Redesigned MBTA

c_combat

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Well, this is the first post for me. I wanted to share my thoughts on what I think would make the T much better. Some things are ideas I've incorporated into my drawing, and others, I've thought up on my own (but maybe someone has thought of them before?) Anyways, I hope to share my ideas with other people that may be interested.
 

c_combat

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It's not done, and it is sort of hard to see at this size, but here is what I have so far.


The main things so far are:

Reorganized Green Line:

I think that if the D Line was made the primary Green Line it would move faster. The B is pitifully slow and the C line seems only a little faster. I don't have a plan for the E at the moment so some feedback would be nice to hear.

I've read other people's outlook on re-establishing the A line. Sounds like that won't ever happen, but oh well, this is all just make-believe. So anyways, yeah.... A line again that branches of the B line at Union Sq. in Allston and loops back at Oak Sq. in Brighton.

C Line is the same. B, and C lines definitely need less stops. Enough years on the B line will drive you mental. I hear a few people saying this and I agree, it should be perfectly reasonable to walk one block to a tram stop.

So to sum it up, they all converge at Kenmore which would be the transfer point to a higher capacity REAL Green Line. Adding another car to the current 2-car setup would seem reasonable enough for this new consolidated "real" Green Line (the old D), as the station platforms currently seem plenty long enough to accommodate such a thing.
But what I am thinking is that at Kenmore, there would be a "hub" in the form of a sort of turn around, not too dissimilar from how the buses at Kenmore operate. I don't know if it would be better above or below ground. One would definitely be cheaper but the other would require car traffic to be altered quite a bit. There are already two outbound tracks and two inbound tracks in Kenmore, maybe they could be altered in a way and tweaked a little to make a sort of underground turnaround.
The last thing is that the in/out bound situation would be very simple (there's nothing more frustrating that having to B's or two C's in a row when you're trying to go outbound a ways).

A inbound becomes B outbound,
B in becomes C out,
C in becomes A out... and so on and so fourth.

This would give more frequency to the kids at BU before it branches off to either Oak Sq. or BC.

So that's my idea for the Green Line. I think it could be done with minimal financial burden as it's more of a reconfiguration, with the exception of new tracks to Oak Sq. from Packard's Corner. and setting up Kenmore for this "hub" of sorts.

I guess it'd be like, "I have to take the green tram to Cleveland Cr. from Kenmore" ....I donno.. green tram.. or somthing.
 

c_combat

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A few days ago, I read this article.http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/columns/2013/10/07/starving-mbta-will-stunt-boston-growth/q4T07EcvpOvmnUc8vjQ9JN/story.html

I had already been thinking of a street car or tram would be a great feature for this new massive district. Something simple. a circulating route with its main terminal at South Station, perfect for all kinds of connections.



It sounds like there will be quite a lot of new residents in this neighborhood and along side the tourist attractions and businesses that are and will become apart of the area, there most definitely needs to be a serious consideration on how people will get to and from here. The idea of a circulating tram, both clockwise and counter-clock wise would seem becoming of this area. A high frequency schedule would make mobility in this area beyond easy for those that live in the district and those that are unfamiliar tourists as well.

So the route hits up all the key places in the neighborhood and is anchored by its South Station "terminal" if you want to call it that. I guess I would...
 

bobthebuilder

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Hi! Thanks for sharing! We have a couple of great threads where people love to talk about this:

Crazy Transit Pitches

Reasonable Transit Pitches

Welcome! :)
2nd to what busses said, however I can't help but throw my 2 cents in first....


In regards to your idea for the seaport, I would rather see an extension of the greenline from the boylston st stop, under essex st (roughly) linking up to the silverline tunnel and converting the silver line to light rail. Run the green line down the seaport, then from there, if we're gonna get real crazy, send the green line back underground somewhere in the seaport (or keep it all underground) and run it straight under L street. I've always wondered about the feasibility of this, particularly the section between boylston & south station

Edit: I realize the entirety of my theoretical seaport greenline from south station to southie probably can't be entirely underground, due to the mass pike tunnels. Perhaps it comes above ground like it does now with the silver line tunnels, then dives back under just after the pike, and before you get to the cruise terminal.
 

c_combat

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In regards to your idea for the seaport, I would rather see an extension of the greenline from the boylston st stop, under essex st (roughly) linking up to the silverline tunnel and converting the silver line to light rail. Run the green line down the seaport, then from there, if we're gonna get real crazy, send the green line back underground somewhere in the seaport (or keep it all underground) and run it straight under L street. I've always wondered about the feasibility of this, particularly the section between boylston & south station

Edit: I realize the entirety of my theoretical seaport greenline from south station to southie probably can't be entirely underground, due to the mass pike tunnels. Perhaps it comes above ground like it does now with the silver line tunnels, then dives back under just after the pike, and before you get to the cruise terminal.
Bob, that seems to be an interesting idea. My main idea for the Green line is to consolidate it into the most effective route. I guess basically to get rid of its branching nature. I suppose back in the day it seemed perfectly fine and convenient to have it everything branch out after Kenmore (and Copley) during a time before sprawl and suburbanization, but what I'm thinking is that it doesn't seem as effective today and definitely not so compared to other cities or even other lines within the MBTA itself.

Everyone I know that has had to use the D Line praises it on its speed, of course it has it's own ROW. I think that speed should be built upon and with an increased capacity within the trains on that line, I think it could become a much more effective line.

I guess the whole reason I thought this was because after living in Montreal for a bit, where the Metro is waaaay faster than anything the T has, I wondered why the Green Line (especially) always has to stop what seems to be always, between stations underground. I'm sure it's for safety reasons, but I bet also because of the way all the lines "bottleneck" downtown, there needs to be extra precaution taken in regards to the movement of all B,C,D, and E lines. If it were one single D Line down there, I would imagine the trains would not have to stop mid-tunnel as there could be more space between them. And if they are longer, and more frequent, I think that that single Green Line could accommodate passengers transferring from the green trams at Kenmore.

I wasn't sure if I should throw this in the Reasonable or Crazy Pitch category. I think some of these ideas are reasonable, but maybe they're all crazy because of the fact that they are pitches at all. Is there a way to move these posts?
 

bigeman312

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Bob, that seems to be an interesting idea. My main idea for the Green line is to consolidate it into the most effective route. I guess basically to get rid of its branching nature. I suppose back in the day it seemed perfectly fine and convenient to have it everything branch out after Kenmore (and Copley) during a time before sprawl and suburbanization, but what I'm thinking is that it doesn't seem as effective today and definitely not so compared to other cities or even other lines within the MBTA itself.

Everyone I know that has had to use the D Line praises it on its speed, of course it has it's own ROW. I think that speed should be built upon and with an increased capacity within the trains on that line, I think it could become a much more effective line.

I guess the whole reason I thought this was because after living in Montreal for a bit, where the Metro is waaaay faster than anything the T has, I wondered why the Green Line (especially) always has to stop what seems to be always, between stations underground. I'm sure it's for safety reasons, but I bet also because of the way all the lines "bottleneck" downtown, there needs to be extra precaution taken in regards to the movement of all B,C,D, and E lines. If it were one single D Line down there, I would imagine the trains would not have to stop mid-tunnel as there could be more space between them. And if they are longer, and more frequent, I think that that single Green Line could accommodate passengers transferring from the green trams at Kenmore.

I wasn't sure if I should throw this in the Reasonable or Crazy Pitch category. I think some of these ideas are reasonable, but maybe they're all crazy because of the fact that they are pitches at all. Is there a way to move these posts?
The mods should move this thread into Crazy Transit Pitches. Why would you want to make headways longer in the Central Subway which is already overcrowded? Wouldn't your goal of achieving a smoother flow through the subway be better achieved by upgrading track and signals? It seems like you identified a problem - the stop n' go nature of the central subway - and created another problem - decreasing frequency.

I'm sure somebody like F-Line can give you specifics, but the reason why the Green Line doesn't move efficiently through the central subway is mostly because of the fact that the signal system is essentially line-of-sight and walkie-talkies. A moving signal block would improve this situation. Also what does sprawl have to do with the branching green line? Are you suggesting we should make it less convenient for people living in urban neighborhoods on behalf of Park N' Riders at Riverside?
 

c_combat

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I'm sure somebody like F-Line can give you specifics, but the reason why the Green Line doesn't move efficiently through the central subway is mostly because of the fact that the signal system is essentially line-of-sight and walkie-talkies. A moving signal block would improve this situation. Also what does sprawl have to do with the branching green line? Are you suggesting we should make it less convenient for people living in urban neighborhoods on behalf of Park N' Riders at Riverside?
Hey bigeman,

That is good to know, I had no idea and didn't really consider what kind of signaling issues there may exist, though whatever it is I'm sure it is out-of-date or could greatly improved upon.

I think having a tram system to supplement the consolidated green line would only improve transit for those in more urban areas like Brighton/Allston and Brookline. I think that this separation could enable a higher frequency on all the street-level trams that would accommodate the more urbanized areas, in fact I think it would greatly improve mobility within Brighton/Allsotn and Brookline. If you could walk out of your apartment and confidently assume that there will be an A, B or C train at your stop within the next 7 minutes, I think that would be an improvement. I think a single Green Line (original D Line) as something where the capacity of the trains and the frequency could be increased.

Maybe though, this single Green Line idea wouldn't work as I think it might. it's still only a light rail, and it's capacity still wouldn't be near what the Blue, Red and Orange lines are right now.
 

George_Apley

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The Green Line needs to stop being a light rail system pretending to be a heavy rail system. Yes, the introduction of the D-line to the lineup screwed up the dispatch to the branches, but I think the new Lechmere yard will help that. With proper upgrades the Green Line can handle the existing branches easily, and with some more hardcore upgrades (selective burying, connection to the transitway, urban ring) it could handle even more.

My (ever changing) fantasy map is posted in the Crazy Transit Pitches thread. The biggest changes that I make to it on and off are the connection between Huntington Ave to Dudley and points beyond. Ultimately the last leg of the Urban Ring is the most difficult to figure out.
 

c_combat

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYQD2ub81sA

I was thinking that the singular GL could have a 3rd car like this video in NJ. This in itself would perhaps accommodate a separate but more frequent tram system.

But yea, improved signaling would go a long way like you say and that would definitely be the quickest and cheapest improvement. I agree that the GL should stop being made out to be a heavy rail.

For some reason I like the idea of trams being something that could be identifiable to the western part of Boston. If it meant that a transfer would be needed to make the rest of the trip downtown, I don't think it would be too much of a pain, especially if the tram portion were to be made quicker via less stops and the "real" GL were to be made higher capacity and slightly more frequent than say the other heavy rail lines.

...All just ideas....
 

bigeman312

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYQD2ub81sA

I was thinking that the singular GL could have a 3rd car like this video in NJ. This in itself would perhaps accommodate a separate but more frequent tram system.

But yea, improved signaling would go a long way like you say and that would definitely be the quickest and cheapest improvement. I agree that the GL should stop being made out to be a heavy rail.

For some reason I like the idea of trams being something that could be identifiable to the western part of Boston. If it meant that a transfer would be needed to make the rest of the trip downtown, I don't think it would be too much of a pain, especially if the tram portion were to be made quicker via less stops and the "real" GL were to be made higher capacity and slightly more frequent than say the other heavy rail lines.

...All just ideas....
I always like new ideas around here, even if I don't agree with them.

Just to be clear...are you proposing that your "real" GL becomes HRT, while the other branches remain light rail, separate from the now converted Central Subway?
 

novitiate

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The green line as it is can have three-car trains without the need to block off the other branches; my understanding is that once the Type 9s arrive and the Somerville extension is built this should become the norm for the branches that can handle them.
 

Matthew

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I've heard the T scaled back the 3 car trains because people weren't aware of the extra car when it came along. Sounds a bit ridiculous to me.
 

underground

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I thought the reason 3 cars were scaled back was rolling stock in repair for the summer when rush hour demand is lower. Then again, summer's over and...
 

c_combat

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Just to be clear...are you proposing that your "real" GL becomes HRT, while the other branches remain light rail, separate from the now converted Central Subway?
Not converted to heavy rail, that would be very expensive. I was thinking that it would just be equipped with longer trains to increase capacity. Since the D line is already on its own ROW with stop intervals more similar to what is underground downtown, it would seem logical to me to make the whole line that way. But with the B and C lines more suited for at-grade tram or street cars as they are now, I thought maybe they could become their own "mini system" in which its lines characteristically remain similar throughout, and that they would compliment a "real" (but still light rail) express-like Green Line, as well as be something intrinsic and unique to the western part of the city.

The whole idea I have for a single Green Line, I was thinking, is to reduce the bottleneck thing I feel might be a factor to why the trains have to stop halfway between stops underground. But I guess that signal improvements may fix that issue.

It would be great if the new type 9's could be 3 cars long, I mean especially at rush hour.

I suppose with improved signaling, all the GL's could function much smoother, and if there were to be less stops on the B, that would definitely help travel times. If there could be some changes to street traffic flow to give the B and C more of a right-of-way, the line would be way better. I just can't seem to justify one or two BU students getting off or on Babcock St. when they could have walked one small block to Packards or Plesant St. Or if you can consider literally running to the next street stop to catch the train you just missed... they're way too close.
 

c_combat

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The green line as it is can have three-car trains without the need to block off the other branches; my understanding is that once the Type 9s arrive and the Somerville extension is built this should become the norm for the branches that can handle them.
I always wondered why there is so much platform and so little train...

I can't think if I've seen a platform above ground that would not be able to accommodate a 3-car train.
 

novitiate

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I always wondered why there is so much platform and so little train...

I can't think if I've seen a platform above ground that would not be able to accommodate a 3-car train.
I think Cleveland Circle has an issue, and the Heath St. loop. (As well as a desire on the part of the T to not run overly long trains in the street-running section) B and D don't have issues though, as far as I know.
 

Matthew

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Cleveland Circle and Washington Square are the two platforms on the "C" branch with cross-streets too close to each other to fit 3-car trains.

Probably could be fixed if there was a will to find a way. But there's not. "C" is the least-used branch, anyway.
 

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