MBTA "Transformation" (Green Line, Red Line, & Orange Line Transformation Projects)

JeffDowntown

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There is a certain level of “shows they give a damn” maintenance. It may not show up in the rider surveys because T rider expectations have been beaten down for so long by the current level of care.
The airlines learned this lesson. If you don't take care of the tray tables in the cabin, can I really trust you are maintaining the engines?
 

Brattle Loop

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You really going all out to defend not spending $100 on new pole paint huh?
As a rider who does, generally, pay attention to the state of the facilities, I'll happily go all-out to defend them not spending money on the poles if it means that money can go to projects like fixing the floor at North Station so there's not a million potholes where the tiles have come up (I acknowledge that this problem is one they are actually fixing) or cleaning the tunnels so passengers aren't breathing in so much brake dust.

I'm all for the "give a damn" maintenance efforts, but, personally at least, I'm fine with leaving the poles to rust at least until they replace all the busted light bulbs in the subway and update all the old maps that lingered for way too long. I think they finally got rid of the one at Oak Grove showing a connection to the E-Branch at Forest Hills and promising that Chinatown would be made accessible later in the 1990s. Ugly but otherwise serviceable poles go way down the priority line (and if the T asked me in a survey, they wouldn't even rate a mention).
 

JeffDowntown

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As a rider who does, generally, pay attention to the state of the facilities, I'll happily go all-out to defend them not spending money on the poles if it means that money can go to projects like fixing the floor at North Station so there's not a million potholes where the tiles have come up (I acknowledge that this problem is one they are actually fixing) or cleaning the tunnels so passengers aren't breathing in so much brake dust.

I'm all for the "give a damn" maintenance efforts, but, personally at least, I'm fine with leaving the poles to rust at least until they replace all the busted light bulbs in the subway and update all the old maps that lingered for way too long. I think they finally got rid of the one at Oak Grove showing a connection to the E-Branch at Forest Hills and promising that Chinatown would be made accessible later in the 1990s. Ugly but otherwise serviceable poles go way down the priority line (and if the T asked me in a survey, they wouldn't even rate a mention).
I understand your priorities, but tend to view the situation a bit differently. The rusting poles are emblematic of the general state of repairs of T infrastructure. They basically demonstrate that the T does not run a sound preventative maintenance operation. They let things deteriorate and break then do emergency fixes at exorbitant costs. Solid, planned PM saves money, but the T can't plan its way out of a dark, crumbling, leaky station.
 

stick n move

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This is absolutely true. Thats been the general theme thoughout the MBTA until pretty recently. Build it, do 0 maintenance until it crumbles to pieces, tear it down and rebuild, repeat. It saves a ton of money on repairs, but you dont make out in the end when you have to build an entire new station. As someone who came from the Marines where half our crap was from the Vietnam era, preventative maintenance can buy you a LOT of time.
 

RandomWalk

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It’s kind of remarkable to see how different the MWRA and MBTA handle their infrastructure. I’m not sure if it’s the culture or the particular nature of the specific infrastructure domain, but the MWRA inherited a mess and made it work.
 

Stlin

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the main point of what the FCMB has been leading the MBTA towards? Everyone knows the MBTA has work to do, but I don't think the plan has changed from achieving a state of good repair by ~2032, and eliminating the deferred maintanence backlog? I would tend to assume that capital availability for expansion will be more likely as basic SOGR is achieved. I believe the backlog has been getting smaller every year, as the multibillion CIP is heavily weighted towards reliability and modernization, not expansion.
 

Riverside

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None of these statements seem controversial to me:
  • Rusting infrastructure looks bad to anyone who notices it
  • Not everyone notices rusting trolley poles every time they visit a station
  • People sometimes will notice rusting trolley poles
  • People sometimes may not notice the rusty trolley poles specifically, but will still be aware of a general "look-and-feel" of a station as being poorly maintained
  • Rusting trolley poles look in worse condition than they physically are
  • Replacing trolley poles can complicate other construction projects by limiting the vehicles that can be used
  • The T is (still) in constant triage mode and a reasonable person might be convinced that addressing rusting trolley poles -- while worthwhile -- doesn't beat out a dozen other projects in terms of critical urgency
  • The rusting poles tie in to a larger public perception -- warranted or not -- that the T is in decaying condition overall and is poorly maintained and poorly managed by leadership who can't manage the "simple" task (again, this is public perception) of addressing rusty infrastructure
It seems very easy for all of these to be simultaneously true.
 

HenryAlan

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I understand your priorities, but tend to view the situation a bit differently. The rusting poles are emblematic of the general state of repairs of T infrastructure. They basically demonstrate that the T does not run a sound preventative maintenance operation. They let things deteriorate and break then do emergency fixes at exorbitant costs. Solid, planned PM saves money, but the T can't plan its way out of a dark, crumbling, leaky station.
But they aren't. The rusting poles do not at all represent a poor state of repair. They represent an aesthetic issue. Should the T waste money on an aesthetic issue when they have other more important issues to confront? Note how the pole is different from the dingy station issue. The former looks bad if you notice it. The latter might make the station unsafe. The money should be spent on safety and operational improvements, not something that is of no consequence beyond visual.
 

JeffDowntown

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But they aren't. The rusting poles do not at all represent a poor state of repair. They represent an aesthetic issue. Should the T waste money on an aesthetic issue when they have other more important issues to confront? Note how the pole is different from the dingy station issue. The former looks bad if you notice it. The latter might make the station unsafe. The money should be spent on safety and operational improvements, not something that is of no consequence beyond visual.
I am not arguing that the rusting poles are a priority.

But what alternative universe considers allowing exposed normal steel to rust "good maintenance practice." Unless we are talking COR-TEN alloy, none.
 

shmessy

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Honestly, I just don’t want Boston to look like Philadelphia. Every time I’m in Philly I’m struck by how little pride/care the city has in its basic appearance. We’re not talking g about a lot of money. Perhaps BU can pony some up - after all they are the big beneficiaries of this.
 

ra84970

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But they aren't. The rusting poles do not at all represent a poor state of repair. They represent an aesthetic issue. Should the T waste money on an aesthetic issue when they have other more important issues to confront? Note how the pole is different from the dingy station issue. The former looks bad if you notice it. The latter might make the station unsafe. The money should be spent on safety and operational improvements, not something that is of no consequence beyond visual.
Not that I subscribe to looking only at the surface and at appearances, but, rusting poles give the impression of a poor state of repair. Just like patchy roads give the appearance of a poor state of repair on streets. While both may not actually be a state of engineering disrepair, it conveys to the public (the actual owners of all these systems) a state of political and policy disrepair. Further, I read it as a lack of actual care by elites and the administrators they hire for finding the resources that would actually improve their state.
 

Brattle Loop

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Not that I subscribe to looking only at the surface and at appearances, but, rusting poles give the impression of a poor state of repair. Just like patchy roads give the appearance of a poor state of repair on streets. While both may not actually be a state of engineering disrepair, it conveys to the public (the actual owners of all these systems) a state of political and policy disrepair. Further, I read it as a lack of actual care by elites and the administrators they hire for finding the resources that would actually improve their state.
I entirely agree that it reflects a lack of care on the part of the state, particularly the legislature. I take a slightly more conciliatory view when it comes to the agency's administration because they have to do the best they can with the money their political overlords give them. That doesn't mean they always do the best, or that they should be immune from criticism, only that I'm not jumping down their throats about rusty poles when so much of the system still needs work. It absolutely does not excuse the legislature and administration from funding the system properly including a proper state of good repair, and every bit of the MBTA's decrepitude is an accurate indictment of the legislature's all-too-frequent indifference towards the transit system.
 

shmessy

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I find it oddly hilarious that people go apeshit over a ve’d building exterior in Saugus (just check out that thread) and then say “who cares” regarding badly rusting exposed MBTA poles on an iconic Boston boulevard.
 
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shmessy

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Today - canopies taking shape at Amory Street station:

View attachment 13733

Jeez, just go to Home Depot and paint the fukking pole. :ROFLMAO:

(BTW, tip o' the hat to CCole for keeping this thread's recent discussion in mind when choosing the centerpiece of that picture of the canopies - - well done!)
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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T replacing the "Nintendo Game & Watch"-caliber unreadable LCD displays on Green Line trains with LED's at long fucking last. Type 8 car 3818 the first spotted in the wild with the new exterior screens. Apparently they don't show any additional characters on a scroll because it's the same old 1998-era ASA computers, so they're still abbreviated to hell. But somewhat readable for the first time ever.
 

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