General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

reno

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This is actually my other reason for anER Down Easter as we have achieved a fairly good separation of freight and pax rail, with Ayer west and the last 10ish miles to Haverhill being the major joint routes. An integrated Worc-Ayer Line/Fitchburg Secondary could take some of the freight to Framingham, if that ever became desired.
Can we talk proper english here. What is an ER Down Easter? What is pax rail? Ayer west and the last 10 ish miles to Haverhill? ( its about 35 miles Haverhill to Ayer) What route is Worcester-Ayer -Fitchburg Secondary? Can we construct a complete sentence ????
 

Brattle Loop

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What is an ER Down Easter?
ER is shorthand for the Eastern Route (the ex-Boston & Maine line that's now the Newburyport/Rockport Line, which used to extend up to Maine). There have been various proposals on here to rebuild the northern part of the Eastern Route to host the Downeaster service, to help speed up the trip to Portland. (The Downeaster, which is one word as a service brand, currently runs via the Western Route / Haverhill Line in the relevant areas.) So: ER "Down Easter" is shorthand for "running the Downeaster via the Eastern Route", which is currently not possible.

What is pax rail?
Passenger rail. "Pax" is fairly common if not-completely-intuitive shorthand for "passenger". (Fun fact, the feds apparently initially intended to call Amtrak "Railpax"... for "rail[road] passenger"...)

Ayer west and the last 10 ish miles to Haverhill?
I think Tallguy was referring to the fact that the Fitchburg Line west of Ayer (so, there to Wachusett) and the Haverhill Line's northernmost (last) 10-12 miles are the only places on the northside with significant overlap with freight traffic, most of the rest being passenger-only (apart from Pan Am/CSX's low-impact Boston freights). The freight trains are really only a significant factor on the northside west of Ayer and on the northern end of the Haverhill north of Lowell Junction near Ballardvale station.

What route is Worcester-Ayer -Fitchburg Secondary?
I have no idea what's being referred to in the original post. CSX's ex-Pan Am Worcester Main Line runs from Worcester to Ayer already, the Worcester Line runs from Worcester to Framingham, and the Fitchburg Secondary runs from Leominster/Fitchburg to Framingham, basically the Worcester Main and the Fitchburg Secondary make a big "X" meeting in Clinton, MA. Maybe a suggestion that the freights get peeled off the Worcester and Fitchburg CR lines via the Secondary to serve Framingham??? (CSX, kings of the "do not care what other people think", at least when it comes to their trackage rights, is unlikely to be impressed.) Really don't know what's being suggested with those lines.
 

RandomWalk

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Sadly, there is no world in which we are returning to place where Winchendon is a major toy manufacturing hub. The Boston Barre & Gardner Railroad is dead and no amount of wishing will bring it back.

I would love to take a single seat ride on a train from Porter to Williamstown, but I’m resigned to making the trip via a bus or driving myself.
 

Tallguy

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ER is shorthand for the Eastern Route (the ex-Boston & Maine line that's now the Newburyport/Rockport Line, which used to extend up to Maine). There have been various proposals on here to rebuild the northern part of the Eastern Route to host the Downeaster service, to help speed up the trip to Portland. (The Downeaster, which is one word as a service brand, currently runs via the Western Route / Haverhill Line in the relevant areas.) So: ER "Down Easter" is shorthand for "running the Downeaster via the Eastern Route", which is currently not possible.



Passenger rail. "Pax" is fairly common if not-completely-intuitive shorthand for "passenger". (Fun fact, the feds apparently initially intended to call Amtrak "Railpax"... for "rail[road] passenger"...)



I think Tallguy was referring to the fact that the Fitchburg Line west of Ayer (so, there to Wachusett) and the Haverhill Line's northernmost (last) 10-12 miles are the only places on the northside with significant overlap with freight traffic, most of the rest being passenger-only (apart from Pan Am/CSX's low-impact Boston freights). The freight trains are really only a significant factor on the northside west of Ayer and on the northern end of the Haverhill north of Lowell Junction near Ballardvale station.



I have no idea what's being referred to in the original post. CSX's ex-Pan Am Worcester Main Line runs from Worcester to Ayer already, the Worcester Line runs from Worcester to Framingham, and the Fitchburg Secondary runs from Leominster/Fitchburg to Framingham, basically the Worcester Main and the Fitchburg Secondary make a big "X" meeting in Clinton, MA. Maybe a suggestion that the freights get peeled off the Worcester and Fitchburg CR lines via the Secondary to serve Framingham??? (CSX, kings of the "do not care what other people think", at least when it comes to their trackage rights, is unlikely to be impressed.) Really don't know what's being suggested with those lines.
They are 2 routes that meet but are not connected in Clinton
 

Tallguy

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Can we talk proper english here. What is an ER Down Easter? What is pax rail? Ayer west and the last 10 ish miles to Haverhill? ( its about 35 miles Haverhill to Ayer) What route is Worcester-Ayer -Fitchburg Secondary? Can we construct a complete sentence ????
Polite questions from noobs will be answered. Demands to dumb down my comments for noobs to understand will not.
 

Arlington

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Can we talk proper english here. What is an ER Down Easter? What is pax rail? Ayer west and the last 10 ish miles to Haverhill? ( its about 35 miles Haverhill to Ayer) What route is Worcester-Ayer -Fitchburg Secondary? Can we construct a complete sentence ????
Insiders in every profession use shorthand to both save bandwidth and show membership. Welcome to the railroad ghetto! (Which is currently holding open-mic and getting nerdy in the usually-less-jargony MBTA thread). I explained ER just a few posts ago, so reading back often helps. we also have:

Secondary = rail lines that aren’t Mainlines but are connected at both ends (or were 100 years ago) often single tracked, often circumferential. A notch above branch lines (which typically have a dangling end)
The ER (via Newburyport) and WR (via Haverhill) were both Boston-Portland mainlines. Worcester-Lowell type stuff would have been a secondary.
Welcome to ArchBoston. Enjoy.
 
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Tallguy

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ER is shorthand for the Eastern Route (the ex-Boston & Maine line that's now the Newburyport/Rockport Line, which used to extend up to Maine). There have been various proposals on here to rebuild the northern part of the Eastern Route to host the Downeaster service, to help speed up the trip to Portland. (The Downeaster, which is one word as a service brand, currently runs via the Western Route / Haverhill Line in the relevant areas.) So: ER "Down Easter" is shorthand for "running the Downeaster via the Eastern Route", which is currently not possible.



Passenger rail. "Pax" is fairly common if not-completely-intuitive shorthand for "passenger". (Fun fact, the feds apparently initially intended to call Amtrak "Railpax"... for "rail[road] passenger"...)



I think Tallguy was referring to the fact that the Fitchburg Line west of Ayer (so, there to Wachusett) and the Haverhill Line's northernmost (last) 10-12 miles are the only places on the northside with significant overlap with freight traffic, most of the rest being passenger-only (apart from Pan Am/CSX's low-impact Boston freights). The freight trains are really only a significant factor on the northside west of Ayer and on the northern end of the Haverhill north of Lowell Junction near Ballardvale station.



I have no idea what's being referred to in the original post. CSX's ex-Pan Am Worcester Main Line runs from Worcester to Ayer already, the Worcester Line runs from Worcester to Framingham, and the Fitchburg Secondary runs from Leominster/Fitchburg to Framingham, basically the Worcester Main and the Fitchburg Secondary make a big "X" meeting in Clinton, MA. Maybe a suggestion that the freights get peeled off the Worcester and Fitchburg CR lines via the Secondary to serve Framingham??? (CSX, kings of the "do not care what other people think", at least when it comes to their trackage rights, is unlikely to be impressed.) Really don't know what's being suggested with those lines.
Yes, Brattle, I meant that an inexpensive connection between the two lines could be reinstalled and freight run that way
 

Brattle Loop

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They are 2 routes that meet but are not connected in Clinton
Whoops. My mistake. That's what I get for blindly trusting OpenRailwayMap. (Looks like there was a connection that was removed at some point, based on the Google Earth view.)

Yes, Brattle, I meant that an inexpensive connection between the two lines could be reinstalled and freight run that way
I'm curious as to whether the freight volumes are sufficient to interfere with passenger traffic enough to warrant such a re-route for anything other than the sake of maximum-separation in-and-of itself. I'd imagine that it'd have to be a lot of interference (i.e. enough to seriously preclude reliable future service increases) to justify the cost. CSX won't ever move to that route on their own, and Massachusetts can't force them away from the existing routes they have trackage rights over, so the cost wouldn't just be the (relatively inexpensive?) going rate to upgrade the rail lines, it'd be whatever else you have to horse-trade to CSX to get them to agree to move if that's even possible (and, uh, long experience in these parts has emphatically demonstrated the degree to which they only do things on their terms).
 

jlichyen

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Maybe i've posted this here before, but perhaps this map may be of some use to folks here?

It is called "Greater New Jersey Railroads" but actually depicts all the lines around Boston, including everything south of Portland ME (the author is still finishing all the Maine routes)

EDIT: been thinking about the comments on the last page, about an "all-state MBTA" type of organization. I thought I'd write a little bit about the rail organization I'm most directly familiar with, JR East in eastern Japan (since that's where I'm living right now!) JR East is an interesting example since it's by any American standard extremely well-run, and maybe we can see where what they do is impossible to achieve in MA (or: how we can achieve it!)

A few points to consider: JR East owns almost all their rails; they have been running their local lines basically continuously for ~100 years; many of those local lines are operationally unprofitable; the state paid for electrification and double-tracking decades ago, and still runs freight on those lines; shinkansen lines are mostly operationally profitable, and they run on dedicated tracks (of a different gauge). I think a fine stand-in for Worcester might be Takasaki station on the Joetsu line. It's the last real commuter stop for Tokyo-based trains, and 220km to the north is Niigata, which is roughly the same distance as Worcester is from Albany NY. Tokyo-bound trains from Takasaki run about 3~4tph, except in the early morning rush hour when 7~8 trains leave. In the opposite direction, there is an hourly train to Minakami but north of that, the trains run once every two hours to Nagaoka, still an hour away by local train to Niigata. From what I can tell, two trains run this basically bouncing back and forth. Also, Tokyo and Niigata are much larger, respectively, than Boston and Albany.

In a JR East world, which on this forum is somewhere between a crazy transit pitch and "if you were god mode", MBTA could run a local train between Worcester and Springfield with local stops in, like, Ludlow, Palmer, and Brookfield in under 2 hours. Running that one train every two hours means you need two trains for operations. Since Springfield is bigger and closer to anything north of Takasaki, you could probably run 1~2 rush hour "super express" trains to Boston as well. You could also probably get away with a local train between Springfield and Pittsfield making the same hyper-local stops, likely two trains bouncing back and forth every two hours. This could also work for Albany-Pittsfield, perhaps. But it barely works in Japan, on a line through a massive mountain range (ie: harder to drive) with already-existing infrastructure investment and much larger, more dense settlements along the line.

So imagine double-track & electrification between Albany and Worcester, an investment which would *need* to be useful for the freight operators otherwise it'll never be close to worth the investment, and those freight operations would need to be tightly scheduled to keep places open for regular passenger service. If you manage that you might be able to have local service outside current MBTA territory. In that case, electrifying New Haven-Greenfield is also worth it, since that line will have far higher commuter traffic than anything east or west. This is not even getting into the issue of HSR on the corridor, which I've assumed writing this would be two new tracks in tunnels and viaducts. Perhaps that assumption is pure god-mode territory.
 
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HenryAlan

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What evidence do you have to make the statement that nobody wants the T operating trains in Springfield. I think that having the T operate them would lead to well integrated service through Worcester, as do many of my transit activist associates.
It's an opinion based statement, derived from my general understanding of Massachusetts politics. People West of Worcester do not want the perception that Boston is running their lives. And people in Boston, likewise, don't like the idea that we are doing things to cater to Western Mass at a cost to our own direct needs.
 

Koopzilla24

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ER is shorthand for the Eastern Route (the ex-Boston & Maine line that's now the Newburyport/Rockport Line, which used to extend up to Maine). There have been various proposals on here to rebuild the northern part of the Eastern Route to host the Downeaster service, to help speed up the trip to Portland. (The Downeaster, which is one word as a service brand, currently runs via the Western Route / Haverhill Line in the relevant areas.) So: ER "Down Easter" is shorthand for "running the Downeaster via the Eastern Route", which is currently not possible.



Passenger rail. "Pax" is fairly common if not-completely-intuitive shorthand for "passenger". (Fun fact, the feds apparently initially intended to call Amtrak "Railpax"... for "rail[road] passenger"...)



I think Tallguy was referring to the fact that the Fitchburg Line west of Ayer (so, there to Wachusett) and the Haverhill Line's northernmost (last) 10-12 miles are the only places on the northside with significant overlap with freight traffic, most of the rest being passenger-only (apart from Pan Am/CSX's low-impact Boston freights). The freight trains are really only a significant factor on the northside west of Ayer and on the northern end of the Haverhill north of Lowell Junction near Ballardvale station.



I have no idea what's being referred to in the original post. CSX's ex-Pan Am Worcester Main Line runs from Worcester to Ayer already, the Worcester Line runs from Worcester to Framingham, and the Fitchburg Secondary runs from Leominster/Fitchburg to Framingham, basically the Worcester Main and the Fitchburg Secondary make a big "X" meeting in Clinton, MA. Maybe a suggestion that the freights get peeled off the Worcester and Fitchburg CR lines via the Secondary to serve Framingham??? (CSX, kings of the "do not care what other people think", at least when it comes to their trackage rights, is unlikely to be impressed.) Really don't know what's being suggested with those lines.
If you’re referring to me as OP I’m talking passenger service rather on top of the limited freight operations. Though can’t do much about moving freight off the Worcester CR line. Maybe triple track the line where possible? If the Fitchburg Secondary and Worcester Main connection were to be restored it could indeed be a freight bypass between Worcester and Framingham. But then the Westborough yard is skipped.
 

Jahvon09

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Looks like Amtrak is getting rid of ancient decades-old equipment like the T is supposed to be, but it keeps on coming back because it just can't seem to get the new equipment running right!! :(
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I'm curious as to whether the freight volumes are sufficient to interfere with passenger traffic enough to warrant such a re-route for anything other than the sake of maximum-separation in-and-of itself. I'd imagine that it'd have to be a lot of interference (i.e. enough to seriously preclude reliable future service increases) to justify the cost. CSX won't ever move to that route on their own, and Massachusetts can't force them away from the existing routes they have trackage rights over, so the cost wouldn't just be the (relatively inexpensive?) going rate to upgrade the rail lines, it'd be whatever else you have to horse-trade to CSX to get them to agree to move if that's even possible (and, uh, long experience in these parts has emphatically demonstrated the degree to which they only do things on their terms).
They aren't. There really aren't any local customers on the outer Worcester Line, and most of the traffic is Albany-Westborough-Framingham yard-stocking jobs that run nonstop (some of them already on the overnight). A mid-afternoon local runs west of Framingham (the major sorting yards for CSX southside ops) and serves the Grafton & Upton and and P&W interchanges. The local isn't going anywhere because G&U is fast-growing its traffic, and CSX's implementation of Precision Scheduling (an industry ops reform amongst Class I's that aims to run fast between major yards with as few stops as possible) would financially favor the directest route that hits all the yards. So a Worcester-Clinton-Framingham detour not only isn't going to be financially viable for CSX being much slower and longer, it's not going to take more than a couple trains at most off the B&A because Westborough and G&U still must be served by something running on the mainline.

The current grant application for jump-starting 2 Inland Route slots specs for a tri-track siding at the G&U interchange so the increasing carloads there don't block the main while CSX is switching them. That's about the only point of potential freight-on-passenger interference that currently exists out there. The rest doesn't get in the way of any T local traffic because it's running nonstop, and any increased Amtrak traffic or super-expresses can use the crossovers to overtake a freight on the very slight chance there might be a conflict.


EDIT: And it makes no sense to make the Fitchburg Secondary load-bearing for high-and-wide traffic to the Framingham yards. Then you have to deal with electrification clearance and platform clearance costs on another commuter route while not (because of Westborough's and G&U's needs of being served mainline-only) taking that traffic off the mainline. Whereas CSX would probably sell the Fitchburg Sec. in its current state to MassDOT with no clearance stipulations whatsoever because of its very meager traffic levels and lack of customers needing any big loads.

EDIT 2: Turns out the entirety of the Worcester-Framingham mainline freight schedule is only 3 daily trains. Q436/Q437 are the respective eastbound and westbound Albany-Framingham yard feeder manifest jobs, and B722 is the Framingham-Worcester local round trip that drops off/retrieves the daily cut of cars for Westborough and serves the G&U interchange before returning to Framingham. B722 runs during the midday off-peak; unknown what times Q436 and Q437 run, or whether either of them run on the overnight. That's all of 1 round-trip that could potentially be bypassed via Worcester-Clinton-Framingham at considerable cost and operating inefficiency. Why bother...it's not nearly enough traffic to impact any mainline passenger ops.
 
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grand_junction

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It's an opinion based statement, derived from my general understanding of Massachusetts politics. People West of Worcester do not want the perception that Boston is running their lives. And people in Boston, likewise, don't like the idea that we are doing things to cater to Western Mass at a cost to our own direct needs.
I suppose then you could have PVTA operate a Boston->Springfield route then, but to what end? You still have the MBTA servicing part of the line (Boston->Worcester) and originating/terminating at MBTA-operated stations, and the MBTA is the only state-level agency that has the existing structure necessary to operate rail transport. If East-West rail comes to pass in a proper implementation (as in, servicable regional rail routing between the two cities, not an infrequent amtrak-operated train) then it probably serves the Legislature to reorg the MBTA as closer to what the MTA is now in NYC/LI/CT. Otherwise I'm not sure it makes sense to have an agency that only is in charge of one regional rail line and the overhead costs associated with that.
 

Riverside

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Maybe i've posted this here before, but perhaps this map may be of some use to folks here?

It is called "Greater New Jersey Railroads" but actually depicts all the lines around Boston, including everything south of Portland ME (the author is still finishing all the Maine routes)
Holy shit. Like, wow, holy shit.

Of particular interest to me is its plotting of the proposed Southern New England Railway, which would have added an additional route going into and around Providence:

1674000396517.png


I came across a map of it years ago, but never could remember the name clearly enough to find it again!
 

Koopzilla24

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I suppose then you could have PVTA operate a Boston->Springfield route then, but to what end? You still have the MBTA servicing part of the line (Boston->Worcester) and originating/terminating at MBTA-operated stations, and the MBTA is the only state-level agency that has the existing structure necessary to operate rail transport. If East-West rail comes to pass in a proper implementation (as in, servicable regional rail routing between the two cities, not an infrequent amtrak-operated train) then it probably serves the Legislature to reorg the MBTA as closer to what the MTA is now in NYC/LI/CT. Otherwise I'm not sure it makes sense to have an agency that only is in charge of one regional rail line and the overhead costs associated with that.
If the PVTA were to run a rail service they should either take over or supplement the operation of the Valley Flyer to Greenfield. Give it more daily trips and add a stop in South Deerfield and/or Deerfield for the academy for bus connections with the FRTA and PVTA buses. Current Amtrak timetables put that at 67min but it could probably be brought down to an hour fairly easily. Tracks are owned by MassDOT so should be doable but there is considerable freight traffic. On the same note, a more wacky idea would be to replace the B79 to Worcester with rail. Largely the same route but you swap Ware with Palmer and miss Spencer and Leicester.

The other actually reasonable option for the PVTA would be operating only the segment between Pittsfield and Worcester but this route sees the most freight traffic in the state so would require a fair bit of infrastructure and would mean no one-seat to Boston. Could be a possible more reasonable thing to persue for politicians. Shorter segments means less trains to run the same frequencies (obviously there should be higher frequency on shorter lines but they won't want to pay for that) and they wouldn't need to upgrade and increase capacity between Worcester and Boston. Schedules can be coordinated for transfers and since the demand for people coming from all the way west of Springfield to Boston is low they'll surely be fine with inconveniencing those few with a transfer. Maybe even a Valley Flyer/Hartford Line type plan where a couple trips a day extend all the way beyond Worcester to Boston. That B79 partnership already exists so I think the two agencies can figure it out.
 

Tallguy

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They aren't. There really aren't any local customers on the outer Worcester Line, and most of the traffic is Albany-Westborough-Framingham yard-stocking jobs that run nonstop (some of them already on the overnight). A mid-afternoon local runs west of Framingham (the major sorting yards for CSX southside ops) and serves the Grafton & Upton and and P&W interchanges. The local isn't going anywhere because G&U is fast-growing its traffic, and CSX's implementation of Precision Scheduling (an industry ops reform amongst Class I's that aims to run fast between major yards with as few stops as possible) would financially favor the directest route that hits all the yards. So a Worcester-Clinton-Framingham detour not only isn't going to be financially viable for CSX being much slower and longer, it's not going to take more than a couple trains at most off the B&A because Westborough and G&U still must be served by something running on the mainline.

The current grant application for jump-starting 2 Inland Route slots specs for a tri-track siding at the G&U interchange so the increasing carloads there don't block the main while CSX is switching them. That's about the only point of potential freight-on-passenger interference that currently exists out there. The rest doesn't get in the way of any T local traffic because it's running nonstop, and any increased Amtrak traffic or super-expresses can use the crossovers to overtake a freight on the very slight chance there might be a conflict.


EDIT: And it makes no sense to make the Fitchburg Secondary load-bearing for high-and-wide traffic to the Framingham yards. Then you have to deal with electrification clearance and platform clearance costs on another commuter route while not (because of Westborough's and G&U's needs of being served mainline-only) taking that traffic off the mainline. Whereas CSX would probably sell the Fitchburg Sec. in its current state to MassDOT with no clearance stipulations whatsoever because of its very meager traffic levels and lack of customers needing any big loads.

EDIT 2: Turns out the entirety of the Worcester-Framingham mainline freight schedule is only 3 daily trains. Q436/Q437 are the respective eastbound and westbound Albany-Framingham yard feeder manifest jobs, and B722 is the Framingham-Worcester local round trip that drops off/retrieves the daily cut of cars for Westborough and serves the G&U interchange before returning to Framingham. B722 runs during the midday off-peak; unknown what times Q436 and Q437 run, or whether either of them run on the overnight. That's all of 1 round-trip that could potentially be bypassed via Worcester-Clinton-Framingham at considerable cost and operating inefficiency. Why bother...it's not nearly enough traffic to impact any mainline passenger ops.
I didn't mean to imply that I was advocating for a significant movement of freight to that route, just suggesting that it might be possible if needed in the future.
 

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The MBTA COVID recovery dashboard has been updated by transitmatters.

It seems though most of the dispatchers hired since summer were sent to dispatch on the Blue Line. The Red, Orange, and Green lines meanwhile remain at reduced service.

The Blue Line is now at 94% of pre-COVID weekday service at 63% ridership.

The Red, Orange, and Green lines are at 75, 85, and 79% weekday service levels, with 45, 50, and 48% of pre-COVID ridership. Each of these three lines are about 15% lower than the Blue Line.

1674445936000.png
 

Delvin4519

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Addendum. Here's a look at how the GLX impacts bus routes in Somerville.

Route 80 saw a bus service cut by 12% on weekdays, with no change in weekend service. Ridership has plunged by almost half with the GLX opening. From ~70% of ridership down to ~40% of ridership compared to pre-COVID. Only 55% of riders pre-GLX are still using the Route 80 bus.
1674446056281.png


For crosstown GLX connections, route 86 and 87 buses see no major changes, most of the effect is probably due to winter break and holidays on Route 86.
1674446129001.png


Route 88, 89, and 90 each see modest drops in ridership. For route 90, it's probably due to winter holidays. For Route 88 and 89, bus riders might be using the GLX to get to downtown from Winter Hill. Some riders in Winter Hill might have previously used Route 89 to Sullivan, than transferring to the Orange Line, to reach downtown. Now, they can use the GLX, if they are on the southern or western half of Route 89's walkshed.

1674446439748.png


Routes 94 and 96 in Medford, is much harder to tell if they lost ridership due to the holidays, or due to the GLX. It might be due to the winter break, so it's hard to tell. Medford/Tufts does cover a good portion of these 2 bus routes, and Ball Sq. is also nearby to Powderhouse Sq. Route 96 definitely saw a bigger drop though. Some who may have ridden from Medford Sq. to Davis, can now, with the GLX, walk 15-25 mins from Medford Sq. to Medford/Tufts, though, so that could be the case for Route 96 losing more ridership than the 94.

1674446526645.png
1674446559315.png
 

Teban54

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For crosstown GLX connections, route 86 and 87 buses see no major changes, most of the effect is probably due to winter break and holidays on Route 86.
View attachment 33386
Also note the 86's and 87's ridership were virtually unchanged since the opening of the Union Square branch in March. This again shows the BNRD's initial plan to essentially "cut" the T39 (replacing 87) to Union Square was likely unwise.

Route 88, 89, and 90 each see modest drops in ridership. For route 90, it's probably due to winter holidays. For Route 88 and 89, bus riders might be using the GLX to get to downtown from Winter Hill. Some riders in Winter Hill might have previously used Route 89 to Sullivan, than transferring to the Orange Line, to reach downtown. Now, they can use the GLX, if they are on the southern or western half of Route 89's walkshed.

View attachment 33387
I was actually expecting a more significant drop on the 88 similar to the 80's levels. This makes me wonder if the BNRD's 90 (that runs every 20 minutes most of the day) will be enough for Highland Ave, since it's a more tedious subway transfer for both Green Line riders (stops near East Somerville Station under the overpass, but still with considerable walk to the station) and Orange Line riders (skips Sullivan).

Two general questions:
1. Are the percentages relative to the pre-Covid ridership during the same time of the year, or just a long-term average?
2. For routes that are hard to tell if a decline in ridership is due to the holidays, have you looked at other routes not related to the GLX as baselines?
 

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