General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

themissinglink

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Also: do we have a Mattapan High Speed Line thread? more than happy to relocate my ranting there, but I don't think I have ever been able to find one.
I don't think we have a thread specifically for the Mattapan High Speed Line, but there's been some past discussion in the Red Line Extension to Mattapan thread. Perhaps it could be reanimated as the dedicated Mattapan High Speed Line thread.
 
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Brattle Loop

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So, I mean for the outbound platform you can either walk all the way around through the storage place parking lot (might I add maybe the best looking storage place ever?), or... you could just walk down the same stairs and cross the tracks from platform to platform right there. And, yeah, OK it's about 200 yards detour, but it's a pretty big physiological detour including the issues with lightning at night I detailed above. Sure, a bit of hyperbole from me and melodrama, but, it's the third most trafficked station on the line excluding the termini at Ashmont and Mattapan, and its singular main entrance has been out of commission for years.

Also, admit that the High-Speed line is near and dear to my heart - and it is annoying after a few years now on the 'transformation' project that little has been done with the rehabs of the PCCs are woefully behind schedule with little else going on. There has been a decent amount of ToD on the line, too, which makes the T's dragging of feet all the more annoying. Plus, I personally see the line as almost the perfect guinea pig and test bed - pretty much a closed loop with only two grade crossings that the T should be using as more of a lab for things like signal priority, synchronization with the Red, hell, and even full automation. Should be a test bed for wider Green Line technology rollouts.
I'll post this here, if the discussion moves feel free to move this along with it.

It's kind of a recurring issue with the T which is both understandable on one level and absolutely infuriating on another. On the one hand, the MAAB's regulations and rulings on what accessibility modifications they need to make and what the triggers are for those upgrades isn't within the T's control, meaning that there are plenty of situations where that has the regrettable perverse outcome of leading them to not make useful improvements (and, indeed, to close parts of infrastructure like these stairs) because doing so would trigger the need to make the kind of upgrades they're not cued up to make. On the other hand, the T knows this is a thing, they either can't or won't properly provision for making these necessary upgrades, so you get situations where they have to keep these stairs closed, or they have to leave CR stations completely inaccessible, because they don't (for whatever reasons) have the budget to make the necessary changes on anything like a reasonable timetable, and they certainly don't show that they care about that fact. It's fine if the explanation is "we can't fix these, because the rules say we'd have to add an elevator, and we don't have the money to do that right now", but that's not a get out of jail free card, it's on them to get their act together and get the money, or at the very least to make it clear in their communications that they need more money from the politicians to do these things. "Not being the MTA" when it comes to things like station access and accessibility shouldn't be the standard; there's a clear "oh well" shrug here that doesn't sit well and shouldn't be acceptable, it's yet another symptom of the degree of institutional rot we're dealing with.
 

bakgwailo

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I'll post this here, if the discussion moves feel free to move this along with it.

It's kind of a recurring issue with the T which is both understandable on one level and absolutely infuriating on another. On the one hand, the MAAB's regulations and rulings on what accessibility modifications they need to make and what the triggers are for those upgrades isn't within the T's control, meaning that there are plenty of situations where that has the regrettable perverse outcome of leading them to not make useful improvements (and, indeed, to close parts of infrastructure like these stairs) because doing so would trigger the need to make the kind of upgrades they're not cued up to make. On the other hand, the T knows this is a thing, they either can't or won't properly provision for making these necessary upgrades, so you get situations where they have to keep these stairs closed, or they have to leave CR stations completely inaccessible, because they don't (for whatever reasons) have the budget to make the necessary changes on anything like a reasonable timetable, and they certainly don't show that they care about that fact. It's fine if the explanation is "we can't fix these, because the rules say we'd have to add an elevator, and we don't have the money to do that right now", but that's not a get out of jail free card, it's on them to get their act together and get the money, or at the very least to make it clear in their communications that they need more money from the politicians to do these things. "Not being the MTA" when it comes to things like station access and accessibility shouldn't be the standard; there's a clear "oh well" shrug here that doesn't sit well and shouldn't be acceptable, it's yet another symptom of the degree of institutional rot we're dealing with.
Yeah, that's fair - but I guess it also goes to having a better mentality. No funding for an elevator (assuming there is merit to that argument here)? well - let's get some ToD going and get investment and developers to pay for the improvements. Just using that as an example: there are more than one way to fund/pay for something, and the MBTA seems terrible at generally just everything, and it really seems to boil down to the Mattapan Line being an after thought at best, even for it's most important stations servicing central business areas. To some extent, I do wish the MBTA would take a much more proactive and forward looking perspective to their existing assets and model a bit more on successes seen in Japan, HK, and elsewhere. Not sure the High-speed line. There should be mixed use commercial/residential/retail built over pretty much every decent station.
 

RandomWalk

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Universal access is an unalloyed good. The fact that the T defers maintenance because it doesn’t want to risk the expense to implement universal access is a sad commentary on the funding structure of the T.
 

Dr. Rosen Rosen

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Why didn’t Poftak get fired sooner?? What’s the point of having a director if the preverbal buck doesnt stop with him? What excused him from owning the dismal performance? Was Baker protecting him?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Why didn’t Poftak get fired sooner?? What’s the point of having a director if the preverbal buck doesnt stop with him? What excused him from owning the dismal performance? Was Baker protecting him?
Poftak's a Pioneer Institute alum just like Baker. He was most definitely being protected. Though he's known for a long time he had no future beyond January. Both Gov. candidates have gone to great efforts to distance themselves from Baker, so Poftak's functionally been a dead man walking ever since the primary election.

Is it still called "quiet quitting" if you continue to spew out BS press releases? Seems like that's actually going above-and-beyond, just not in a useful direction
I dunno, the non-effort behind those BS press releases during a time of crisis certainly suggests a top brass who were mentally checked out several months ago.
 

Jahvon09

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I think there were several "frostings on the cake that lead up to his being canned.

1. The many crashes on the Green Line.

2. The death of the guy who was a passenger on the Red Line.

3.The promising of the work supposedly being finished during the Orange Line shutdown, only to find out by the commuters that there are still slow zones for 2 weeks, & everyone being told that the work has been extended all the way into December. He promised that the rehab work would only last for a month. Plus all of the derailments that occurred on the Red & Orange Lines.

Hopefully, they'll get someone who is on the ball & won't take any crap. 😀
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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I think there were sebveral "frosting on the cake that lead up to his being canned.

1. The many crashes on the Green Line.

2. The death of the guy on the Red Line.

3.The promising of the work supposedly being finished during the Orange Line shutdown, only to find out by the commuters that there are still slow zones for 2 weeks, & everyone being told that the work has been extended all the way into December. He promised that the rehab work would only last for a month. Plus all of the derailments that occured on the Red & Orange Lines.

Hopefully, they'll get someone who is on the ball & won't take any crap. 😀
He wasn't canned. He resigned.

He may have resigned now because of the virtual certainty that the next Governor would've canned him immediately upon taking office, but the action just taken was fully voluntary. If it were involuntary there wouldn't be a 2+ month lame-duck period.
 

BronsonShore

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To a Republican (yes, even one of the “good ones” like Baker) the fact that he is bad at his job is a feature, not a bug. One of the core principles of the party is that public services in general - and especially the services that help the types of marginalized groups that tend to rely on public transit - shouldn’t exist. If Baker and Poftak could get away with selling the MBTA to a private equity firm that would immediately shut down 80% of the system, they would do it yesterday.
 

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Jahvon09

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That article is half a month old.
Still, it might've done great damage to Poftak's job, as the latest spew of crashes have landed on his shoulders, &, like Senator Liz Warren said, they happened on his watch. Crashes & other catastrophes, regardless how far back they were, should not be taken lightly, you know, something that can just be swept under the rug & be forgotten about. There are very serious consequences involved here. While the T ends up saying goodbye to the employee in question, other things happen. Short staffing has adverse effects. Other employees now have to do 2 or 3x the work to make up for the employee who was let go or has chosen to leave. In turn, train & bus service is affected & more new hires have to be trained. Yeah, guess that it was time for Poftak to say goodbye. :unsure:
 
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Riverside

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Yeah — Poftak is only being “canned” insofar as his boss is being “canned” by the expiration of his term as Governor. (Or his boss’s boss, whatever.) If anything, this is the most opposite thing from being canned: Baker could ask for his resignation now (or at least sooner than basically-Baker’s-last-day), which might at least be seen as a rebuke, even if there would be virtually no material consequences.

This is the shortfall of our particular variety of democracy: there is zero accountability of Governor Baker since he’s already on his way out.
 

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