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F-Line to Dudley

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Bus 2056 proving remarkably trackable on route to Boston, also proving that bus deliveries are still going I guess.


Hmm. Acceptances into service have been sequential so far, with NETransit bumping the revenue roster up to #2040 mid- last week and only one unit from the 2030's still AWOL. If that's #2056 in-transit it means they've got a solid 15 more on delivery backlog which may or may not already be on-property for testing. Plus who knows how many more still parked at New Flyer awaiting more cross-country trips like ^this^.


Jibes with the reports that NF has been running way ahead of Everett's space crunch for parking new deliveries, because of the scrappers still removing the last of the retired high-floor buses from the property (a process expected to wrap next couple weeks). Meaning there's probably enough completed units here or still awaiting pickup at the NF factory that NF's COVID mfg. shutdown won't be felt at all on the bus acceptances pace for another month at minimum.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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For some reason I just assumed they were shipped, not driven cross-country.
New Flyer's nearest factory is Jamestown, NY...so that would explain the I-90 Syracuse trip. They're coming either from there or Minnesota.

Midwest Bus Corp., which has done a majority of the Yellow Line's contracted midlife overhauls the last 20 years, is based in Michigan. You should see the Chicagoan reactions on Twitter when T buses get stuck in their rush hour traffic en route. Confuses them to no end.
 

HelloBostonHi

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New Flyer's nearest factory is Jamestown, NY...so that would explain the I-90 Syracuse trip. They're coming either from there or Minnesota.

Midwest Bus Corp., which has done a majority of the Yellow Line's contracted midlife overhauls the last 20 years, is based in Michigan. You should see the Chicagoan reactions on Twitter when T buses get stuck in their rush hour traffic en route. Confuses them to no end.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Hmm. Acceptances into service have been sequential so far, with NETransit bumping the revenue roster up to #2040 mid- last week and only one unit from the 2030's still AWOL. If that's #2056 in-transit it means they've got a solid 15 more on delivery backlog which may or may not already be on-property for testing. Plus who knows how many more still parked at New Flyer awaiting more cross-country trips like ^this^.


Jibes with the reports that NF has been running way ahead of Everett's space crunch for parking new deliveries, because of the scrappers still removing the last of the retired high-floor buses from the property (a process expected to wrap next couple weeks). Meaning there's probably enough completed units here or still awaiting pickup at the NF factory that NF's COVID mfg. shutdown won't be felt at all on the bus acceptances pace for another month at minimum.
*BUMP*

OK...so based on today's NETransit dump that now shows a non-contiguous smattering of #2040's in-service, there are currently at least 10 unaccepted vehicles on the property including #2056 which has certainly completed its cross-country trip by now. Meaning if #2056 was the last deliverable before New Flyer's COVID-related factory shutdown, we'll hit 129-130 buses in-service, hit 60+ Neoplans retired, and hit or pass the 50/50 mark in outcoming-Neoplan vs. incoming-NF straight diesel reassignments to Albany Garage before there's any interruption from the factory freeze. But that's still unlikely, because Everett's tight tapdance on incoming/outgoing space has had NF throttling deliveries slowly for awhile now...so in all likelihood they've still got an indeterminate number of completed units sitting in St. Cloud still to be picked up.
 

stefal

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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???
It's not entirely clear about the exact extent of the work, but the SL is currently planned to be rerouted to surface streets on weekends August through December for accelerated work related to waterproofing and repairs at and around Courthouse and the 'East tunnels'. Likely just the start to much more well aware and planned work dictated by priority across the entire SL network over the next 5 years.
 

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Happy birthday to SL3. Happy birthday to SL3. Happy birthday dear SL3. Happy birthday to you.
How has patronage been on the SL3? And did it start transforming its neighborhoods? Have people been using it to get from the East-Northeast "wedge" to the Seaport?
 

HelloBostonHi

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How has patronage been on the SL3? And did it start transforming its neighborhoods? Have people been using it to get from the East-Northeast "wedge" to the Seaport?
The MBTA has been very cagey with ridership numbers and since it's been free inbound for most of its life due to the Chelsea curves project I suppose ridership data is probably quite incomplete anyway.

As for the second part I don't have an answer to but hopefully once the Commuter Rail station at Chelsea is also complete we start seeing some change.

Also interestingly based on a Google maps calculation there are often times where it is quicker to get off the Newbury/Rockport line at Chelsea and take the SL3 to the Seaport instead of going in to North Station and going across the city to the Seaport. I'd be interested to see if anyone actually knows that or does that routinely. Arguably the variability added by the bridge and TWT traffic makes it undesirable compared to the slow but consistently slow options from NS to Seaport...
 

F-Line to Dudley

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SL3 had a rep in the early going for getting stuck in traffic a real lot and having threadbare, if any, schedule adherence. And they were running head-first into too many Chelsea St. Bridge openings...which was just kind of dumb inflexibility on their part because Chelsea River tankers keep pretty consistent windows each day. But that was all back in 2018. It's been radio silence since, and no breadcrumbs for tracking progress since '18. The corridor is still not transit signal-optimized, as that install was lumped with CR station bid work and isn't slated to be fully operational until next year. That's certainly a factor in their reticence to share numbers. Could also be they've had to lengthen the headways slightly because they just weren't hitting their schedule targets often enough, and aren't keen to self-report that they've been engaging in stealth self-"gapping". Signal priority on Eastie Haul Rd. + the busway should help a bit, and they've gotten their internal communication house in order on maritime schedules around Chelsea St. so they've kept the 20-minute strandings and ensuing rider Twitter rants to a tolerable minimum. But actually maneuvering OTP on the safe side of the razor's edge may well entail getting that danged State Police ramp business sorted, because there aren't a lot of bolts left to tighten. Ted traffic is the wildcard it is, so all the schedule stress gets applied south side of Logan leaving the "3" in SL3 with few means of refilling an empty margin for error when it first sets eyes on its native routing.
 

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My secret hope:
1) Charles River Dam Rd gets "temporary" bus lanes for the upcoming Lechmere closure & bus link to Science Park and North Station
2) Car commuters, thinned by quarantine, don't notice or care
3) Cars don't need it for Apr May Jun lockdown, nor for July-August vacation season
4) Kendall employee shuttles find it really convenient
5) Schoolbus & Tourbus & Duck Tours return to the buslane faster than cars return to the general lanes
6) Cyclists like it too
7) The GLX opens for Camberville commuters

And so I hope the bus lanes will become permanent. It isn't clear where all the cars at rush hour "come from" but my sense is that Somerville-Cambridge-Boston will prefer to keep things transit friendly, not cut-through friendly.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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My secret hope:
1) Charles River Dam Rd gets "temporary" bus lanes for the upcoming Lechmere closure & bus link to Science Park and North Station
2) Car commuters, thinned by quarantine, don't notice or care
3) Cars don't need it for Apr May Jun lockdown, nor for July-August vacation season
4) Kendall employee shuttles find it really convenient
5) Schoolbus & Tourbus & Duck Tours return to the buslane faster than cars return to the general lanes
6) Cyclists like it too
7) The GLX opens for Camberville commuters

And so I hope the bus lanes will become permanent. It isn't clear where all the cars at rush hour "come from" but my sense is that Somerville-Cambridge-Boston will prefer to keep things transit friendly, not cut-through friendly.
McGrath is cut-thru city. Volumes are already a lot lower on it than they were pre- Big Dig, but McGrath teardown and road dieting of 28 to Wellington Circle in favor of new Complete Streets'ing is what's going to force the mental decision to stick to the recommended routes and not the induced demand temptation. Would also help if MassHighway gave some oomph to improving the half-broken interchanges just north of the decks for coherency's sake...like completing all four legs of the 16 interchange, cleaning up the all the ramp geometry vomit spewed around Mystic Ave./28, and doing some basic streamlining around 93/1 @ Rutherford Ave. so straight over Gilmore Bridge is head-and-shoulders the prevailing get-out-of-town route from Cambridge. Hell, I would even sign Land Blvd. + Gilmore as MA 2 and/or US 3 to put an exclamation point on it and end the nonsensical leaping-across riverbanks those routes do as people completely lose track of where they head.
 

stefal

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Current plan for post-COVID-19-opening bus service is somehow limiting to 20 passengers per bus for the foreseeable future. They admit they currently don't really have a solid plan for implementing this successfully, other than making it clear bus service will be quite frequent (despite having a 25% decrease in operators mostly related to COVID19 exposure/quarantining and precautions). It seems like this plan will be very dynamic and addressed as ridership eventually increases and they get real ridership numbers rather than forecasted ones. The sound of the FMCB is that these precautions will likely last in some form over the next year, possibly longer.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The 31 RTSs that have been sold to Chuckran Auto Parts for scrap have all been removed to date.
The lone remaining 1985 RTS bus was also scrapped as a last-minute addition. That thing was stored inoperable in Lynn for years after being retired from non-revenue duty as a Transit Police command post bus.

Additionally, they've rejiggered the work fleet and dropped the RTS that was used for Rapid Transit Division's Incident Coordination (i.e. mobile command post for staging subway bustitutions), plugging it with 2 replacements fished out of the Neoplans low-floor retirement line.

Remaining RTS's in work fleet duty are:
  • 3 sleet cutters assigned to North Cambridge with dummy TT poles (one of them loaded up with computer telemetry as a de facto wire car for Cambridge or Silver Line)
  • 1 mobile training classroom bus
  • 1 training bus for third-party contractors (e.g. driver training for the outside-contracted Winthrop routes & etc.)
  • 1 "historic" bus: #0309. Joins the operable 1957 GMC historic bus outfitted in original MTA logo that's stored at Everett as a companion showpiece commemorating ~35 years of RTS fleets on the T. (Ed: *gulp*...1994 was longer ago than you might realize o_O)
  • 1 Transit Police command post bus (out-of-service)
  • 1 spare "historic" bus (out-of-service...parts supply). Reassigned former Incident Coordination bus.

Guessing the mobile training buses are the next-most likely to be dropped in favor of surplus Neoplans so their training platform is migrated to the low-floor form factor. The RTS's are pretty dead-on simple to repair, have ample parts supply, and are in good condition because their service hours were kept limited after the last rebuild...so the 'dirty work' assignees will probably stick around for awhile.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Bus 2056 proving remarkably trackable on route to Boston, also proving that bus deliveries are still going I guess.


^^#2056 entered revenue service this morning, per NETransit. I guess that times out to one-month gestation period between driving cross-country from the New Flyer factory to picking up first passengers when grading on a COVID-slowed curve.
 

MBTA DMA

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Well probably it was the acceptance testing that took long on 2056. And if that's the case, either because they have less staff or the bus needed that amount of time.
 

HelloBostonHi

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