MBTA Bus & BRT

Equilibria

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Interesting that the T put a bunch of Boeing and Kinkisharyo LRVs on there as well
I assume the last three shots are to show access for the purchaser, and not just hero shots of the Type 9?
 

sneijder

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Any updates on freeing the Silver Line Ramp for either a peak-only opening or permanent opening at all times? I'm riding SL1 next week at 5pm and would love to not have to take a rideshare instead..
 

HelloBostonHi

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Any updates on freeing the Silver Line Ramp for either a peak-only opening or permanent opening at all times? I'm riding SL1 next week at 5pm and would love to not have to take a rideshare instead..
It's on the agenda for the February 10th FMCB meeting, I'd be surprised if we hear anything before then.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Good time to submit a supporting comment for the changes to the Chelsea Street bridge regulations: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/11/29/2019-25978/drawbridge-operation-regulation-chelsea-river-chelsea-ma

Comment period closes 1/28/20. USCGC reviews can take anywhere from 6 months to 5 years and MassDOT is hoping that the generally win for everyone nature of the proposal plus some public support can get it moved through and implemented this year. Worth 5 minutes to submit a comment, the website above has the comment form.

Screenshot_20200122-121519_Drive.jpg
 

KCasiglio

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This would stand to add ~10 minutes walking to my commute if I and my neighbors can't walk through this property to QA via Taber street. It's an objectively good location, but I hope they maintain some kind of pedestrian/bike access to the station.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Interesting that the T put a bunch of Boeing and Kinkisharyo LRVs on there as well
*BUMP*

Bidding's closed. And now the wait begins for whose front lawn in the suburbs is going to be drawing neighbor complaints for sporting a Boeing signed "A Watertown" parked next to a rusted-out '79 Chevy pickup. All of the trolleys netted winning bids; the flat car got none and was de-listed. Winners still have to come pick up their prizes themselves, so we'll see if any of these get re-listed this spring due to no-shows.

Also, same junkyard bidder in Bridgewater that won the last two bus scrap contracts will be chowing down the 32 last remaining high-floor buses. Removal from Everett will take place over next 2 months. Which is good, because the T has just yanked the first batch of Neoplan retirements from Albany garage and will begin de-fueling and decommissioning them over remainder of the winter to start batching for the next 190-bus scrap bid due to be advertised in the next couple months.
 

sm89

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*BUMP*

Bidding's closed. And now the wait begins for whose front lawn in the suburbs is going to be drawing neighbor complaints for sporting a Boeing signed "A Watertown" parked next to a rusted-out '79 Chevy pickup. All of the trolleys netted winning bids; the flat car got none and was de-listed. Winners still have to come pick up their prizes themselves, so we'll see if any of these get re-listed this spring due to no-shows.

Also, same junkyard bidder in Bridgewater that won the last two bus scrap contracts will be chowing down the 32 last remaining high-floor buses. Removal from Everett will take place over next 2 months. Which is good, because the T has just yanked the first batch of Neoplan retirements from Albany garage and will begin de-fueling and decommissioning them over remainder of the winter to start batching for the next 190-bus scrap bid due to be advertised in the next couple months.
About $1,000 for the green line trains, but $50,000 for the buses!
 

F-Line to Dudley

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About $1,000 for the green line trains, but $50,000 for the buses!
Parts. There's more in a bus you can scour for your own garage than a custom-unicorn Boeing trolley. The RTS buses could also all still run at their time of retirement. Nothing was ever going to make those trains run again...especially the scrap Type 7's which were already organ-harvested for every reusable lugnut to feed the 3700-series rebuild program.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Honestly surprised that some entrepreneurial type hasn't tried to secure some of these old vehicles, move them to a remote plot of land in the mountains, retrofit and rent them as custom Airbnbs for $100 a night...
 

JeffDowntown

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Honestly surprised that some entrepreneurial type hasn't tried to secure some of these old vehicles, move them to a remote plot of land in the mountains, retrofit and rent them as custom Airbnbs for $100 a night...
I know of a campground in NH that has done something similar with old Airstream trailers.

I suspect the big difference is transportability. You can pull a trailer on the road. Moving an LRV is a bit more of a challenge (and cost).
 

Arlington

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Everett & Somerville have (re-)applied to use Casino $ to PLAN to extend the Silver Line Gateway from Chelsea past the Casino to terminate at a rail transit stop (the choice of rail connection is part of what needs to be planned)

Streetsblog coverage
Planning grant itself

It sort of looks like this is the second time they've applied for it and partly that (as I read Streetsblog) part of the the process is just syncing things with the MassDOT/MBTA planning process :
Everett and Somerville also applied for – and won – a $425,000 Gaming Commission grant to plan a conceptual Silver Line extension project last year.

According to Everett transportation planner Jay Monty, those funds have not yet been spent. City officials have been waiting for MassDOT and the MBTA to kick off a complementary study that would be responsible for planning service levels, maintenance facilities, fleet needs and other operational issues associated with the project. The cities’ grant funding from the Gaming Commission would then be used to draft detailed plans for redesigned local streets along the route.
Picture of this "Yellow Line" BRT alongside other stuff like GLX Phase 2 (to Mystic Valley), OL Branching, and new CR stop @ Sullivan as identified by the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group:


Caption from Streetsblog: "Transit improvements analyzed in the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group’s 2019 transportation study. The Silver Line extensions highlighted in yellow emerged as the study’s top recommendations for implementation. Courtesy of the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group."
 

HenryAlan

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All of this looks good to me, though I wonder about how branching would impact Orange Line headways. Malden is currently accustomed to 6 minutes. OLT promises 4.5 minute headways, but with a split at Assembly, each branch would only get 9 minutes, a 50% reduction for Malden.

It is, of course, a huge improvement for Everett.
 

Arlington

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All of this looks good to me, though I wonder about how branching would impact Orange Line headways. Malden is currently accustomed to 6 minutes. OLT promises 4.5 minute headways, but with a split at Assembly, each branch would only get 9 minutes, a 50% reduction for Malden.
F-Line shares your concerns. In the Fantasy Maps (and Crazy Pitches) he has made it clear that branching is generally unattractive for the Orange.

So I didn't want the "Lower Mystic Task Force" ability to draw lines on an aerial view to start a HRT branching discussion here.

Actually, they do make some very reasonable BRT suggestions, both:
Radial:
- Out Everett Broadway to Glendale Sq)
- In Charlestown Rutherford to North Station
Urban Ring:
- Chelsea-Sullivan
- Sullivan-Kendall
 

KCasiglio

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I hate that routing to Kendall, but most of the BRT here seems like no brainer. Extending from chelsea to Sullivan and North Station, as well as deepening the commitment to bus along broadway in Everett.

I know they want to get to Kendall because Kendall but this feels like a clunky, forced way to do it. I think following the 86 routing to Harvard makes more sense and nicely compliments GLX through union.

(Also off topic for the thread but very much pro-Sullivan as a RUR stop)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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All of this looks good to me, though I wonder about how branching would impact Orange Line headways. Malden is currently accustomed to 6 minutes. OLT promises 4.5 minute headways, but with a split at Assembly, each branch would only get 9 minutes, a 50% reduction for Malden.

It is, of course, a huge improvement for Everett.
Branching is an utter nonstarter. You can't slash frequencies to a bus terminal as major as Malden in half and not have ruinous effects on bus frequencies and utilization. It's a big enough terminal that the frequency reduction there outslugs all the gains from the Everett branch. Branching Orange could happen AT Malden if there was a willing trajectory from there...but not any point before Malden.

Multimodally this doesn't come close to justifying the pain threshold. Why the working group got fixated on this (even setting aside the steep construction infeasibility) is a head-scratcher. Especially when Urban Ring LRT can get delivered to the doorstep of Sweetser Circle with zero of the demerits of an Orange Branch being sourced out of Brickbottom from multiple Green Line frequency sources. Not that I think branching a branch spur out of Sweetser is a swell idea for all the same construction cost demerits as (subwaying???) under Broadway....but at least you could cobble together enough frequencies out of Downtown and Cambridge to serve it without depriving someone else of service. The specific choice of Orange was never so much as explained in terms of possible benefits...nevermind how they were going to compensate for the steep and obvious downsides for existing multimodal transfers. Somebody just put it there in the proposal and they're running with it, even though it is 1000% self-defeating of their own transit dreams when it inevitably gets ruled a nonstarter. So why lead with the nonstarter when there are other configurations on the table that "fix the glitch" of not killing Malden Terminal while checking off all other boxes??? That makes no rational sense. It takes a sort of willful blindness to proceed anyway.
 

jass

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All of this looks good to me, though I wonder about how branching would impact Orange Line headways. Malden is currently accustomed to 6 minutes. OLT promises 4.5 minute headways, but with a split at Assembly, each branch would only get 9 minutes, a 50% reduction for Malden.

It is, of course, a huge improvement for Everett.
If Boston pulled up the big boy pants, they could do 90 second headways like the developed world. 3 minutes per branch sounds great to me.
 

FitchburgLine

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40TPH is highly unusual (Moscow tops out at 38tph with multiple signal blocks per platform), and extremely difficult to achieve with branching due to merge conflicts. Alon does extensive research before making the "developed world" remark, this ain't it.
 

jass

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40TPH is highly unusual (Moscow tops out at 38tph with multiple signal blocks per platform), and extremely difficult to achieve with branching due to merge conflicts. Alon does extensive research before making the "developed world" remark, this ain't it.
Paris Line 14 is every 85 seconds. Mexico City does 90 seconds.

You are correct that branching does make it harder. You really need a grade separated interchange.

Even at 2 minute headways, or just 30tph, you get a train every 4 minute on each branch.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Paris Line 14 is every 85 seconds. Mexico City does 90 seconds.

You are correct that branching does make it harder. You really need a grade separated interchange.

Even at 2 minute headways, or just 30tph, you get a train every 4 minute on each branch.
Paris 14 is no comparison. Only 9 stops over 5.6 mi. vs. 20 stops on Orange over 11 miles...and generally wide stop spacing between most stops (avg. 3/4 mile) allowing way more headway-packing in the running tunnels than you could ever get here where station pairs like State-DTX and their platform dwells set Orange's practical upper limits. But most significantly nearly two-thirds of Line 14's stops are transfer stations to other rapid transit lines meaning it has an extreme wealth of dwell-taming radial relief that the extreme-overloaded State + DTX do not have for getting moving faster. And Line 14's expansion plans will eventually have it interlining with other builds in the Grand Paris Express system and gaining yet more transfer stations in the process, so the considerable lengthening that could've come with some downside of starting to gap out those ultra-short headways ends up being counterbalanced by new supply-side and dwell-taming sources.

I mean...if you gave the same engineers who built Line 14 infinite money to retrofit Orange to as close as humanly possible to the same...automated operation, platform screen doors, and all...they would never be able to get headways from the 4+ minutes that the OLT upgrades propose to anything more than a handful of seconds under 3. Simply because trains cannot get their doors closed fast enough at DTX, State, and often also Back Bay and Haymarket because the whole crush of systemwide transfer loads that hit it at too few overall transfer stops. Then add the extreme-short running distance between those overloaded transfer stops and the State-DTX pair ends up setting the ruling limit.

Red, too. How are you ever going to get it below 3 mins. promised by RLT with Park, DTX, and SS chaining their transfer overcrowding together in a row? It can't be done. Not when platform-screen doors or open gangways don't in themselves do anything to the fact that crowding on the Park platforms crushes the one end by the egresses while leaving the other empty. The best minds in the world aren't going to be able to do anything radically different with that set of circumstances. As is, Red-Blue only buys us enough load-spread relief to think our way through the long process of starting from scratch on the Transitway with figuring out a new Green Line-Seaport hook-in. Eventually Red overtops itself in self-congestion yet again unless both radials get built. And even then you probably are still looking at Urban Ring before taking a gander at pushing the envelope on ruling headways set by Harvard Curve, because RUR and NSRL both project to dump a whole lot more new ridership on Red when they're cranking up.


The competency question here ends at whether or not we can run reliably within the upper-bound headway limit. The upper-bound limit itself isn't so questionable. The things that set it are very, very concrete. As in: you'd need transit staff armed with cattle prods to physically move that many people through the doors at Park St. any faster to eke an actual shorter minimum Red Line frequency. Jetsons Shit tech and a transpo managerial class full of eggheads can't do very much about a foot-traffic problem in a 100-year-old cavern that's laid out the way it is because of the incumbent angle of intersection between transit levels. I mean, yes...do that secondary Common egress from the Red level at Park to spread the crowding a little more optimally and empty the bag of tricks for an umpteenth time on the DTX concourses to carve out ever-so-slightly better flow. But it's not going to fundamentally change the foot-traffic dwells through the doors that set the ruling limits on these lines unless you start physically removing the excesses of transfer crowds from those platforms. We're missing 3 or 4 radial touches here that could/should be doing that. Paris 14, rote-same design and all, for sure as fuck doesn't achieve 3:00, let alone 90 second, headways if its whole universe of transfer options is crammed down into a gravitational singularity of 2 consecutive downtown stations. No amount of technological or managerial superiority overcomes a blocker that big.
 

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