General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

bakgwailo

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All the more funny given the new expanded OL and RL fleets are supposed to provide much better headways and capacity. Opps. How soon can the MBTA start building full automated trains on top of the new rolling stock and signal system?

Also wasn't there a stipulation from the Fed on all the COVID funding that service levels not be reduced? Was this all a master plan by the MBTA to have it's cake and eat it, too? Kidding, but it all does seem comical almost.
 
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jklo

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Also wasn't there a stipulation from the Fed on all the COVID funding that service levels not be reduced?
IIRC it wasn't about service levels, but about retaining (Union) jobs. But if they willingly quit, fair game maybe?
 

Jahvon09

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MBTA cutting heavy rail service to Saturday headways for the remainder of summer to comply with FTA safety directives. Green line unaffected. The MBTA states that this is due to the dispatcher staffing shortages at the OCC specifically.
They are also installing the safety system PTC (Positive Train Control on the Green Line to minimize or eliminate mishaps. :)
 
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393b40

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Gas prices spiraling out of control and the MBTA is cutting service... good good.
 

Jahvon09

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Exclusive Video: Runaway Red Line Train Rolls Through Braintree Station

Looks like four red line trains became decoupled and managed to roll out of the yard, through Braintree station eventually stopping on their own half a mile away. Good times keep on rolling on the MBTA.
And the hits just keep on coming! This is so utterly ridiculous. Those old trains have a mind of their own!!! I'm so glad that it wasn't the new one. They been blamed for mishaps as of late! :unsure:
 

sneijder

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MBTA cutting heavy rail service to Saturday headways for the remainder of summer to comply with FTA safety directives. Green line unaffected. The MBTA states that this is due to the dispatcher staffing shortages at the OCC specifically.
As frustrating as this is, the T is aggressively hiring to try and bring back dispatchers earlier to restore service. This now has to be one of the highest ROI-investments the state can make.. the ridership on the 3 heavy-rail lines absolutely dwarfs commuter rail, Amtrak, etc and the collectively saved commuter-hours from each extra train is enormous.

The silver lining that Streetsblog Mass highlighted in the pdf above - the FTA did uncover a ton of speed restrictions due to deferred track-maintenance that the MBTA must now fix on a deadline. Anyone that commutes on Red/Orange knows that a 1000-foot speed restriction is like adding a bunch of 10-mph harvard curves throughout the system and just causes a ton of train bunching (creating delays beyond the 2-min lost from traversing the track section slowly). I really hope after this initial few months of pain the system can run faster and red/orange can finally get back to their timetable travel times.
 

stefal

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These repairs are gonna be quite painful for riders, but at least someone's finally applying pressure to fix them for longer term improvements..

We'll know what the plan/schedule is within 30 days.
 

737900er

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The thing I can't reconcile is how since the winter of 2015 that there been so much noise including the Building a Better T program with its metrics, the long track work shut downs, the signal upgrades, and old weekend shutdowns - all in the name of "Transforming the T", yet somehow we still have 9.6% of heavy rail under a speed restriction with a specific mandate to fix the slow zone between Tufts and Back Bay.

Was the past 7 years just a noisy spectacle while things just stayed the same or got worse? Or was things even more dire back then?

And the above didn't even discuss the finding about staffing. Like the dispatchers should not be working 20 hour shifts, that can not be legal and I can't comprehend why is management is creating these conditions in the first place.
I think part of the problem is that they invested in the wrong things. The first few years were focused on "winter resiliency," i.e. preventing 2015 from happening again. But that was an outlier winter weather event. Then the red line signal crash happened. At the same time, a lot of weekend shutdowns have focused on the infamous floating slab project that has been dragging on for 10+ years. They're going from crisis to crisis.

It also seems like there's no view that "while we have a shutdown for project A, we can do lower priority project B too," probably because they're too focused on putting out the infernos rather than the things that are just starting to smolder.
 

737900er

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These repairs are gonna be quite painful for riders, but at least someone's finally applying pressure to fix them for longer term improvements..

We'll know what the plan/schedule is within 30 days.
It seems like the writing is on the wall for another round of weeks-long shutdowns on Orange and Red -- particularly in the Core. At least Blue seems to be in state of good repair during the Sumner shutdowns.
Weeks-long shutdowns aren't acceptable, but they've been the norm for the past few years, and seem like the norm going forward too.
 

stefal

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It seems like the writing is on the wall for another round of weeks-long shutdowns on Orange and Red -- particularly in the Core. At least Blue seems to be in state of good repair during the Sumner shutdowns.
Weeks-long shutdowns aren't acceptable, but they've been the norm for the past few years, and seem like the norm going forward too.
Yeah, the FTA's language essentially says they have no other choice but extended shutdowns. A lot of us on here (myself included) were a bit concerned of the new ~2018 rip-the-band-aid-and-throw-money approach leading to a never-ending cycle of shutdowns, which hasn't really stopped since. I question how much impact or how much further they can take it with E&M-related shutdowns and not just Capital projects shutdowns. One can really hope they can combine and coordinate some efforts, but with a hard deadline for a plan in a month, I'm not too hopeful to be honest.

To your other point, they better hope Blue Line is in good condition - otherwise there's a chance Sumner Tunnel work gets postponed or other impacts are felt in East Boston/on the North Shore. The Sumner work is what accelerated the recent repairs to the Harbor Tunnel since they won't be able to shut the tunnel down again for 2 years.
 

KentXie

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The day of reckoning has finally arrived for the MBTA. Years of mismanagement and underfunding have finally come to a head and forced the issue. This series of unfortunate events needed to happen before things change
 

JeffDowntown

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I think part of the problem is that they invested in the wrong things. The first few years were focused on "winter resiliency," i.e. preventing 2015 from happening again. But that was an outlier winter weather event. Then the red line signal crash happened. At the same time, a lot of weekend shutdowns have focused on the infamous floating slab project that has been dragging on for 10+ years. They're going from crisis to crisis.

It also seems like there's no view that "while we have a shutdown for project A, we can do lower priority project B too," probably because they're too focused on putting out the infernos rather than the things that are just starting to smolder.
It is probably also a budget issue. If you only have money to fight fires, you don't think about the water damage immediately.
 

Riverside

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Headlines like “Rail experts say Orange Line battery ‘failure’ was likely a battery explosion; no answer from T” are a very bad look.

 

Brattle Loop

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Headlines like “Rail experts say Orange Line battery ‘failure’ was likely a battery explosion; no answer from T” are a very bad look.

Very, very, very bad look. Also, um, what kind of batteries do these things have that their failure mode is "explode"???
 

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