General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

jbray

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That just means some of the project managers are not going to be managing their projects. I don't see how this is going to actually be helpful with making the projects happen any faster.

Crikey, the Safety report even called out the over abundance of meetings of the FMCB as complicating factors in the lack of a safety culture at the T. This will be basically the same thing.
Interesting that Laurel Paget-Seekins' blog argues against full MBTA transparency partially due to this concern but also that the transparency of the FMCB meetings meant that the court of public opinion damaged nuance and may have had a direct effect on not being able to get the "optimal" solution.

I wonder if sometimes we didn’t get the most optimal policy decisions because the discussion was happening in public. I value transparency, but is it transparency if there are important details that aren’t being said because of how power works? I am not sure how exactly to solve this problem.
Granted, she also notes that this transparency is important. Part one of this post is important for additional context. Both were an important look into how the work does or doesn't get done from someone with direct insider knowledge. The first post really spoke to people advocating to the wrong person (FMCB/Secretary vs Governor) which I both agree with and disagree with in equal measure. I felt that it articulated why we often saw Stephanie Pollack sandbagging good ideas.
 

RandomWalk

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In tech, there is the concept of a blameless postmortem. It acknowledges that failures happen, and they should be inspected to understand how/why and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

In politics, blame is the currency in trade. For every failure there must be a responsible party, and that party must be run out of town. Blame is also useful oppo for future elections.
 

Riverside

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Interesting that Laurel Paget-Seekins' blog argues against full MBTA transparency partially due to this concern but also that the transparency of the FMCB meetings meant that the court of public opinion damaged nuance and may have had a direct effect on not being able to get the "optimal" solution.
Thanks for linking those posts -- great reads. I remember my jaw dropping when I read that safety report and learned how much time was being consumed by prep for the FMCB meetings.
 

393b40

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In tech, there is the concept of a blameless postmortem. It acknowledges that failures happen, and they should be inspected to understand how/why and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
In tech we also know blameless post mortems are mostly bullshit. We do them but we all know who fucked prod at 4pm on a Friday.
 

ra84970

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Laurel Paget Seekins has got it right. I believe in transparency, but, I also believe that optimal is often not found in the extremes. Radical transparency as she describes sounds to me like one of those extreme ideas that doesn't actually work in actual organizations. And in particular, the MBTA has never been good at putting information on the web in easy to understand and accessible ways so i understand the motivation that people have in getting super radical in transparency.

For example, I really don't think we should be hearing from DGM Goneville as often as we do. If the T's GM, DGM, and a wide cast of AGMs are at FMCB every week or other, who the hell is overseeing the middle managers, and dealing with the day to day fires that are coming up.

That being said, i really want more public agencies around here to go toward memoranda in lieu of presentation. I could see for many "regular" votes that the FMCB takes on, there's no need to pitch the vote to the board but lay out the policy details in a memo and to verbally present the vote for discussion.

While Goneville should probably have presented the update on the OL, it felt awkward to have Hamwey presenting just so much about a vote to buy buses. It felt mostly like something that could've been in a memo.
 

shmessy

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In tech we also know blameless post mortems are mostly bullshit. We do them but we all know who fucked prod at 4pm on a Friday.

So, how is everything over there at Emergent Biosolutions in Baltimore? :D
 
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BostonTrainGuy

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There was talk of the T possibly extending the Orange Line past Forrest Hills. Seems that nothing has become of it, just talk. Also, about the Blue being extended to Lynn, but nothing else was said about that either. :(
There was always the idea to extend the Orange Line to Route 128 via Roslindale and that was planned into the Forest Hills station design. However, the 32 bus (Forest Hills to Hyde Park/Wolcott Square via Hyde Park Ave) is seriously overcrowded and extending the line that way would bring huge improvement in service for the area. That would require more reconstruction work at Forest Hills Station than going out the Needham Line but that might actually be more useful. Of course that line could actually be extended via the NEC or the Franklin Branch to existing parking facilities on Route 128 whereas there is no existing parking lot on 128 on the Needham Line. So actually that may be the better option.

There certainly could still be a branch to Roslindale Square or even West Roxbury shopping area if desired. Of course that starts the conversation about even another Green Line extension to Needham from Newton Highlands.

As far as the Blue Line extension to Lynn, I always thought the T should at least apply for a BRT grant and try to build a Bus Rapid Transit Line on the mostly existing and open ROW. Ideal situation and kind of a no-brainer.
 
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JeffDowntown

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There was always the idea to extend the Orange Line to Route 128 via Roslindale and that was planned into the Forest Hills station design. However, the 32 bus (Forest Hills to Hyde Park/Wolcott Square via Hyde Park Ave) is seriously overcrowded and extending the line that way would bring huge improvement in service for the area. That would require more reconstruction work at Forest Hills Station than going out the Needham Line but that might actually be more useful. Of course that line could actually be extended via the NEC or the Franklin Branch to existing parking facilities on Route 128 whereas there is no existing parking lot on 128 on the Needham Line. So actually that may be the better option.

There certainly could still be a branch to Roslindale Square or even West Roxbury shopping area if desired. Of course that starts the conversation about even another Green Line extension to Needham from Newton Highlands.

As far as the Blue Line extension to Lynn, I always thought the T should at least apply for a BRT grant and try to build a Bus Rapid Transit Line on the mostly existing and open ROW. Ideal situation and kind of a no-brainer.
The Lynn and Salem catchment areas really deserve full HRT. From a standpoint of economic justice, we have got to stop playing this game that BRT is "good enough" for "those people".
 

anthtucker312

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Of course that line could actually be extended via the NEC or the Franklin Branch to existing parking facilities on Route 128 whereas there is no existing parking lot on 128 on the Needham Line. So actually that may be the better option.
The Orange Line can't be extended down the NEC to Readville or Route 128, there's not enough room for three RR tracks plus two OL tracks. Especially if there's ever going to be a fourth track south of Forest Hills.

As far as the Blue Line extension to Lynn, I always thought the T should at least apply for a BRT grant and try to build a Bus Rapid Transit Line on the mostly existing and open ROW. Ideal situation and kind of a no-brainer.
The ideal situation would be Blue to Lynn, a BRT line would be a poor solution, IMO.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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The Lynn and Salem catchment areas really deserve full HRT. From a standpoint of economic justice, we have got to stop playing this game that BRT is "good enough" for "those people".
Well we have nothing now. It's better than nothing and will ensure that the ROW stays available.

Also . . . watch it, my wife's from Lynn :)
 

The EGE

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Some highlights:

  • Conceptual design is underway for most of the remaining B and C stops to be made accessible, with construction estimated in 2023-2024. Apparently, removal and replacement of platform edges during the 2018-2019 track upgrades triggered the requirement to make them accessible.
  • South Attleboro station will remain closed until the full reconstruction is complete.
  • Mini-high platform at North Wilmington is expected to be open by the end of the year.
  • A pilot program for a new mechanism to secure wheelchairs on buses - which means that wheelchair users can secure themselves without assistance from the operator - is underway on the 111
 
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ra84970

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Some highlights:

  • Conceptual design is underway for most of the remaining B and C stops to be made accessible, with construction estimated in 2023-2024. Apparently, removal and replacement of platform edges during the 2018-2019 track upgrades triggered the requirement to make them accessible.
  • South Attleboro station will remain closed until the full reconstruction is complete.
  • Mini-high platform at North Wilmington is expected to be open by the end of the year.
  • A pilot program for a new mechanism to secure wheelchairs on buses - which means the operator doesn't have to waste time helping them - is underway on the 111
Uhhh - I think you should reframe this immediately.
 

Vagabond

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Uhhh - I think you should reframe this immediately.
Terminology aside, the current system of wheel straps is a tough one to use, especially on the bulkier electric ones. Looking for ways to avoid anyone crawling on their knees to strap in helps all involved.
 

Riverside

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I took my first trip on the T in over a year yesterday! A bit of a contrived trip really... I was in downtown and realized it wouldn't be particularly "out of my way" to hit up Government Center and pop on the Blue Line over to State (which was near where I parked); Government Center is a favorite of mine, and I have a soft spot for those new Blue Line cars, so that was fun. Government Center was pretty damn empty on the Green Line platform... slightly more people on the Blue Line platform (running every 10 min), but still very clearly out of the norm.

Anyway, I was on the train for perhaps 90 seconds, and it got me thinking:

Which inter-station journey is the shortest travel time under ideal conditions? (Door-close to door-open.) I have to think that it's either GC-State on Blue or Park-DTX on Red. Or maybe State-DTX southbound on the Orange.

I'm tempted to exclude the Green Line surface stops but, to be honest, I'm not sure how many of them would be able to compete with the GC-State journey I took yesterday. Blink and you miss it!
 

Brattle Loop

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I took my first trip on the T in over a year yesterday! A bit of a contrived trip really... I was in downtown and realized it wouldn't be particularly "out of my way" to hit up Government Center and pop on the Blue Line over to State (which was near where I parked); Government Center is a favorite of mine, and I have a soft spot for those new Blue Line cars, so that was fun. Government Center was pretty damn empty on the Green Line platform... slightly more people on the Blue Line platform (running every 10 min), but still very clearly out of the norm.

Anyway, I was on the train for perhaps 90 seconds, and it got me thinking:

Which inter-station journey is the shortest travel time under ideal conditions? (Door-close to door-open.) I have to think that it's either GC-State on Blue or Park-DTX on Red. Or maybe State-DTX southbound on the Orange.

I'm tempted to exclude the Green Line surface stops but, to be honest, I'm not sure how many of them would be able to compete with the GC-State journey I took yesterday. Blink and you miss it!
Bowdoin-GC's got to be pretty quick too, right?
 

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