MBTA Bus & BRT

F-Line to Dudley

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And I have never seen an articulated bus using those ramps, much less a slower dual mode articulated bus. Correct me if I'm wrong but those routes are all 40ft buses?
It doesn't matter. A standards-compliant ramp is vehicle-agnostic. If it's OK for a tractor-trailer, it's OK for an artic. The current-edition AASHTO standard the Ted ramps were held to is also more rigorous than the 1965 regs of the Pike Extension, so if trucks larger than an articulated bus can take the Newbury merge...they can take the Ted merge.

The only proof that matters is the ramp meeting current AASHTO standards. It appears to do so. Splitting hairs about 40-footer vs. 60-footer buses is utterly, totally irrelevant to the standards. So if MassDOT is claiming the ramp isn't safe enough, there's a reason other than merge length behind it. And they aren't telling us what exactly that reason is.
 

HelloBostonHi

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From the standards you reference: "Speed-change lanes should be long enough to enable the bus to leave and
enter the traveled way at approximately the average running speed of the highway without undue
discomfort to passengers. The length of acceleration lanes from bus turnouts should be well
above the normal minimum values, as the buses start from a standing position and the loaded bus
has a lower acceleration capability than passenger cars."

The MBTA has made it clear that the 60 ft dual modes can't achieve this goal. Any transit agency is a naturally risk averse agency, they have to be, but after the recent MBTA disasters they have to be extra careful. The last thing they need is front page news about a silver line bus smashing up a car who didn't see it merging in and having to defend why they allowed it to happen
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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From the standards you reference: "Speed-change lanes should be long enough to enable the bus to leave and
enter the traveled way at approximately the average running speed of the highway without undue
discomfort to passengers. The length of acceleration lanes from bus turnouts should be well
above the normal minimum values, as the buses start from a standing position and the loaded bus
has a lower acceleration capability than passenger cars."

The MBTA has made it clear that the 60 ft dual modes can't achieve this goal. Any transit agency is a naturally risk averse agency, they have to be, but after the recent MBTA disasters they have to be extra careful. The last thing they need is front page news about a silver line bus smashing up a car who didn't see it merging in and having to defend why they allowed it to happen
What recent 60-footer bus disasters has the MBTA had for which a ramp 30 feet longer than standard is a recipe for catastrophe?

Name them, please.
 

HelloBostonHi

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What recent 60-footer bus disasters has the MBTA had for which a ramp 30 feet longer than standard is a recipe for catastrophe?

Name them, please.
None. Because they don't allow 60 foot buses to make those kinds of dangerous merges.
 

Coyote137

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Why don’t I believe that the MBTA is making arguments in good faith here?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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None. Because they don't allow 60 foot buses to make those kinds of dangerous merges.

Nice dodge. At least you're being somewhat transparent about shitposting an irrelevant link to recent rail derailments to completely obfuscate the issue.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Nice dodge. At least you're being somewhat transparent about shitposting an irrelevant link to recent rail derailments to completely obfuscate the issue.
That's not what I'm doing at all. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the silver line use the ramp as much as any other advocate. And I'm not implying there is any link between derailments and bus crashes, there clearly isn't. But the media and public opinion is not going for the MBTA right now, and a mistake like that would be a PR disaster and a lot of people at the T would lose their jobs over it, it's just not a risk the MBTA is in a position to take right now. Everyone is already on edge about safety and safety culture at the MBTA, and the media is hyping everyone up about it which isn't helping.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Anyway, they don't seem to have announced this but the MBTA is soliciting new ideas for bus new services from anyone including individuals. I'm sure we have some good ideas to share so please do: https://mbta.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9mcIQGPhf218h37

We’re evaluating new bus service ideas that could become Demonstration Projects in 2020. Whether you’re an organization, an individual, or a municipality, we would love to hear your ideas on how you think we can improve our network. Submit your ideas by October 4, 2019.

As part of the MBTA's Bus Network Redesign, the MBTA is evaluating possible new bus service ideas that could become Demonstration Projects in 2020. Ideas submitted will be evaluated on a set of metrics in development. Selected proposals will be presented to the Fiscal Management and Control Board (FMCB) by the end of 2019 for consideration to operate in 2020.
 

MjolnirMan

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Or let me blow your mind even further: Have buses going to the airport do a
onto D and a
onto a new downramp from D and skip the Silver Line Way stop.​

I think we're talking about the same thing:
Extend the (bus-only) highway onramp to D street across from the Haul Road ramp, and excavate the ramp where that little parking lot is now, to double the ramp distance and allow more merge distance at the highway grade.
This would make the ramp about 960' from D to the merge.
You're going to modify a ramp with a retaining wall like this??? I don't think so.
I don't think massive removal of the retaining wall would be necessary - I was thinking that you could keep the general grade while adding more highway-grade room just before the existing merge (removing a bit of the barrier between the ramp and the highway near the existing sign arch).​
 

Arlington

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I will be submitting the idea that the 79 and 350should be routed on Broadway to Davis instead of to Alewife, which will result in probably a 6-minute savings per trip:it is at least three minutes faster by bus and cuts off one stop and three minutes if you are going inbound.

If you are actually going to work in Alewife it is probably faster to take the 77 and get off at Mass Ave and walk, or about even in timing if you rode to Davis and backtracked by Subway to Alewife.

Alewife is a beautiful bus facility completely hobbled by surrounding traffic. I think route planning should reflect this cruel reality.
 
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HelloBostonHi

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First half of better bus changes go into effect on September 1st, https://mbta.com/projects/better-bus-project/update/first-round-better-bus-changes-start-september-1

Still no actual schedules, just more summaries of the changes. I'm waiting to judge based on the actual final changes. It's great to say things like we're cutting ct1 and "investing those resources" in route 1 service but what does that actually mean for headways and such. Same with things like the routes being cut back to wonderland instead of Haymarket, I want to see the improved headways materialize...
 

jbray

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I will be submitting the idea that the 79 and 350should be routed on Broadway to Davis instead of to Alewife, which will result in probably a 6-minute savings per trip:it is at least three minutes faster by bus and cuts off one stop and three minutes if you are going inbound.

If you are actually going to work in Alewife it is probably faster to take the 77 and get off at Mass Ave and walk, or about even in timing if you rode to Davis and backtracked by Subway to Alewife.

Alewife is a beautiful bus facility completely hobbled by surrounding traffic. I think route planning should reflect this cruel reality.
I've thought quite a bit about this and I'm not sure I agree. With Alewife as a growing jobs area, not having good connection to Arlington is foolish. The problem here is that Davis is a better T hub, but has no jobs and Alewife is poorer for transit (due to traffic) but also is a destination/bus hub. Also, neither bus is a great bus because of the headways.

I would probably choose the 79 to go to Davis as the 77 has an almost identical catchment with the exception of Alewife. In a post-Arlington Red extension world you do not even need the 79. But still that disconnects AH via Mass Ave from Alewife. The route profile is an interesting read due to its 77 layover, low frequency/high dropped trip, student ridership, and riders who took the 77 in going to Alewife to catch the 79 outbound.

The 350 would serve T riders better if it went to Davis, but having it serve as a Burlington to Hub connection is more vital than the traffic is a problem.
 

DowntownDave

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WBUR has an interesting article today on the costs of transition to all electric buses. As (I think) we heard for F-Line before, the current bus facilities are in poor condition and would require substatial investment to make them ready. It includes a link to an A Better City study PDF which uses the Albany st garage as an example. The study suggests uses ToD as a means to help fund the work required, which could be $1B to put all the garages in good order.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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WBUR has an interesting article today on the costs of transition to all electric buses. As (I think) we heard for F-Line before, the current bus facilities are in poor condition and would require substatial investment to make them ready. It includes a link to an A Better City study PDF which uses the Albany st garage as an example. The study suggests uses ToD as a means to help fund the work required, which could be $1B to put all the garages in good order.
This post about a similar Comm Mag article saying we weren't logistically ready to go whole-hog on battery buses: http://www.archboston.org/community/showpost.php?p=349292&postcount=691

That piece didn't address the garages (the FCMB has done a good enough job beating that drum), but more that the weather here poses major issues and that testing has to be drawn out into very high number of duty cycles to ensure reliability of the vehicles, because cities who've jumped too soon onto the battery game have gotten burned by the adjustments.


I'm not exactly sure how the TOD fairy is going to make this all happen. None of these facilities are as quaint--or idled on nights and Sundays--as North Cambridge garage now walled in by condos. Albany would be a plenty sucky place to live even with electrics because it houses 110 buses in constant motion during the day, plus a night shift where they're banging away at all hours in the shop.

Now, I think they could if they tried hard enough finagle some land deals to consolidate the 3 downtown garages--Albany, Cabot, Southampton--into 2 expanded facilities utilizing the backlots around Haul Road. Or be aggressive enough about buying up the Widett Circle Food Market, cold storage warehouse, and BTD Tow Lot that they can consolidate a bus garage into Widett in addition to the 30 sets of train storage they seek. Either of which would allow Albany to be completely put up for sale at a profit. But I'll fully admit that is in no way as big a priority for them as modernizing the other stay-put garages on the system or pursuing the capacity-expanding Wellington and Watertown additional garages. Lateral consolidation is something they can do any time, and re-equipping Albany today only to sell it in some other era wouldn't be a huge waste of money if the immediate upside was staying more squarely-focused on finishing the systemwide modernizations.
 

HelloBostonHi

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The new bus schedules for Sep 1 (first better bus implementation) are out, from a quick glance comparing new and old route 1 it's looking positive
 

Arlington

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^ I guess N Wash, Causeway to Valenti is a nice fit with the future inbound bus lane on the replacement N. Wash St bridge.

Why aren't they taking it all the way from Valenti way to Haymarket? Seems like once you've boxed the traffic out of the buslane, it'd be relatively costless to keep going to at least New Chardon.
 

Arlington

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...and then on New Chardon & Congress street, and Congress all they way to Seaport ....
 

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