MBTA Bus & BRT

The EGE

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So wild that they could build all that in less than 2 years. I see the stuff going on in San Fran take a decade or two and even Indianapolis took 5.
Barely over one year - constructed started October 23, 2020. It helps that subsurface work was largely limited to the platform locations. A lot of BRT projects are basically utility replacement projects with some transit work on top, which is where the actual cost and time go. That's very true for both SF projects. Geary Rapid (phase 1 of Geary BRT) just wrapped up on time/on budget after several years of construction; Van Ness BRT is a never-ending shitshow because there are hundreds of unmapped utilities that haven't been touched since 1956.
 

Wash

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It would be an enormous boon to construction of every sort if MassDot conducted an organized "utility census" every year/two years that would produce up-to-date underground maps of every street in every community with >some number of people. The fact that every project, transit or otherwise, has to conduct its' own piecemeal survey of its' own tiny corner of the streetscape adds unnecessary time and expense to projects all over the commonwealth, and especially in the Greater Boston area.
 

Arlington

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Isn’t it just a backlog of ancient gas and electric that we need to log? Seems like we should update major corridors and then keep it fresh
 

jass

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Barely over one year - constructed started October 23, 2020. It helps that subsurface work was largely limited to the platform locations. A lot of BRT projects are basically utility replacement projects with some transit work on top, which is where the actual cost and time go. That's very true for both SF projects. Geary Rapid (phase 1 of Geary BRT) just wrapped up on time/on budget after several years of construction; Van Ness BRT is a never-ending shitshow because there are hundreds of unmapped utilities that haven't been touched since 1956.
Yeah, the Fresno BRT project ($25 million I think) was like $20 million in new traffic signals and $5 million for bus stops.

So much of transit in this country is hijacked to build car infrastructure.

The LA expo line (light rail) had a huge amount of the budget for roadway widening. Unbelievable.
 

HenryAlan

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They need to go all the way from Mattapan to Ruggles
I think that is essentially the long term plan. They already are in the design/planning phase for the extension to Ruggles and for a Mattapan Square to Warren St. route along Blue Hill Ave. That would leave Seaver St., about which I've heard nothing, as the only gap.
 

as02143

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Barely over one year - constructed started October 23, 2020. It helps that subsurface work was largely limited to the platform locations. A lot of BRT projects are basically utility replacement projects with some transit work on top, which is where the actual cost and time go. That's very true for both SF projects. Geary Rapid (phase 1 of Geary BRT) just wrapped up on time/on budget after several years of construction; Van Ness BRT is a never-ending shitshow because there are hundreds of unmapped utilities that haven't been touched since 1956.
Design took about a year before construction according to the Globe article.
 

Arlington

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Rt 2 is getting a Bus Lane at Alewife. I think it is roughly as proposed here:

If so, it is on the inbound side to get to the Alewife T, and operating both at the AM and PM rush (but not midday)

Classic article describing only that it will redirect cars during its construction:
 

Teban54

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Hi all, first post on aB here. I've always been a huge transit fan (mostly buses and subways), just came to Greater Boston this fall for studies and discovered this forum recently. I've been reading many of the old posts and I absolutely loved them!

A few noob questions:
1. Does MBTA have any fixed or semi-fixed assignments of each bus to a route? In other words, does each specific bus typically run on a single route (or have a fixed schedule of jumping between multiple routes) every day, or are they decided kind of randomly?
2. I've read some extensive discussions here on battery electric buses, and I understand the T already has 5 BEBs for Silver Line. Do they already have concrete plans or orders for more BEBs, or is it still a wait and see situation now?
3. I noticed there are brochures with bus route information at Harvard station. Are they available at any other places?
4. Are there any other forums and useful resources about transit in Boston that I should be aware of? I've found transithistory.org and the Amateur Planner blog, but I'm curious if there are more.
 

Brattle Loop

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Hi all, first post on aB here. I've always been a huge transit fan (mostly buses and subways), just came to Greater Boston this fall for studies and discovered this forum recently. I've been reading many of the old posts and I absolutely loved them!
Welcome to ArchBoston. I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll offer what I can.

1. Does MBTA have any fixed or semi-fixed assignments of each bus to a route? In other words, does each specific bus typically run on a single route (or have a fixed schedule of jumping between multiple routes) every day, or are they decided kind of randomly?
Bus types are assigned to specific garages, though someone with more operational knowledge would be able to answer whether specific series or individual buses tend to stay captive on specific routes fed by their respective garages. (Does not apply to Silver Line dual modes or Cambridge trackless trolleys, those are captive services for those fleets.)

2. I've read some extensive discussions here on battery electric buses, and I understand the T already has 5 BEBs for Silver Line. Do they already have concrete plans or orders for more BEBs, or is it still a wait and see situation now?
They are planning further BEB acquisitions, most notably and controversially to replace the Cambridge trackless trolleys. Cambridge is...unhappy...about that prospect, and not without cause, as the number earmarked for the trackless replacement is insufficient to cover the (pre-pandemic) service, meaning either service cuts or backfilling with diesel hybrids. Expect fighting on that one. (The sensible thing, of course, would be to use in-motion charging under the wires to bootstrap more all-electric service, but this is the T's we're talking about.)
 

Equilibria

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Arborway has joined Quincy as announced Bus Facility Modernization projects:


The cynic in me says the MBTA is annoyed people keep trying to steal their garage for drug recovery. They've tied the new Arborway explicitly to 60-foot BEB buses for the Michelle Wu parts of Boston, which seems like a political move to get the free bus people to defend them from the Franklin Park people.
 

bigeman312

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This project will repurpose Blue Hill Avenue’s existing wide, concrete median island into a pair of exclusive, center-running bus lanes and redesigns Mattapan Square (the southern terminus) to better accommodate bus movements in and out of the Mattapan Red Line light rail station. The project will also include improved pedestrian refuges, protected bicycle lanes, signal changes, and place-making elements.
 

bakgwailo

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Wow, that is great. I really hope they don't screw up the Square redesign. Would be really cool if they could move the station more into the square. I also hope they can work trees/green into the project, BHA always seems desolate compared to similar other streets in the outer neighborhoods.
 

Hubman

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Is there any chance of this going the extra step from what we have at Columbus Avenue and becoming "gold standard" brt, like what was proposed for 28x? It would be amazing to have built-out prepayment stations, although it seems unlikely given the present proposal.
 

lainpimicaja

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Is there any chance of this going the extra step from what we have at Columbus Avenue and becoming "gold standard" brt, like what was proposed for 28x? It would be amazing to have built-out prepayment stations, although it seems unlikely given the present proposal.
If you board at the new Columbus Ave stops, you can see the electrical hook-up's for the new fare-vending machines already in the ground, so pre-paid boarding could eventually be possible - imagine the same would be true on Blue Hill. Also, the routes that Wu proposed to be fare-free run along Blue Hill at different parts, so they could potentially have all-door boarding in the future, too.
 
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