MBTA Bus & BRT

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,709
Reaction score
160
Apparently RER A (Paris), which branches on both sides, and has extremely heavy traffic in the center, runs every 120 seconds, with a goal to reach 108 seconds. Each train carries significantly more people than the orange line. Each new train is set to carry 1725 people.

So clearly, impossible to branch the orange line.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
Im pretty familiar with ADA law, since its a significant portion of my work, and I dont recall a section mandating that the doors recycle.

I can also give you a laundry list of places where the MBTA has ignored ADA law for 30 years.

This is true even in situations where the cost of following ADA law is zero. IE, when the automated stop anouncements are broken, the driver of the bus/train must make them. Ive yet to find a bus driver that does.
It's in the accessibility specs guides helpfully hosted on the T website; look it up yourself.

Non-compliance with ADA is non-compliance is non-compliance. That there are examples of non-compliance in our backyard does not mean the barn door is legally open to nullification and anything goes. That is no counterpoint. You claim to be familiar with ADA law, so this should not be news to you in the slightest. It is illegal...illegal illegal illegal...to program vehicle doors to close with excessive force on a person moving slowly through the vehicle entrance. Conditioned behavior of patrons on the platform has nothing to do with that, nor do people holding the door with due or undue courtesy. You can not speed a door queue by enforcing a physical-strength penalty on patrons, and it does not matter AT ALL if that works 'totes awesome in Mexico City. It's illegal.

Filter out the examples that are blatantly illegal or physically impermissible here before posting. Those examples have zero relevance to showing a way this system could do things better.

Apparently RER A (Paris), which branches on both sides, and has extremely heavy traffic in the center, runs every 120 seconds, with a goal to reach 108 seconds. Each train carries significantly more people than the orange line. Each new train is set to carry 1725 people.

So clearly, impossible to branch the orange line.
And here we go again with the context-free strawmen. RER A is a 4-branch system that splits/combines on either end in what's considered "Zone 3" of 5 concentric zones and unites through the CBD in an 8-station interlined mainline segment. Quite obviously not an Orange Line analogue in the slightest. The interlined segment has SIX consecutive transfer stations with transfers to TEN different Metro lines, multiple RER lines, SCNF high-speed rail, and multiple suburban lines. The only two stops that don't have other-line transfers...are the branch-transfer stations at the splits. As alien a setup to Orange's State-DTX gravitational singularity, Haymarket-NS, and Back Bay as humanly possible. Again...you could airlift the whole fucking RER A across the Atlantic--better-mannered Parisian passengers at all--to Boston and it would would have TWICE-or-worse the headways right from the get-go because the transfer density is complete opposite-universe more concentrated and exerts an order-of-magnitude more punitive dwell limit on headways. The biggest-boy transpo pants on Planet Earth will not cover over the fact that it only does what it does because it has that extremely many transfers taming dwells over the 100% entirety of its mainline...and nothing in Boston does or ever will.

This is not hard to filter. World comparisons aren't relevant when they can't be physically and legally implemented here at the most basic of levels. Pick way better strawmen than this if you insist on continuing to beat this horse over and over.
 
Last edited:

ceo

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
287
Reaction score
118
I'm confused as to why transfer stations help with dwell times. I'd think the opposite would be true, as there's more people getting on and off.
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
224
I'm confused as to why transfer stations help with dwell times. I'd think the opposite would be true, as there's more people getting on and off.
Transfers (“more people getting on and off”) do increase dwell times. But transfer stations doesn't create more transfers as much as they spread out existing transfers.

If all transfers happen at one station, that station will have a very long dwell (call it X seconds). If transfers are spread out over, say, 10 stations, you’d expect the dwell at each one of those stations to be much shorter than X seconds (call it Y seconds).

The system overall can’t really run faster than its slowest dwell. One station with an X second dwell is going to slow down the line by roughly X seconds. But ten stations all with dwells of Y<X seconds are collectively going to slow down the line by <X seconds.
 

fattony

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
114
F-line - Can you list the top 2-3 changes we would need in order to reduce the singularity at DTX? In JumboBuc's terms - how do we reduce X? Is there is a combination of prerequisites that makes branching Orange feasible?

I assume RBX is one. Does NSRL contribute meaningfully? Urban Ring? and if so, which parts specifically?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
F-line - Can you list the top 2-3 changes we would need in order to reduce the singularity at DTX? In JumboBuc's terms - how do we reduce X? Is there is a combination of prerequisites that makes branching Orange feasible?

I assume RBX is one. Does NSRL contribute meaningfully? Urban Ring? and if so, which parts specifically?
Red-Blue is the #1 reliever be flushing double-transferees from the Park and DTX platforms. You have to complement that with the whole bag of egress tricks at those two stations in tandem. Completing Silver Line Phase III or a Green Line-Seaport equivalent is then #2 with a bullet as R-B's positive effects on Red specifically will not be everlasting as growth continues unabated from both the north and the south. After this many decades of delays on both projects we have to consider the relative shovel-readiness of R-B as a five-alarm urgency, because putting Seaport-Back Bay through a full redesign and funding process is going to easily chew all of the ensuing time before R-B relief gets re-topped by new growth. So getting a study re-start on #2 is also five-alarm urgent.


Beyond that NSRL should help Orange quite a lot especially by disentangling Back Bay (so does relocating the E off Copley Jct. to reattach it to Boylston via a Back Bay stop...but not as much as NSRL). However, NSRL will probably sock Red pretty hard with new ridership sources when the northside gets hooked up to the headway juvenation machine. You will definitely need the Urban Ring by that point if not sooner triaging Harvard, Greater Kendall, and Sullivan on the grade-separated north half...with stiff BRT presence on the street-running Dudley/Ruggles-Broadway south flank and possibly some Green Line interlining augmentation (discussed elsewhere this week) to lend the south Ring buses a load-spreading assist. And in turn working the extra touches at Harvard (UR branch) and Porter (GLX extension) helps Red a lot by fully leveraging the empty contraflow direction from Harvard/Porter as a perma-solve for keeping unbounded Alewife growth from having to chain straight off the downtown singularities.


Consider all of those mandatory...and decades tardy by this point. It's already beyond consensus that we need each and every one of those. After that things get a lot more mid-century speculative (Blue-Kenmore, major Green Line alt.-spining/interlining reboot, possible need to use whichever of the two Congress-or-CA/T alignments doesn't get used for NSRL to alt-spine another north-south HRT line through downtown). Not so much because of questions about whether such additional pieces would be useful, but because they pretty much demand R-B, Back Bay-Seaport, UR, and NSRL all get built first to truly exploit their value. So the top-most priorities end up utterly uncontroversial on need/purpose. Obviously for project sequencing Red-Blue is the duh-obvious most impactful one to pick up because it can be done quickest and its benefits are most laser-like focused on the troublesome Park-DTX-State transfer trio. Green-Transitway is less for taming ten-years-ago's problem dwells like R-B than putting the clamps on exploding South Station loads from grinding everything to a halt by ripping the Park-DTX transfer wound immediately wide open again. But there again, the more decades we keep staring into the abyss on doing it at all the closer that day of dwell reckoning comes, so we've got to start getting this show on the road at least at the re-study level.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
Roster update. . .

The new XDE40's keep getting accepted into service at torrid pace. Cruising along at 86 active units--all assigned to Charlestown--with 108 to go on the main order (then the +60 expansion buses to immediately follow). Neoplan retirements stacking up in the Everett dead line now stand at 39, cracking the 20% mark for that departing fleet.

Additionally, the 155-bus midlife overhaul program for the '06-08 New Flyer D40LF straight diesels is down to its last two units left in rebuild. Program, which has been going on for nearly 2 years, should wrap within a week or two. Since not all garages (Albany, Quincy, Lynn, Fellsway) are yet equipped to service hybrid buses, there's some furious swapping going on with D40LF's being reassigned to those garages in place of the retiring Neoplans. Charlestown is being rapidly drained of all its straight-diesel assignments to make that happen, with Albany getting swapped a reassigned D40LF for every Neoplan it sends to rest. Such that Charlestown will be an exclusively XDE40 hybrid base in another 6 months. Fellsway is shaping up to be the last stand for the Neoplans after second-to-last assignee Albany gets drained (which is happening fast).
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
The City is taking a new stab at the 28X BRT line with conceptual plans for a major Blue Hill Ave. bus lane reconfig. . .


The original state plan for 28X Silver Line service went down in flames in 2010-2011 over botched community input, where it was sprung on corridor residents at the last minute and presented in take-it-or-leave-it fashion in just a handful of poorly-run community meetings where the state's prevailing attitude was widely panned as unduly antagonistic.

The neighborhood staunchly rejected it with aid of local pols over revulsion to the process the state was taking. Support for bus lanes and BRT service on the corridor is generally high, however, so the negative reaction was mostly a reaction to process. The City taking the lead this time with a slower-walked street reconfig aims to change that perception, as reaction to last Thursday's unveiling meeting was uniformly positive. The T still has to chime in with what it plans to do service-wise on those bus lanes, but with Southampton garage being funded for expansion to run more 60-footer routes there is new capacity coming online for supporting BRT-ification of the 28.
 

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,709
Reaction score
160
Wasnt the rush last time because they had like 6 months to spend the federal money?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
Wasnt the rush last time because they had like 6 months to spend the federal money?
I don't think it was quite that short, but...yes...there was some time-bombed funding reason for the rush. I think study money, as the thing was just not far enough along in detail to qualify for any design-build fast tracking. The state's outreach was godawful any way you slice it...meeting venues changed multiple times at last minute to suppress attendance, severe paucity of information furnished to attendees, toxic attitude displayed to the audience, lots of contradictory answers (stuff like getting trapped in self-own lies about whether bus lanes would be jersey-barriered restricting street crossings), pointless antagonizing by state officials of local political leaders, and general conveying the feeling of meaningless lip service being passed before something being rammed down throat at no-negotiation. Just an absolute disaster of an outreach, and veritable anti-example of how to make friends and influence people with any scruples.

FWIW, the T got a lot better after this with meeting prep across-the-board. Even little things like social media promotion, printing meeting materials in multiple languages, etc. It chafed then-newish GM Rich Davey hard after this 28X debacle that his flaks were still antagonizing the neighborhoods like this was 1995 and a godforsaken Arborway restoration meeting, and he cleaned his PR house bigtime after that.
 

HelloBostonHi

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
662
Reaction score
450

Add to the unfortunate side effects of the COVID situation, New Flyer is halting all bus manufacturing for a minimum of two weeks (for background the MBTA is still expecting a further 157 buses from them this year), on the plus side there are already 97 of the new buses in service, enough that they've already retired 40 of the old 2004 Neoplans. On the downside, this will absolutely mean a delay in deliveries.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984

Add to the unfortunate side effects of the COVID situation, New Flyer is halting all bus manufacturing for a minimum of two weeks (for background the MBTA is still expecting a further 157 buses from them this year), on the plus side there are already 97 of the new buses in service, enough that they've already retired 40 of the old 2004 Neoplans. On the downside, this will absolutely mean a delay in deliveries.
Given that the main procurement was running ahead of schedule (NETransit shows it just hit the 50% mark today with 97 in-service) that really won't have much of an effect as there are already large number of unaccepted buses on the property plus a completed factory queue of deliveries yet to arrive on the property. It's enough that there probably won't be any dropoff in new acceptances over those two weeks. And should they come to the end of the new acceptances queue, there's still plenty to do as Charlestown and Albany Garages have been furiously swapping 2006-07 New Flyer D40LF's amid Neoplan retirements to compensate for the fact that Albany is not yet equipped to handle hybrids and must take another straight diesel reassignment for each retiring Neoplan it gives up. Enough that the balance at Albany (currently 73 Neoplans, 50 D40LF's) will probably flip within this next 2 weeks where they're just processing the XDE-40 delivery backlog.

With revenue service levels temporarily reduced they can just keep on going draining Albany of Neoplans with D40LF swaps until they're gone, park a reserve fleet at Charlestown in the pretty unlikely event that service goes fully back to normal by April 7, and get the garage swapping drudgery over with until it's Fellsway's turn this Summer/Fall. In the meantime scrap removals of the 32 high-floor buses awaiting pickup at Everett from the winning bidder should be wrapping up in the next couple weeks if it hasn't already, meaning they're going to have to start making hay on defueling/decommissioning of the 40 Neoplans already piled up there to advertise the next scrap bid...which will be a considerably more drawn-out affair needing to pace itself over several months, re-balancing space at Everett so they're eventually capable of absorbing deliveries of the wholly bonus +60 extra New Flyers on the option order. So they can use this to get a head-start on cleaning out the boneyard, too.
 

MBTA DMA

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
7
Uh that's good information to know @HelloBostonHi but i wanna tell you that the AN440LFs that have retired are already decomissioned. How I know is that when 0417 and another AN440LF that was originally awaiting long-term repair had just retired and was a everett, on the inventory page it would show " (not decommissioned yet) " next to their #s. And none of the other retired buses had that written next to them.
 

MBTA DMA

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
7
By the way, XDE40 1412 has finally been repaired. It has been in long-term repair for over a year.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,447
Reaction score
797
I haven't ridden a bus a weeks at this point. How is the rear-door boarding working? Are they collecting fares at all?
 

whittle

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
244
Reaction score
18
I haven't ridden a bus a weeks at this point. How is the rear-door boarding working? Are they collecting fares at all?
The couple times I've used a bus during this mess, they weren't collecting fares. If you started approaching the fare box, the driver would wave you off.
 

Arborway

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
1,096
Reaction score
5
This would be a really good time to repave the Silver Line Transitway. It desperately needs it, and we're never going to see it this quiet again.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,061
Reaction score
984
This would be a really good time to repave the Silver Line Transitway. It desperately needs it, and we're never going to see it this quiet again.
Simple re-topping isn't going to cut it, though, because as a concrete tunnel surface it doesn't have a 'top' surface per se. It's more like replacing the ramps on a heavily-used parking garage than doing over a lane of I-95 above the concrete base. The milling required to grind down that much spalled concrete and redo it with something way more water-tight so this problem doesn't immediately start taking its toll again is a lot more intensive work than highway repaving. And it requires narrower-clearance work equipment than normal on-call MassHighway contractor faire (i.e. the types of vendors who do probably specialize in garages and garage-clearance site access vs. doing roadways).

For those reasons it's not a job they can vulture from the 'everlasting'-type of MassDOT surfacing work does on extant contracts and ever on-duty crews rotating site-to-site. This one has to be cued up from scratch as a separate semi-specialty bid with its own budget line item the likes of which are logistically 99% impossible to cue up during the COVID shutdown. Not hard to stage by any everyday means, but the 'from-scratch' vs. 'rotating' nature of the bid work runs straight into the primary logistical trap imposed by COVID.


Despite all that, it's an entirely fair question "Why isn't this job loaded on the CIP budget already?" given the longstanding (and rapidly worsening) deplorable state of the surface and fact that FY2024 will be the 20-year mark of tunnel ops where basic standard 2-decade renewal tasks would've had to start ramping up for some tunnel structures regardless of whether incumbent conditions were good/bad. Present-tense COVID constraints aside, it's past time we should've heard about some weekend shutdown-a-thon coming into the pipeline to thoroughly replace all that shot surface. What are they waiting for...the rate of bus tire blowouts to start exploding fleet-wide from that rural dirt road they have to rumble over all day???
 

Top