Seaport Transportation

WormtownNative

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Why cant they get some green line / trolley service down either Seaport or Congress... Jesus Christ connect it to the South End. Or plop it down on top of i-90 to the Back Bay station off to the side a little bit. Start it by The Edison plant, throw some lining down Congress once a few of the P projects .. cross the Ft Pt channel...
Converting the tunnel has been thoroughly discussed in the Green Line Reconfiguration thread, including a new Bay Village station that would also allow for reuse of the Tremont St. incline, E to Heath via Back Bay, and an F Line to Dudley. (DaveM image from the Fantasy T maps linked) But that's another topic.
 

George_Apley

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I commute on the SL semi-regularly (if it's nice out I walk from South Station or ride my bike), and in the morning it can be pretty brutal getting on at South Station. Going home (via Courthouse) can be bad too, very often the buses are full.
Courthouse's huge mezzanine is completely unnecessary, particularly since there's no entrance at the other end. I have heard (might have been here) that when they build out Parcel D (the vacant lot on Seaport Boulevard where the beer garden was this summer), it will include an entrance to Courthouse as well as an underground connection into the building, which will then connect underground to the Fan Pier complex.
Courthouse should have a grab-and-go business or something in it. Why else design it so huge?
 

whighlander

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Courthouse should have a grab-and-go business or something in it. Why else design it so huge?
George -- agree wholeheartedly
CourtHouse could be a under the street nexus for the kind of stuff people like to pick-up on the way home such as seasonal fresh fruits and veggies and provide some services such as ATM, possibly a pick-up point for something ordered from work for same day delivery
 

real_EthanHunt

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As for that ppt... 62% of all trips are in a car? What an enormous and foreseeable planning failure.
Whatever your feelings on commercial parking are, it's not responsible for the drive modeshare. Seaport office commute modeshares are ~20% drive alone, which is pretty great. It's off-peak trips dominated by rideshare that are the major problem, which IMO is good reason to look at improving SL connections via a GL conversion
this is correct. Not sure where the 62% came from, but Seaport TMA just did a survey of office workers in the area and the SOV percentage is half that.
 
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real_EthanHunt

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So, we WANT more people to use the crippled bus option? The point is that the bus is crippled because the state failed from the first instant. Any public transit in an underground tunnel should be RAIL.
doesnt need to be rail. the planning called for 90 buses running in 3 bus sets. passenger wise this would the same capacity as the green line main trunk.
the speed that the buses are running is an issue though.
the lack of connections is absolutely an issue for the greater good. this would be true with rail too though.
Courthouse should have a grab-and-go business or something in it. Why else design it so huge?
it was designed so huge because at the time there was the potential for having stadium(s) in the area.
 

real_EthanHunt

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I commute on the SL semi-regularly (if it's nice out I walk from South Station or ride my bike), and in the morning it can be pretty brutal getting on at South Station. Going home (via Courthouse) can be bad too, very often the buses are full.
according to the survey, this is what most people do--they just walk from S Station. which means the silver line demand could be even higher but people are choosing to walk to make the connection.
 

whighlander

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according to the survey, this is what most people do--they just walk from S Station. which means the silver line demand could be even higher but people are choosing to walk to make the connection.
real_EthanHunt -- The key is adequate frequency

Even the speed in the tunnel is not really an issue as the distance is small enough [about 1 mi] that traveling at about 10 mph means that the trip from South Station to Silver Line Way [exclusive of the time spent sitting and loading / unloading] should be about 6 minutes or less

So how do we insure adequate frequency -- make sure no bus is delayed by the effects of surface vehicular traffic -- in other words tunnel under D St -- so that some set of the buses [i.e. SL0] can loop from South Station to Silver Line Way entirely underground. The other Silver Line buses would be metered into and out of the stream @ Silver Line Way in such a manner as to not disturb the high frequency service [SL0]

Note to speed loading and unloading SL0 should have specialized vehicles which are smaller, more doors and no seats -- with one departing from Silver Line Way and one Departing from South Station every 2 minutes during business hours

The other benefit of SL0 is that being all-electric via overhead wire there is no need for the change-over to diesel or other motive power

Finally a high frequency SL0 can make:
  1. CourtHouse a major bus interchange for the Seaport / Fort Point
  2. World Trade Center [or whatever its new name is] a major Water Shuttle / Water Taxi interchange
  3. Silver Line Way -- the major Silver Line interchange for:
    1. Airport Service,​
    2. Drydock​
    3. Cruise Terminal​
    4. South Boston Service​
    5. Chelsea Service​

Each of these stations will then perform system-wide transportation functions -- and perhaps some of the Services might terminate / original at Silver Line Way -- again eliminating the bus change-over function -- and substituting passenger change to another Silver Line branch
 

cden4

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The biggest issue IMO with transit to the Seaport is that because the SL ends at South Station, it's a 2 seat ride MINIMUM for pretty much everyone. Red Line and SL4 riders can do it in 2 seats. Transfer to every other line require a 3 seat ride. Especially at off-peak times when traffic isn't that bad and TNCs are cheap, is it any surprise that that's what most people choose?

From where I live in the South End, to go to the Seaport on a weekend, I can walk 10 mins to Orange Line, and then transfer at DTX and SS. Or I can walk 10 mins to SL4 (with much less frequent headways), and transfer at SS. Either option takes about 40-45 mins if I time it perfectly. With Uber/Lyft, it's about 20-25 min, no transfers needed.
 

HelloBostonHi

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The biggest issue IMO with transit to the Seaport is that because the SL ends at South Station, it's a 2 seat ride MINIMUM for pretty much everyone. Red Line and SL4 riders can do it in 2 seats. Transfer to every other line require a 3 seat ride. Especially at off-peak times when traffic isn't that bad and TNCs are cheap, is it any surprise that that's what most people choose?

From where I live in the South End, to go to the Seaport on a weekend, I can walk 10 mins to Orange Line, and then transfer at DTX and SS. Or I can walk 10 mins to SL4 (with much less frequent headways), and transfer at SS. Either option takes about 40-45 mins if I time it perfectly. With Uber/Lyft, it's about 20-25 min, no transfers needed.
This is absolutely the issue I hear most from people around me (probably because most of my social circle lives around the OL and GL), and it's why however improbable and unlikely you tell me it is, I still think SL Phase 3 continuing the SL transitway to Chinatown/Bolyston terminal is the real solution to that problem. Before I get an essay in response, in well aware of all the potential problems with it, I still think it would be great. Also would help with the limited layover space at SS (only space for one bus to layover at SS which really limits scheduling flexibility and forces OB bunching. Buses can only long term layover at SLWay.)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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This is absolutely the issue I hear most from people around me (probably because most of my social circle lives around the OL and GL), and it's why however improbable and unlikely you tell me it is, I still think SL Phase 3 continuing the SL transitway to Chinatown/Bolyston terminal is the real solution to that problem. Before I get an essay in response, in well aware of all the potential problems with it, I still think it would be great. Also would help with the limited layover space at SS (only space for one bus to layover at SS which really limits scheduling flexibility and forces OB bunching. Buses can only long term layover at SLWay.)
How quickly we forget that SL III was so utterly defective in design that all service was going to have to do a forced transfer at a cavernous lower-level Boylston Station + Loop because bus travel speeds in the tunnel would only get WORSE upon continuation west from SS, such that the headways would get too gapped out to sustain the crush loads on a conga line of 60-footers. Which not only wouldn't have solved the layover issue at all, but made it worse as buses going in/out of service would've had to hunt/peck for idling pockets on a far busier and tighter loop.

That's not an essay, but it needs to be repeated every time alternate-universe tripe like this gets trotted out on the board every couple months in a factual vacuum.


It shouldn't overly matter if that mode is train, bus, boat, hovercraft, or underground gondola so long as it's the best tool for its stated job. But continually 'stanning for the choice so broken in execution that there was no way it could've done any of its stated job...and went from Preferred Alternative to withdrawn entirely when that brokenness could no longer be poked or prodded at...is just odd behavior. :cautious:
 

HelloBostonHi

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I fully believe we could engineer a way around that limitation with enough time and money. I think it's a bit short sighted to say it could never work. Plus I said extend to Bolyston, not connect to SL4/5. Extend there and end. I've seen the plans and it's entirely do-able. Depending on how much you want to/legally can modify Bolyston is how easy it would be. I see no reason why SL couldn't be located below the GL the same way the RL is below the GL at Park.

What I think you forget is that the MBTA historically intentionally tanks projects it's no longer financially interested in. GLX, SCR, red blue, NSRL, etc etc etc. Often times it's not that they are actually infeasible, it's just the intentional design decisions made to that point have made it worthless. I personally believe that with some fresh eyes and some money that a version of SLIII that connects to Boylston is entirely technically feasible. I know you disagree, you don't need to copy the whole thread as we've discussed this before. I'm well aware the last attempt failed and why it failed.
 

ceo

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I will say, my favorite commute mode these days is the Lovejoy Wharf to Fan Pier ferry. Free for Seaport employees and docks right by my work every 20 minutes during rush hour. A couple of the evening runs make a nice connection with a Fitchburg Line train; hop off at Porter and it's my fastest way home, with much nicer views than the Red Line. Doesn't really work inbound except on Fridays, when I have to pick up my kid from school, so I park near Sullivan and take the Orange Line to North Station and get on the ferry. If I just missed it I'll get a coffee and a breakfast sandwich at the Night Shift brewery. (I have to go Silver to Red to Orange outbound because the ferry doesn't run mid-afternoon.)
Admittedly, it kind of bugs me that I'm preferring a diesel-powered mode over electric, particularly as the boat just runs its engines against the dock instead of tying up to it. I can't help thinking that these days, a short-haul ferry like that could be made battery-electric without too much difficulty.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I fully believe we could engineer a way around that limitation with enough time and money. I think it's a bit short sighted to say it could never work. Plus I said extend to Bolyston, not connect to SL4/5. Extend there and end. I've seen the plans and it's entirely do-able. Depending on how much you want to/legally can modify Bolyston is how easy it would be. I see no reason why SL couldn't be located below the GL the same way the RL is below the GL at Park.
You keep saying this over and over again as a matter of firmly-held belief. For a change, instead of parrotting the belief yet again that magical thinking will suddenly un-break a project that was so thoroughly broken it had to be withdrawn, try positing *one* evidence-backed theory on how one could redesign SL III to not be such a performance and cost killer on the BRT mode. And yes, when the amount of legally permissible digging around Boston Common ended up being the reason they were stuck with such a geometrically constrained and performance-killing loop under Boylston, you're going to have to posit a solve for that one too that involves something other than hand-waving at a prayer. That EIS isn't going to get any looser next time around, they've already exhausted the 'D' team's worth of tunnel alignments including multiple iterations of lower-level Boylston itself, and the speeds through double-decker Chinatown and the loop itself ended up being the anvil around the project's neck not whether it would interline to the South End.

Please start pointing out some obvious rocks they haven't looked under. That's more useful inquiry than telling us we should hold out on unsubstantiated belief.

What I think you forget is that the MBTA historically intentionally tanks projects it's no longer financially interested in. GLX, SCR, red blue, NSRL, etc etc etc. Often times it's not that they are actually infeasible, it's just the intentional design decisions made to that point have made it worthless. I personally believe that with some fresh eyes and some money that a version of SLIII that connects to Boylston is entirely technically feasible. I know you disagree, you don't need to copy the whole thread as we've discussed this before. I'm well aware the last attempt failed and why it failed.
If you're aware of the last attempt and why it failed, then what was the purpose of every sentence of that post except for the very last one? It failed because as-designed it could not sustain headways commensurate with demand through the engineering constraints of that tunnel and its "A"- thru "D"-team's worth of routings around the Public Gardens. It was distorting its costs to boot, and institutional enthusiasm waned...but at the end of the day the bloody thing would not work as designed! They tried. Engineering magic failed to revive the patient. 60-foot buses do not do well in narrow tunnels up steep grades through double-decker stations and through hella constrained loops without gapping out their headways too badly to cover base service. The cost bloaters like historical impacts and severely invasive structural underpinning just made it worse, but at the end of the day it would've exacerbated the Transitway's performance problems, not improved them because service wouldn't have kept up with the added demand.


If you want to be spared the chore of reading an "essay", why don't you take your own last sentence to heart instead of dragging up this fact-free magical thinking time and again every time a Silver topic gets bumped. We get it: the heart wants what it wants. Now try pointing us in the direction of something a shred of evidence says we can actually build as useful transit. That's an essay I'd read with interest.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I will say, my favorite commute mode these days is the Lovejoy Wharf to Fan Pier ferry. Free for Seaport employees and docks right by my work every 20 minutes during rush hour. A couple of the evening runs make a nice connection with a Fitchburg Line train; hop off at Porter and it's my fastest way home, with much nicer views than the Red Line. Doesn't really work inbound except on Fridays, when I have to pick up my kid from school, so I park near Sullivan and take the Orange Line to North Station and get on the ferry. If I just missed it I'll get a coffee and a breakfast sandwich at the Night Shift brewery. (I have to go Silver to Red to Orange outbound because the ferry doesn't run mid-afternoon.)
Admittedly, it kind of bugs me that I'm preferring a diesel-powered mode over electric, particularly as the boat just runs its engines against the dock instead of tying up to it. I can't help thinking that these days, a short-haul ferry like that could be made battery-electric without too much difficulty.
Oof. Don't hold out hope that ferries are going to lay off the diesel any time soon. Ship engine and locomotive engine diesels have an energy density that cannot be matched by any other onboard power source (and for boats, there's no option of tapping the external power supply efficiencies by running that thing under catenary). The prime movers in those things are extremely efficient...spin low-speed using a huge surface area, produce a lot of electricity for the job. The scale is what does it on road loco and ferry modes even while you're seeing viable battery inroads on buses and even small yard switcher locomotives. It's an orders-of-magnitude energy density difference that skirts close enough to the outer limits of medium-performance fuel density that it's not enough to say "Well, battery buses will be perfected in 12 years so ferries are a cinch by 20." No...not even close. You will probably not get any onboard energy source more efficient for 1500-5000 HP locomotives than diesel for 50 years, and probably nothing better on the motorized boating side (mid-class: duck boats thru ferry size) than diesel for the next 50 years. Even while land- and water- craft sizes bus and smaller adopt battery on a wide scale way sooner. It's all about limits of physics and where energy density's sweet spot hits on the bell curve for its given application.
 

The EGE

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Courthouse station was designed for a second set of headhouses when those blocks are developed, so hopefully we'll see that happen. Its mezzanine is absolutely insane and begs for some retail.
 

whighlander

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Oof. Don't hold out hope that ferries are going to lay off the diesel any time soon. Ship engine and locomotive engine diesels have an energy density that cannot be matched by any other onboard power source (and for boats, there's no option of tapping the external power supply efficiencies by running that thing under catenary). The prime movers in those things are extremely efficient...spin low-speed using a huge surface area, produce a lot of electricity for the job. The scale is what does it on road loco and ferry modes even while you're seeing viable battery inroads on buses and even small yard switcher locomotives. It's an orders-of-magnitude energy density difference that skirts close enough to the outer limits of medium-performance fuel density that it's not enough to say "Well, battery buses will be perfected in 12 years so ferries are a cinch by 20." No...not even close. You will probably not get any onboard energy source more efficient for 1500-5000 HP locomotives than diesel for 50 years, and probably nothing better on the motorized boating side (mid-class: duck boats thru ferry size) than diesel for the next 50 years. Even while land- and water- craft sizes bus and smaller adopt battery on a wide scale way sooner. It's all about limits of physics and where energy density's sweet spot hits on the bell curve for its given application.
F-Line -- very well stated
The only matter worth mentioning is that if [big If] we get a new means of Green Electric Generation which is cheap and reliable -- then Hydrogen could be used to run the internal combustion engines
In the interim Compressed Natural Gas could power the marine fleet used around harbors
By the way burning natural gas in your diesel engine is about the same -- Green-wise as using electricity since the majority of our electricity [kW hr] is now coming from natural gas fired generation [some nuclear and hydro balancing some burning garbage and some fuel oil gas turbines for peaking]
 

jass

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Oof. Don't hold out hope that ferries are going to lay off the diesel any time soon. Ship engine and locomotive engine diesels have an energy density that cannot be matched by any other onboard power source (and for boats, there's no option of tapping the external power supply efficiencies by running that thing under catenary). The prime movers in those things are extremely efficient...spin low-speed using a huge surface area, produce a lot of electricity for the job. The scale is what does it on road loco and ferry modes even while you're seeing viable battery inroads on buses and even small yard switcher locomotives. It's an orders-of-magnitude energy density difference that skirts close enough to the outer limits of medium-performance fuel density that it's not enough to say "Well, battery buses will be perfected in 12 years so ferries are a cinch by 20." No...not even close. You will probably not get any onboard energy source more efficient for 1500-5000 HP locomotives than diesel for 50 years, and probably nothing better on the motorized boating side (mid-class: duck boats thru ferry size) than diesel for the next 50 years. Even while land- and water- craft sizes bus and smaller adopt battery on a wide scale way sooner. It's all about limits of physics and where energy density's sweet spot hits on the bell curve for its given application.
Some electric ferries are already out there



 

cden4

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My thought for connecting SL 1/2/3 and SL 4/5 would be to create a portal at South Station and convert Essex St into a two-way bus (and bike)-only roadway.
 

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