2) Longwood/Fenway <--> Kendall
3) Kendall <--> Sullivan Square

In reality #2 and #3 are the most important since #1 is only a 15-20 minute walk. I don't think many people are taking #1 unless connecting to some point further south on the Orange Line. But in most cases the CT2 is so infrequent it's better just to walk... if it were running every 5-10 minutes at peak times that would be a much more viable alternative.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Livable Streets new analysis:
http://www.livablestreets.info/longwood_area
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Last edited by Arlington; 01-09-2018 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Highlights from the report, above:
Livable Streets new analysis:
http://www.livablestreets.info/longwood_area
Quote:
WHY LONGWOOD?
  • Over 110,800 commuters, visitors, and patients descend on Longwood each day (MASCO).
  • Longwood institutions generate jobs, care for the sick, educate tomorrow’s workforce, and are a cultural resource to the community.
  • As a working, learning and research "neighborhood", safe access and physical connections are a necessity to move many people in and around Longwood daily.
  • Longwood was identified as one of 5 prime corridors for Bus Rapid Transit in Greater Boston in the 2015 Boston BRT Report.

WHY NOW?
  • The Longwood Area is growing rapidly. By 2030 there is projected to be 13,200 more employees and 6.86 million gross square feet.
  • People are changing how they get around Longwood. Since 2000 the number of drive-alone commuters has dropped 19%, while transit use has increased 12%, and walking and bicycling has increased by 7% (MASCO).
  • Public Health and Complete Streets are natural allies. Professionals in public health and transportation can work together to create streets that are safe and convenient for a variety of active transportation choices.

WHAT'S HAPPENING?
  • The Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO)added 30 new shuttle buses to it's fleet in 2015. Their shuttles carry 11,000 employees from public transit stations and off-site parking areas to and from Longwood.
  • Longwood was identified as one of 5 prime corridors for Bus Rapid Transit in Greater Boston in the 2015 Boston BRT Report.
  • LivableStreets is partnering with Longwood Area Cyclists and others on a year-long public engagement campaign to envision a safer Longwood.
  • At the September Longwood Cyclists Summit, MASCO presented a revised plan for Longwood Ave improvements. Many of the revisions came about after attendees spoke up at the February Cyclists Summit.

WHAT'S NEXT?
  • LivableStreets will work with Longwood Area partners to analyze the results of the survey, and present a report with recommendations in December.
  • The City of Boston has prioritized Longwood Ave for repaving in April 2018.
  • Construction on a new platform at Ruggles Station will begin in 2018.
  • After Longwood Ave, MASCO will focus on improving Brookline Ave and connections to the Southwest Corridor.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:39 PM   #15
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Probably because there are 50,000 jobs in Kendall Square...

Kendall has barely any bus service as it is. More buses need to be routed there instead of terminating at Central, certainly not fewer.
When the bus routes running through Kendall have stupid routings that prevent them from being sensible to ride through Kendall by folks whose origin and destination are not Kendall, that reduces the demand on those routes, thus reducing the reasonable frequency for those routes and contributing to the barely any bus service problem.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:47 PM   #16
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
The routes as a whole may be oddly shaped, but in terms of Fenway --> Central/MIT they're as direct as it gets. If I wanted to take an Uber to Central Square from my place it would literally follow the same route as the 47 bus. I don't see why they couldn't extend the route an extra mile to Harvard Square to provide another major destination on the route as well as additional connections. Plus it would still be faster than taking Green --> Red to Harvard Square.
If various Fenway residential condo associations want to pay the full cost of extending 47 to Harvard, I don't see why they couldn't do that either. Except that I bet if they offered to pay the T $250 per hour of additional bus operation, the T probably still wouldn't be able to figure out how to either add bus garage space or buy more reliable buses to make this happen, even if there were folks at the outer end of the Worcester Line who could tell them how to buy more reliable buses.

If we're going to spend finite statewide MBTA resources on the Central to Harvard corridor, I don't think Fenway is the best destination to serve from that corridor. We should try to go in something closer to a straight line instead, which is why I think the 1 with the Dudley segment removed and extended to UMass Boston and extended along 73's router to Waverly is the sensible option.

I think there also might be some ``Red Line'' thing that I don't see why you couldn't just transfer to.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:51 PM   #17
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDowntown View Post
This linkage is pretty much the service provided by the MASCO LMA shuttles. Most of the major institutions/employers in Longwood are members. They basically gave up on the T and provide the connecting service themselves.
My understanding is that it at least used to be the case that the MASCO LMA shuttles were not available to patients of those medical care facilities. Is that the case today?
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:43 AM   #18
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
My understanding is that it at least used to be the case that the MASCO LMA shuttles were not available to patients of those medical care facilities. Is that the case today?
I don't know if there is any way for patients to get access to the MASCO shuttles.

The shuttles are really there to give patients better driving access to Longwood, by encouraging employees to use the T, and not have employees consume all the scarce parking resources around Longwood.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:26 AM   #19
tysmith95
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Re: Fenway - Longwood Transportation

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Originally Posted by JeffDowntown View Post
I don't know if there is any way for patients to get access to the MASCO shuttles.

The shuttles are really there to give patients better driving access to Longwood, by encouraging employees to use the T, and not have employees consume all the scarce parking resources around Longwood.
Also a good chunk of Longwood patients (probably the majority) come from outside of the Urban Core. Places where a car is required and public transportation is non-existent. They need to drive in. The Boston/Worcester/PVD CSA has over 8 million people, while Boston itself only has 650k or so and the inner core (transit heavy area) probably has around a million.
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