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Old 10-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #3081
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Is the future (of 10 years ago) finally here?!?!?!
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:06 AM   #3082
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

They do it at Harvard Ave sometimes, and some "D" branch stops as well.

It's a very old fashioned approach. You gotta figure that the cost of the station attendants is on the order of $50/hour or more each, all things considered, and it only helps a single station.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:48 AM   #3083
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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They do it at Harvard Ave sometimes, and some "D" branch stops as well.

It's a very old fashioned approach. You gotta figure that the cost of the station attendants is on the order of $50/hour or more each, all things considered, and it only helps a single station.
Without going all the way to the Matt&Arlington fave of Proof-of-Payment (barrier free w/Inspectors), the in-between solution is to mount an electronic-only "farebox" at the back doors and ask that pass riders scan themselves as they board "back there"

Near-all of the size/weight of today's "farebox" comes from the "purchase" functions (bill reader, keyboard, cash box)

All you'd need at the back doors is the card-sized "puck" and maybe a light and a bell. Anyone boarding at the back would just have to make the light light and the bell ring.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #3084
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

^ There was a type 8 floating around a few years ago with exactly that modification. It was supposed to be a trial to roll out to the rest if the fleet, no idea what ever happened to that.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:27 PM   #3085
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Also a fan of fare validation with proof of payment with inspectors on random trains. I thought the infrastructure (fare validation boxes) was already in place at major Green Line stops? What is holding this up from being implemented. If I had $2.10 for each time someone rode the GL for free I'd be a rich man.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #3086
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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Also a fan of fare validation with proof of payment with inspectors on random trains. I thought the infrastructure (fare validation boxes) was already in place at major Green Line stops? What is holding this up from being implemented. If I had $2.10 for each time someone rode the GL for free I'd be a rich man.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:32 PM   #3087
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Without going all the way to the Matt&Arlington fave of Proof-of-Payment (barrier free w/Inspectors), the in-between solution is to mount an electronic-only "farebox" at the back doors and ask that pass riders scan themselves as they board "back there"

Near-all of the size/weight of today's "farebox" comes from the "purchase" functions (bill reader, keyboard, cash box)

All you'd need at the back doors is the card-sized "puck" and maybe a light and a bell. Anyone boarding at the back would just have to make the light light and the bell ring.
Actually this is almost exactly what SF MUNI has implemented and I'd be fine with it.

The real POP half-solution is to do this and/or have the inspectors instructed to watch explicitly for people entering in the rear door and only query them for a pass or payment.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:33 PM   #3088
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Finally:
Quote:
Commonwealth Avenue Green Line Improvements Public Meeting
A consolidation of Green Line Stops is being proposed to enhance service


BOSTON A public meeting outlining a proposal to consolidate four Green Line stops along Commonwealth Avenue will be held on Thursday, October 23 at 6:00 PM at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Commonwealth Salon meeting room.

The proposed project would consolidate the BU West, St. Paul, Babcock, and Pleasant stops into two fully accessible stations that will help reduce travel times and improve safety. The proposed new B Line stops would better serve the Boston University and Commonwealth Avenue community as well as all MBTA customers in this very congested corridor.

A presentation from MBTA personnel will cover: the history of the project; options analysis; cost and funding; the 30% design effort; the eventual construction project; what constitutes code compliance; the locations of the proposed new stops; elimination of the existing stops; improved headways; enhanced customer service; and safety upgrades and accessibility. A panel of MBTA personnel will answer questions from the public.

Elected officials co-hosting the meeting are: State Senators Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton); Representatives Kevin Honan (D-Brighton), Michael Moran (D-Brighton), and Frank Smizik (D-Brookline); and Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo (District 9).
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:45 PM   #3089
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

wow... took long enough!!

too bad I don't live there anymore...
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #3090
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos




Jesus, BU...better late than never!
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:30 PM   #3091
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Hasn't happened yet -- still plenty of time for some local assholes to sink this ship.

I'm hoping that we have sold the MBTA on the dire need to do this project in order to improve accessibility and improve transit service in one fell swoop, and that they will be strong enough to resist any crackpots who whine about the station moving down a block.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:59 PM   #3092
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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Hasn't happened yet -- still plenty of time for some local assholes to sink this ship.

I'm hoping that we have sold the MBTA on the dire need to do this project in order to improve accessibility and improve transit service in one fell swoop, and that they will be strong enough to resist any crackpots who whine about the station moving down a block.
4 --> 2 stops isn't as big as it sounds.

St. Paul and Babcock, yes. BU West and Pleasant, no. That's pretty much what every recommendation has been for eons now. Write-up makes it sound more radical than it actually is. The only layout changes they really need at St. Paul and Babcock are to go from facing platforms to offset platforms on either side of the traffic lights (better signal priority, and breathing room for wider platforms). Otherwise their locations are right where they should be.


As for the somewhat over-wide gap between BU Central and St. Paul...if the BU Bridge intersection clusterfuck gets compacted BU always wanted to move Central about 800-1000 ft. west to the bridge intersection to anchor the crossroads and set up their long-held dreams of a Pike air rights building spanning the Essex-Carlton block. So I suspect if they're serious about fixing that intersection to a single-point and downsizing Carlton that the Central relocation shoe will quickly drop. And that'll get everything Kenmore-Harvard Ave. snapped into idealized stop spacing.

Promising start if BU stays honest during the community input process and doesn't revert back to their old obstructionist selves.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:00 AM   #3093
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

So, I'll say that their plans are not to keep St Paul and Babcock, but rather to split the differences with mid-block platforms. This allows them to satisfy the requirement that each platform has two egresses, without building any additional crosswalks. The platforms will be block-length: entrance/exits will be at existing intersections.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #3094
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

The entire platforms will really be corner-to-corner? Of course you don't want any mid-block crossings, but that sounds unnecessary, like building two stations for the price of four. It would make sense, though, if they kept the platforms at a max length of 4 cars and made the rest of the block a sidewalk just to get to the next corner.

Also, what of F-Line's suggestion to stagger the platforms for signal priority? I guess if they did that and went corner to corner, you'd have continuous platforms (out or in) on every block from the bottom of the bridge to Babcock. So much B-Line!
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:58 PM   #3095
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Block-to-block is awful for these consolidations in particular.

1) If you assume first car is going to pull up to the front of the platform at the traffic light that means "PleasantBabcock" station is going to stop at the the Babcock St. grade crossing outbound, and the Pleasant St. crossing inbound. That's a difference of over 600 ft.

2) If you're a rider using those stations multiple times per day to get inbound AND outbound, you have to go a block away to reach the same stop in different directions. How much chaos is that going to create first day of classes? How confusing is that going to be for people with accessibility needs to chart?

3) A 600 ft. platform is going to create a mad scramble of malingers at the back sprinting to the front while the train is pulling to a stop at the traffic light. A 3-car train is only about 220 ft. long. Horribly inefficient and doubly so when they still do that asinine front-door only boarding, and more dangerous to be sprinting across the side of a train and shoving people out of the way on a narrow platform than it is to be sprinting on a sidewalk to get to a crosswalk.


----------


Also...the T will not alter ops for first car to stop somewhere in the middle and split the difference. Notice the "FIRST CAR STOPS HERE" signage at various stops on the system.

-- The operator's got enough to pay attention to at a chaotic reservation stop to not need to have to squint for the markers for "1-car train stops here" / "2-car train stops here" / "3-car train stops here" against a lot of surrounding visual clutter to keep it centered.

-- Ops makes the starting spots more or less consistent across the surface system for pulling up to the front for legitimate safety/non-distraction reasons.

-- Some Red and Orange stops have different starting spots for 4- vs. 6-car trains (usually as small signs hanging over the track from the ceiling with different numbers on them). But it's different on a subway stop with high platforms where the operator ONLY has to pay attention to the platform, and not the road traffic and crosswalks. False equivalence by this consolidation committee if their designers think that's translatable to the B.


This is the sort of change that designers would make without consulting ops, or would make to overrule ops. No real traffic engineer would do it that way; the pedestrian flow problems with the on-platform stopping position would get red-flagged instantly. So whether the intent with the platform build is to find some happy middle ground, in actual operation the trolleys will always pull up to the front of the platform and you get real stops that exhibit Problem #1 of being "Pleasant St." in one direction and "Babcock St." in the other direction...no middle ground at all...persistent pedestrian confusion and scrambles...and the safety problems stemming from said confusion and scrambles.



I'd pay careful attention in the meeting to who the presenters are talking this up. Spokesfak/BU people/design people who are masterminds of the pretty renders: they aren't going to notice that ops reality probably prevents King Solomon splitting the baby happily ever after like this. Pin them to getting ops confirmation at how it would actually work. If there are no ops people at the meeting, make it a point that the next meeting must have ops representation to confirm this stuff about the train's real-world starting/stopping spots. "PleasantBabcock" just doesn't work if it's "Pleasant for inbounders, Babcock for outbounders". And it's not enough for the designers to say they'll encourage ops to bend here, because in the real world if there's safety fine print underpinning the rigidness of the train-stop spots they don't/won't/can't bend for convenience. Only an ops official is going to be able to answer that question authoritatively.


(And, really, isn't this whole thing about making the B operate better instead of what/where/how much concrete is being poured? If ops presence isn't significantly represented at the meeting, they're premature in staging the meeting.)
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:21 PM   #3096
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Block-to-block is awful for these consolidations in particular.

1) If you assume first car is going to pull up to the front of the platform at the traffic light that means "PleasantBabcock" station is going to stop at the the Babcock St. grade crossing outbound, and the Pleasant St. crossing inbound. That's a difference of over 600 ft.
This is a big problem at Northeastern too. The platforms are way too long and they're about 200' shorter (420') than that +600' distance from Pleasant to Babcock.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:42 PM   #3097
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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This is a big problem at Northeastern too. The platforms are way too long and they're about 200' shorter (420') than that +600' distance from Pleasant to Babcock.
It also doesn't help the signal priority. You get more precise fine-tuning the closer a stop is to the actual traffic signal (i.e. grade crossing), with offset platforms at the crossing being most ideal when it's possible to do up the platforms that way.

The optical sensors under consideration for Beacon St. and presumably here work this way:

-- Sensor pointed at track detects the shape of a trolley or bus (rules out false positives), and its distance from the sensor by how big/small the telltale shape is.

-- Sensor also reads the wavelengths of the indicator lights on the front/back of the vehicle to tell if the train or bus is coming or going, and if doors are open or closed (i.e. flashing or steady).


So...in an 'ideal' setup at offset platforms the trolley approaches the grade crossing + platform from a distance, sensor detects the shape, and the computer gets put on notice that a station stop and signal change may be imminent. Then when doors open on-platform and the indicator lights on the trolley go from steady to flashing the signal immediately triggers a red light on Comm Ave. and a prioritized walk signal at the crosswalk so people can cross the street while the trolley is there. Doors shut...indicator lights go steady. Signal triggers a prioritized green on Comm Ave.

-- Much safer because no rider with ants-in-pants standing on the other side of the crosswalk has to worry about missing the train, or have to jaywalk to make the train. They get conditioned to wait because they'll always get a walk signal when the train's at the station and the operator will always know to keep the doors open for the duration of the walk signal.

-- Much less dependent on variable dwell times. The signal computer doesn't have to guess in advance how long the doors are going to be open, and the operator doesn't have to play hurry-up with waving passengers on and start to panic because the station dwell is spilling over-long. The sensor just waits for the indicator lights to go from flashing to doors-closed steady...THEN fires an immediate yellow+red on the side street and a green on Comm. Ave. Perversely, this HELPS their stubborn insistence on front-door-only boarding and fare recovery because the operator isn't under pressure to start waving people on for free to make schedule.

-- At the crossing the signal timings don't have to build in cushion for a signal change as much as they would if the trolley were mid-block. Depending on how they set it (and especially if the side street is a minor one) they can just change the signal immediately upons doors-close instead of building in a longer lag for fudge factor.

-- It works at stepped-up levels because of the shape detectors and the indicator detectors. An express train running skip-stop can get a loose prioritization on shape detection alone. That is, the train is this close but the marker lights aren't changing as if this is going to be a station stop...so signal computer makes assumption that this train is 1) running express, or 2) nobody's on the platform or made a stop request onboard and thus flag-stop rules are in effect. Basically, it's the same way the sensors would work at a traffic light that has no station stop, except it can change its assumptions at a station stop by detecting the trolley's behavior on approach.


All of this works when it's mid-block or facing-platform, but it's not as precise and there has to be more padding for uncertainty by the sensor the further the trolley stops from the traffic light. So "PleasantBabcock" is going to be a lot more approximate a guessing game under signal priority than, say, Harvard Ave. with its offset platforms. Babcock's a high-volume intersection, so it kind of blunts the edge a little.

Obviously there are some stops where facing platforms or mid-blocks are unavoidable due to space constraints. Blandford. BU East because of Blandford Yard on the other side of the Granby St. crossing. Brigham Circle. Those C stops between Summit Ave. and Washington. But generally if there's nothing preventing offset platforms at a traffic signal, go for offset platforms at a traffic signal (offsets also allow for wider platforms in most cases).


This seems to be unnecessarily muddying up the signaling waters for somebody's aesthetic preferences. Comm Ave. has to be timed to its most brutally efficient between BU Bridge and Packards because of the pain those intersections are to cross under heavy load. There may be no more important stops on the whole line to optimize signaling to the fullest than these right here because that's your recovery time for delays/bunching crossing Packards and the Bridge. Keep it simple, stupid.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #3098
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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Also...the T will not alter ops for first car to stop somewhere in the middle and split the difference. Notice the "FIRST CAR STOPS HERE" signage at various stops on the system.
I've been informed that having the trains stop mid-block is indeed the plan.

Personally, I'd rather cut each of the 725 foot blocks in half, bringing them to about 360 ft each. That's a good block size for a street like Comm Ave: urban, but an arterial. Then put crosswalks at each end of the block, 360 ft apart or so.

Platforms would span the 360 feet, which is enough for four cars (!) and some ramps, and not too confusing I don't think.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #3099
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

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I've been informed that having the trains stop mid-block is indeed the plan.

Personally, I'd rather cut each of the 725 foot blocks in half, bringing them to about 360 ft each. That's a good block size for a street like Comm Ave: urban, but an arterial. Then put crosswalks at each end of the block, 360 ft apart or so.

Platforms would span the 360 feet, which is enough for four cars (!) and some ramps, and not too confusing I don't think.

Lame. I guess ops wasn't invited to this PowerPoint party after all. I'd pin them to some answers about this because it's clunky for the kind of flow improvements they want to get on the B. That's not the kind of fix a transit engineer would lead with...that's a fix a streetscaper would lead with.


You can't run 4 cars on the B anyway because of Blandford. So 360-footers are moot. Blandford's a front-door-only or rear-door-only on the third car because of its pinned-in length. Short of getting rid of the yard and flipping it to the other side of the intersection a 4-car train would never be able to go on the B in the first place, so that's about 80 feet of extra concrete waste they're building.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:54 PM   #3100
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Re: Driven By Customer 'Service' Parte Dos

If it's just blandford blocking 4-cars, surely something can be worked out.
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