General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

HelloBostonHi

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jklo

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They also temporarily lowered the CR Lynn zone to 1A because of Blue Line work. Should stay that way.
 

HelloBostonHi

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They also temporarily lowered the CR Lynn zone to 1A because of Blue Line work. Should stay that way.
The MBTA did a massive study of the fare zones in March and came to the basic conclusion that just shifting individual stations down a zone usually decreases equity and has undesirable results, specifically moving stations from Zone 1 to 1A. It's a good read: https://massdot.box.com/v/commuterrailfarestudy

Some key takeaways are that the current system is strictly data based and therefore fulfills it's original policy goals, and if we want to move stations around then we need to use new data and set new goals and then apply it equitably across the system, not just for hot topic stations. (note the only sizeable exceptions in this graphic are on the Fairmount Line, the only Commuter Rail line that meets the Federal Title VI designation of a minority transit line.

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Personally rather than moving stations between zones I think we need to smooth the gap between 1A and 1.
 
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George_Apley

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The ultimate recommendations of that study:

Recommendation: Complete the ongoing feasibility study of means-tested fares.Low-income riders who do not qualify for existing reduced fare programs may be unable to afford Commuter Rail fares — especially Zone 1-10 fares. While a place-based policy like lowering fares in Zone 1 or moving certain stations into Zone 1A would help low-income populations in those locales, it would not improve access for low-income families elsewhere in the Commuter Rail network, it would disproportionately benefit existing upper-income riders and disparately benefit existing white riders, and it would have other unintended consequences. People-based approaches to improving equity, like means-testing, can avoid these pitfalls and more effectively improve access by targeting low-income populations throughout the entire region.

Recommendation: Smooth the current jump between the Zone 1A fare and the Zone 1 fare.This fare jump has grown much larger since 2007, and the large gap between fares at adjacent stations strains the geographic equity of the fare system and diminishes the consistency of the principle that fares are based on distance. The fare gap could be reduced in several ways, which have different implications for fare revenue and fare equity:
  1. Zone 1 (and Zone 2) fares could be lowered. On its own, this change would reduce fare revenue, and it would result in a disparate benefit to white riders and a disproportionate benefit to upper-income riders – requiring the MBTA to analyze less discriminatory alternatives and to consider mitigation measures, such as packaging with fare equity improvements. However, if such a change were incorporated into an upcoming fare change, the MBTA would have the opportunity to make fare adjustments across media and modes to address these possible disparities and ultimately improve fare equity system-wide.

  2. Zone 1 fares could be held constant while Zone 1A and Zone 2-10 fares increase. This is a very gradual approach absent changes to state law limiting the size of fare increases. It would reduce potential revenue gains from a fare change (foregoing increases in the Zone 1 fare), but it is unlikely to create inequities under Title VI in the context of a broader fare change.
Recommendation: Develop a pilot proposal for reverse-commute and off-peak fares.Lowering fares for these trip types (especially reverse-commute) would be consistent with competitiveness as an organizing principle for Commuter Rail fares, since these trips currently charge Zone fares but must compete with a lower cost of driving and parking. Reverse-commute and off-peak fares have the potential to grow ridership before future capacity expansions by providing discounts at times and places with significant excess capacity; however, the ridership benefits and revenue impacts are uncertain. A pilot on certain lines, potentially in connection with mitigation for service disruptions or other pilot initiatives, could be used to evaluate the feasibility and impacts before considering adoption across the entire Commuter Rail system.
 

Arlington

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How much of the parking in Zone 1 does the MBTA control? (e.g. not Winchester's Wedgemere). What if they lowered zone 1 fares only where they could raise parking fees or the local town agree to raise parking fees (e.g. Winchester). This would lower prices in favor of non-parkers, which might have a better equity impact?
 

jass

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Yeah the biggest issue is the massive gap between 1A and 1, which gets bigger every time they do a percentage increase.
 

Riverside

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The T has updated the Rapid Transit/Key Bus Routes Map to include the long-term North Station-Lechmere shuttle bus, which is reminiscent of the modification made during the Government Center closure. That map, as well as the System Map, have also been updated to reflect the name change of Dudley Square to Nubian Square. Not all collateral has been modified to reflect the name change: for example, the SL4/SL5 schedule, which looks to have been released at the same time as the system map, still says "Dudley."
 

JumboBuc

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The T has updated the Rapid Transit/Key Bus Routes Map to include the long-term North Station-Lechmere shuttle bus, which is reminiscent of the modification made during the Government Center closure. That map, as well as the System Map, have also been updated to reflect the name change of Dudley Square to Nubian Square. Not all collateral has been modified to reflect the name change: for example, the SL4/SL5 schedule, which looks to have been released at the same time as the system map, still says "Dudley."
And just imagine what the NEXT rapid transit map update is going to look like!
 

HelloBostonHi

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And just imagine what the NEXT rapid transit map update is going to look like!
Assuming everything goes as scheduled ideally the next big system map change would have GLX and whatever new stations result from the station consolidation on the B branch...

Given the map at my local T stop still has New England Medical Center and shows the E branch going to Arborway, I'm excited to see GLX on new maps put up in stations around 2033.
 

jklo

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The MBTA did a massive study of the fare zones in March and came to the basic conclusion that just shifting individual stations down a zone usually decreases equity and has undesirable results, specifically moving stations from Zone 1 to 1A. It's a good read: https://massdot.box.com/v/commuterrailfarestudy
I suppose you could make the case that moving Lynn to 1A would increase gentrification. I took a look at the housing prices and they are pretty nutty as it is. I was thinking that it would help with the economic mobility because Lynn is in such an awkward location.
 

HelloBostonHi

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The EGE

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Other highlights:
  • Accessible design for the remaining D Branch stops (Beaconsfield, Chestnut Hill, Eliot, Waban) will be completed in spring 2021
  • Design for South Attleboro getting full-high platforms and a new overpass
  • Construction for direct upper-lower busway conenction (elevator and stairs) at Forest Hills in 2022
  • Additional Chinatown elevators (perhaps reopening the closed entrances?) and new elevators at the City Hall entrance to State are in design. These have been mentioned before, but weren't in the recent FMCB presentation about other elevators - anyone have any info?
  • Accessibility website and design guide coming this year
 

HelloBostonHi

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  • Additional Chinatown elevators (perhaps reopening the closed entrances?) and new elevators at the City Hall entrance to State are in design. These have been mentioned before, but weren't in the recent FMCB presentation about other elevators - anyone have any info?
I believe that is in reference to these:
cityhall.PNG
chinatown.PNG
 

Riverside

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Other highlights:
...
  • Design for South Attleboro getting full-high platforms and a new overpass
Haven't had a chance to peruse myself -- do these designs appear to include provisions for passing tracks?
 

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