MBTA Bus & BRT

737900er

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Noticed this on NETransit. Any idea what's going on?

11 2020-New Flyer hybrid: 3123, 3132, 3135, 3137, 3140, 3141, 3146, 3147, 3148, 3149, 3150- (temporary assignment, set up for geo-fenced battery operation mode for Transitway use)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Noticed this on NETransit. Any idea what's going on?
Probably a test to see whether they can wring tunnel-usage battery range out of the stock hybrids. The new fleet replacement order of extended-range 60-footer hybrids is also rolling in, with 2 active units so far. So they're probably playing laboratory with other fringe things while they're busy collecting data for the new fleet.
 

Stlin

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Probably a test to see whether they can wring tunnel-usage battery range out of the stock hybrids. The new fleet replacement order of extended-range 60-footer hybrids is also rolling in, with 2 active units so far. So they're probably playing laboratory with other fringe things while they're busy collecting data for the new fleet.
Here's a tweet I saw yesterday - they're apparently running them in revenue service at least on SL2, but honestly if a non-ER works right now in winter during the most demanding service cycle? Not too shabby, and probably much better than maintaining the Neoplan dual mode unicorns.
 
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as02143

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Here's a tweet I saw yesterday - they're apparently running them in revenue service at least on SL2, but honestly if a non-ER works right now in winter during the most demanding service cycle? Not too shabby, and probably much better than maintaining the Neoplan dual mode unicorns.
this is the one time where i want the T to actually use the worldwide standard of trolleybuses with back-up batteries. this is a neolithic step backward.
 

AndrewOnTheMBTA

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I was looking at the Newburyport/Rockport Line ROW on Google Earth and it seems like there is a potential ROW for a silver line extension to Sweetser Circle in Everett - with some properties losing some space, as well as maybe clearing freight tracks. Is this possible? It would be great for the redevelopment planned across from Encore as well as the redevelopment of the LNG sites in that area.
 

Riverside

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I was looking at the Newburyport/Rockport Line ROW on Google Earth and it seems like there is a potential ROW for a silver line extension to Sweetser Circle in Everett - with some properties losing some space, as well as maybe clearing freight tracks. Is this possible? It would be great for the redevelopment planned across from Encore as well as the redevelopment of the LNG sites in that area.
The T is looking at Silver Line extensions to Everett, though I don't think they are looking at off-street ROWs for any of the alternatives. But yes, in general adding BRT or LRT along the Eastern Route from Sullivan to Chelsea has been tossed around for years as part of various proposals.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I was looking at the Newburyport/Rockport Line ROW on Google Earth and it seems like there is a potential ROW for a silver line extension to Sweetser Circle in Everett - with some properties losing some space, as well as maybe clearing freight tracks. Is this possible? It would be great for the redevelopment planned across from Encore as well as the redevelopment of the LNG sites in that area.
It gets a little tricky because of the freight leads. You'd have to switch sides of the ROW from south to north slightly before the Sweetser rotary to avoid cutting off the Everett Terminal access, and that'll require some substantial $$$ in flyovers or flyunders. The two 2nd St. freight tail tracks could be relocated easily inside the terminal, but it's the split-off just east of the rotary that you'd have to switch sides to avoid. If it's flyovers, you also have abutters on Paris St. to deal with re: the ramp views out their second-story windows.

That's why the SLX options under study don't go on-ROW any further west than 2nd St.
 

Delvin4519

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Re: Winter 2023 service changes

The MBTA has listed some routes as "routes with departure time changes", but in actuallity, the MBTA has cut and reduced bus service frequency for several routes. The MBTA should be listing routes as "reduced frequency" if the total number of trips in a single direction, or both, per day, has decreased. However, the MBTA does not do this.

I went through much of the route PDFs for bus routes listed under "departure time changes":

* Route 90 is not seeing increased weekday service frequency; instead, the 6:30 a.m. trip was shifted to 6:05 a.m. Span of service did increase, but there is now a 1 hour 5 minute gap between the first 2 outbound trips. As such, span of service increased by decreasing service frequency.
* Route 14 will see a 6% Saturday service cut. (eliminated 1 trip)
* Route 19 will see a 3% weekday service cut. (eliminated 1 trip)
* Route 26 will see a 8% weekday service cut in the inbound direction. (eliminated 3 trips)
* Route 29 will see a 15% Saturday service cut. (eliminated 1 inbound trip and 2 outbound trips)
* Route 41 will see a 15% weekday service cut. (eliminated 4 trips)
* Route 91 will see a 10% weekday service cut. (eliminated 3 trips)
* Route 100 will see a 11% weekday service cut. (eliminated 5 inbound trips and 4 outbound trips)
* Route 354 will see a 13% weekday service cut. (eliminated 3 inbound trips and 1 outbound trip)
* Route 501 will see a 16% weekday service cut. (eliminated 5 trips)

All of this is in addition to reduced service and decreased frequencies for the 1, 66, 77, 78, 80, 94, 101, 104, and 109 bus routes.
---

While the MBTA website may list 3 routes as with "increased service", and 9 routes with "decreased service". What actually changed is that only 2 routes see an additional trip or two. This coming winter, the MBTA has slashed service on 19 bus routes, or about 12% of all the bus routes across the whole MBTA system; seeing service cuts and reduced frequency of about 8-15% each.

This continues the disturbing trend since spring 2020, of the MBTA cutting frequencies and reducing bus service. Since fall 2021, the MBTA has cut service continously over the past year in consecutive, each successive season. This is the 5th quarterly service change uninterrupted with service reductions.
 

Riverside

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I got curious and ended up mapping the sidewalk-to-sidewalk width of Longwood Ave and Francis St in the LMA, thinking about bus lanes etc.

Widths of LMA.png


And here's a series of Streetmixes to illustrate what those widths look like -- these aren't really proposals, more just meant to give a sense of the sizing. You could swap out a pair of bike lanes for an automobile lane, etc. (In certain select locations, you perhaps could steal a little space from the sidewalk, but mostly not.)

Screen Shot 2022-12-18 at 2.26.50 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-12-18 at 2.27.03 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-12-18 at 2.29.12 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-12-18 at 2.27.14 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-12-18 at 2.27.51 PM.png


Looking at this, I see why the BNRD team opted to send the larger volume of buses down Francis St rather than Longwood Ave: the slightly wider street means that you have more wiggle room to implement, for example, peak-only bus lanes using parking spaces, or dedicated bus lanes that still maintain the two-way flow of private traffic.

I continue to maintain that the long-term vision for LMA should include Longwood Ave having significant restrictions on non-transit use -- but that's a much more complicated goal to reach.
 

HenryAlan

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This continues the disturbing trend since spring 2020, of the MBTA cutting frequencies and reducing bus service. Since fall 2021, the MBTA has cut service continously over the past year in consecutive, each successive season. This is the 5th quarterly service change uninterrupted with service reductions.
Yeah, it sucks. Pretty sure this is because they literally don't have enough bodies to provide the service. They need to find some money to improve pay/benefits/conditions, whatever it takes, to attract and retain adequate staffing. Whatever they are doing so far to address the problem has not worked.
 

737900er

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Yeah, it sucks. Pretty sure this is because they literally don't have enough bodies to provide the service.
Yeah, if you look at peak utilization (not a perfect metric, but an easy one to pull) it's crazy how much slack capacity there should be if they were sufficiently staffed. Especially at the outlying garages (Albany, Fellsway, Lynn, Quincy)

1671474830991.png


sorry for not putting it in a forum table, but Excel is so much easier
 

Delvin4519

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Yeah, it sucks. Pretty sure this is because they literally don't have enough bodies to provide the service. They need to find some money to improve pay/benefits/conditions, whatever it takes, to attract and retain adequate staffing. Whatever they are doing so far to address the problem has not worked.
The thing stands out to me the most is that there is no reporting by the media this time around this winter, like they did back in August 2022 for the Q4 Fall 2022 bus service cuts. The fact the MBTA listed half of this winter's bus cuts as "departure time changes" to avoid having the media reporting "19 additional MBTA bus routes seeing additional service cuts this coming winter". If the MBTA only lists 9 routes as seeing "decreased frequencies", then it appears from the outside as "not a major enough" service cut for the media to call out the T.

Another (unrelated) thing that I noticed pulling out winter 2023 schedules. The MBTA is cutting Red Line weekend service by 8 trips on each branch individually (11% weekend service cut), trains will run every 17 minutes.
 

bigeman312

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Another (unrelated) thing that I noticed pulling out winter 2023 schedules. The MBTA is cutting Red Line weekend service by 8 trips on each branch individually (11% weekend service cut), trains will run every 17 minutes.
That is atrocious and not remotely suitable for rapid transit. Was an explanation given?
 

Koopzilla24

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I got curious and ended up mapping the sidewalk-to-sidewalk width of Longwood Ave and Francis St in the LMA, thinking about bus lanes etc.

View attachment 31952

And here's a series of Streetmixes to illustrate what those widths look like -- these aren't really proposals, more just meant to give a sense of the sizing. You could swap out a pair of bike lanes for an automobile lane, etc. (In certain select locations, you perhaps could steal a little space from the sidewalk, but mostly not.)

View attachment 31953

View attachment 31954

View attachment 31955

View attachment 31956

View attachment 31957

Looking at this, I see why the BNRD team opted to send the larger volume of buses down Francis St rather than Longwood Ave: the slightly wider street means that you have more wiggle room to implement, for example, peak-only bus lanes using parking spaces, or dedicated bus lanes that still maintain the two-way flow of private traffic.

I continue to maintain that the long-term vision for LMA should include Longwood Ave having significant restrictions on non-transit use -- but that's a much more complicated goal to reach.
Go Boston 2030 envisions creating a bus hub on Longwood Ave between Blackfan and Binney with multiple bus bays but still want to allow private vehicle traffic. I don’t see how their plan to fit this in the small area would work or how it would alleviate congestion if there’s no restriction to car traffic and nothing speeding up the bus transit time to attract riders.

I’m with you on the bus lanes but the 35’ section from Huntington to ALP is the least congested part of that street containing the least destinations for cars. I’d leave that section as is but make it so that cars (personal vehicles, taxis, Ubers, etc) either have to exit right onto ALP or turn left onto Longwood with only buses and emergency vehicles able to proceed straight onto your bus and bike segments. Then between Blackfan and Binney have a Nubian Station style bus hub leaving Binney to Brookline as-is or better yet your idea with dedicated bus and bike lanes. Blackfan street can still allow cars to go straight across to access the Children’s Hospital there.

This should still allow complete access to the existing parking garages while eliminating any pass through traffic on Longwood Ave. Maybe Francis Street buses could even be routed back to Longwood. Francis Street gets worse than Longwood in the afternoon and evening from my experience.
 

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WestMedford

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Anyone attend the SLX Alternatives meeting on Dec 13?

No meeting materials posted yet.

I skimmed through the meeting video. Tl:dr For SL3, Alternative 3: Chelsea to Sullivan via Everett Square received the highest “grades” from the MBTA and the most positive survey results. For SL6, both Alternative 4: Everett to Kendall via McGrath Hwy and Alternative 7: Chelsea to Kendall via Everett Square received highest MBTA grades and most positive survey results.

Since Alt 3 and Alt 7 are substantially similar from origin to Sullivan, and Alt 4 goes from Sullivan to Chelsea, seems likely they pick Alt 3 (SL3) and Alt 4 (SL6).
 

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