MBTA Buses & Infrastructure

 
The problem is that special lanes both for bus and bicycle always get thrown down where there already is plenty of room, and that correlates with areas of lower traffic volume. The place is most in need of bike safety as well as bus lanes are the tight intersections were multiple lanes converge. And of course these always are the last places to get lanes eliminated for buses or bike.
 
Saw a 77 bus today painted in battleship gray... whats up with that? Didn't look like a typical MBTA bus livery at all.
 
The new screens showing arrival times of incoming buses is great, and the placed them in many spots near Roslindale Sq. But I don’t understand why they don’t have one at the stop in front of the RMV? This is by far the highest volume single bus stop in the square. @HenryAlan do you have any idea why this one location was neglected?
 
Saw a 77 bus today painted in battleship gray... whats up with that? Didn't look like a typical MBTA bus livery at all.
Maybe someone at the T is planning a quick trip down to Fall River and a more emphatic way of protecting bus lanes from intrusion by drivers.
 
The new screens showing arrival times of incoming buses is great, and the placed them in many spots near Roslindale Sq. But I don’t understand why they don’t have one at the stop in front of the RMV? This is by far the highest volume single bus stop in the square. @HenryAlan do you have any idea why this one location was neglected?

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Likely not enough solar exposure, which is what the E-ink signs need since they're solar-powered (this image taken from the MBTA's webpage on this program).
 
The new screens showing arrival times of incoming buses is great, and the placed them in many spots near Roslindale Sq. But I don’t understand why they don’t have one at the stop in front of the RMV? This is by far the highest volume single bus stop in the square. @HenryAlan do you have any idea why this one location was neglected?
No idea, and I hadn't even realized that they had installed more than just the pilot sign at Firth. @lainpimicaja's suggestion about shadow issues could be it -- the stop in front of the RMV is likely to get a lot more shadow than a stop in front of a baseball field.
 
No idea, and I hadn't even realized that they had installed more than just the pilot sign at Firth. @lainpimicaja's suggestion about shadow issues could be it -- the stop in front of the RMV is likely to get a lot more shadow than a stop in front of a baseball field.
There’s one in front of the thrift store on Corinth, also on Poplar, and I think another where the 51 picks up but could be wrong about that one
 

Today the MBTA Board of Directors awarded a $119 million contract to New Flyer of America Inc. for the production and delivery of 80 new, low-floor, 40-foot battery electric buses (BEBs). This vehicle contract award includes an initial base order of 48 conventional BEBs and 32 BEBs with street-side boarding capability. This contract also provides the MBTA options to purchase up to an additional 380 BEBs.

The BEBs will replace the MBTA’s aging 2008-2009 New Flyer Emissions Controlled Diesel (ECD) fleet and the retired 2004 Neoplan Electric Trolley Bus (ETB) fleet. The contract awarded today will result in the delivery of 10 pre-production buses (five conventional BEBs and five street-side boarding BEBs) next summer. The delivery schedule will then be coordinated with targeted openings of the upgraded North Cambridge bus facility anticipated in 2025 and the upcoming new Quincy bus facility anticipated in 2026. With a design that is 100% complete, the renovated and modernized North Cambridge facility will be outfitted with state-of-the-art battery electric bus chargers and a control system to accommodate 32 BEBs. The new Quincy facility will provide inside storage and maintenance bays to accommodate up to 120 BEBs in a new, all-indoor, modern garage.
 
The New Flyer D40LF retirements are already provisioned for in the option orders for the ongoing XDE-40 hybrid order. There's 300 options on that contract that they can drain. Chances are the BEB options are going to be for expedited retirement/vendor trade-in of the 2014-15 and 2016-17 batches of XDE-40's once they hit midlife overhaul age. The T had stated in its fleet plan that it wants to get out of the business of doing midlife overhauls on buses in favor of more vendor service over the initial lifespans, which can now involve trade-ins since they're almost totally standardized on active New Flyer product.
 
Random thought while I was at Kenmore: Looks like the busway is barely enough to fit three 40-feet buses, maybe 4. How are they supposed to have the 28 terminate there with 60-feet buses under the Bus Network Redesign?
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Random thought while I was at Kenmore: Looks like the busway is barely enough to fit three 40-feet buses, maybe 4. How are they supposed to have the 28 terminate there with 60-feet buses under the Bus Network Redesign?

I've been wondering that myself. It's such a constrained space for a busway. Comparable terminals like Lechmere generally have dedicated bays for each route, plus passing lanes.

Right now, Kenmore handles about 24 buses per hour at the AM peak: 3 on the 8, 3 on the 19, 7.5 on the 57, a bit under 3 on the 60, and 7.5 on the 65. (I had no idea the 65 was that frequent - it's such a wildly peaked route, with 70-minute off-peak headways.) That works out to 960 feet of buses per hour.

Under the November 2022 proposal, Kenmore would handle about 18 buses per hour: 7.5 on the T28, 7.5 on the T57, and ~3 on the 60. Even with the 60-footers, that's about 870 feet of buses per hour. Having only 3 routes will also simply operations; currently, the 8, 19, 60, and off-peak 65 all have long layovers that require buses to be parallel parked.

If the MBTA can move the inspector parking spots and find a better spot for the 60 to lay over, then the T28 and T57 can have dedicated bays (with enough total space for two 60-footers plus a 40-footer) with a passing lane, with the 60 using whichever bay is available. That would be vastly better than current, albeit far from ideal.
 
I've been wondering that myself. It's such a constrained space for a busway. Comparable terminals like Lechmere generally have dedicated bays for each route, plus passing lanes.

Right now, Kenmore handles about 24 buses per hour at the AM peak: 3 on the 8, 3 on the 19, 7.5 on the 57, a bit under 3 on the 60, and 7.5 on the 65. (I had no idea the 65 was that frequent - it's such a wildly peaked route, with 70-minute off-peak headways.) That works out to 960 feet of buses per hour.

Under the November 2022 proposal, Kenmore would handle about 18 buses per hour: 7.5 on the T28, 7.5 on the T57, and ~3 on the 60. Even with the 60-footers, that's about 870 feet of buses per hour. Having only 3 routes will also simply operations; currently, the 8, 19, 60, and off-peak 65 all have long layovers that require buses to be parallel parked.

If the MBTA can move the inspector parking spots and find a better spot for the 60 to lay over, then the T28 and T57 can have dedicated bays (with enough total space for two 60-footers plus a 40-footer) with a passing lane, with the 60 using whichever bay is available. That would be vastly better than current, albeit far from ideal.
Great analysis. That's probably part of the reasons why the 65 was rerouted to Ruggles, and both the 19 and the 10 (the 8's replacement after swapping the western halves of their routes) were cut back to Ruggles.

(The 65's reroute may also be a consequence of the earlier draft where it was merged with the T15, and the 19's main role has been replaced by the T28.)
 
Mbta is raising bus driver pay to 30 per hour. This is a great step.


I was kind of thinking it woukd be raised to like 28, 28.50 or 28.75 or something like that. That's kind of surprising they went straight to 30 from 16.67/22.22 per hour, 30h/wk.

We won't know until deep into 2024 to see if there will be any effect. For now, what we had back in the spring and mid winter early 2023 is still playing out.
 
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At an open house for the project that the city hosted near Mattapan Square on Monday evening, most of the dozen or so attendees were car owners who favored the status quo over the city's proposed "multimodal corridor".
At Monday's open house, we only found one attendee who was also a regular bus rider – and she was also the one attendee we met who was fully in favor of building center-running bus lanes on Blue Hill Avenue.
 

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