Seaport Transportation

F-Line to Dudley

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You know, the MBTA does have a performance metric of how crowded a bus can get before net accessibility harm starts to take effect: 140% of seating capacity at peak, 125% of seating at off-peak. And that bakes into the equation that bus < fixed-guideway when it comes to how many standees you can comfortably fit before the mode's inherent lateral movement on an unfixed surface makes holding on in crowded confines uncomfortable for most, an outright accessibility loss for others. And worse inside the Transitway where comfortable standing is needed most badly than on the street because of how all-world horrible the roadway's ride quality is.

So before we keep hurling more hottakez about how ripping out seats is always the answer...rip, rip-'em-out to freedumb!...be sure to re-remind self that such hacks are quite literally a race to the bottom for upending the state's own accessibility standards. Which gets us back to the original problem: SL1's airport audience who are boarding at SS and staying put until the Terminals is far too different in needs and makeup to coexist with exploding numbers of SL2 and intra-neighborhood riders who are doing quick on/offs, dwells are suffering from the operational requirement that SL1 and the SL1/3 luggage rack buses do >50% of the heavy-lifting for the whole Transitway, and the per headway loading capacity is far too low with buses to serve all masters on the demand side projected against a very intimidating-looking growth curve. Something has to give...and it bloody isn't going to be ripping out more seats and calling it a day because that LOWERS FURTHER the threshold--statistically official and everything--for what makes a bus too crowded to do its stated job. They've already tried a bunch of stuff, from corralling luggage-boarders to one door and general passengers to the other, to minor layout optimizations as the vehicles have aged and been rebuilt, to having staff with notepads and counters taking a near-continuous stream of boarding/alighting and passenger movement data for 15 years trying to uncover an exploit, to studying the crap out of other agencies' fleets' seating arrangements and what specialties they're catered to. They can't do greater-than 60 footers on the SS loop...so spare us the "this bad boy" pics of vehicles clearly a whole lot longer than 60 ft. and apply filter to the much more limited purchase options that will actually fit in the tunnel.

Nothing small-scale is moving the needle against the congestion trend driven by explosive growth. The problem is deep and structural-operational. Throwing some large quantity of skin-deep easy answers at the wall like ripping out seats and then getting all indignant that "Well, X exists somewhere in the world so 'ur totes stoopid T for not doin' it" doesn't do anything except kick the can another couple years on a problem that then comes roaring back worse than ever with growth. There aren't enough kicks left at the can to feasibly stay ahead of the problem, and getting locked into that mentality starts wasting time, money, and bandwidth on the sheer quantity of ineffectual little stuff that must be sustained to even keep falling behind more slowly against the congestion problem than before. At the end of the day you're still losing ground, and still not confronting the problem that capacity-per-headway is too goddamn low to work while preoccupying self instead with the optics of how to more gracefully lose ground.


The Seaport has a rapid transit demand profile. It needs vehicles that fit that profile: very high-capacity per headway, higher density standard for overcrowding than the 140%-of-seating-at-peak metric for non- fixed-guideway vehicles, and sharper audience differentiation in interior config for the luggage + stay-put properties of the aisle-clogging airport crowd vs. the no-luggage + quick-on/off + need-clear-aisles of the intra-Seaport crowd. The trending has already established beyond a reasonable doubt that every trick in the book thrown at general-purpose packaging of max 60 ft. length single-articulation Transitway-compatible buses won't come anywhere close to accomplishing all those tasks as it hurls headlong into a demand growth tsunami. Won't. All the pretty pictures in the world of somebody else's kewl buses isn't going to change the fact that the headways are functionally maxed, it's a single-unit not multiple-unit mode per headway, the physical dimensions are static, it's a non-fixed guideway with inherently un-dense standee capacity and inherently low threshold for overcrowding, and the same vehicles have to serve divergently different airport vs. Seaport audiences when apportioning headways on the mainline. You have to address capacity-per-headway in a fundamentally different way, or it's not anywhere fucking enough to matter in the end.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Question: Where does the green line end in the Seaport under these proposals? I'm reading as far as the old Manulife building stop under D street but what happens after that?

Also, are we building an....F line...route that goes from Dudley through Boylston via a street car on Washington and then into the old tunnel somehow and then it continues over to South Station via a new tunnel under Essex? I believe the promise to the residents of Roxbury was a one seat ride to the airport. What Silver Line bus service would remain in this scenario?
There'd be a turning loop and mini Lechmere-style yard where the SL Way parking lot is as an operational necessity of being able to turn all service within the grade separation and within the control of the subway signal system. Consider that a boilerplate requirement regardless of how service patterns are drawn up.

Now, assume that SL2 is going to be wholly replaced by trolley because it would break neighborhood transit too awkwardly to force a transfer onto a very short shuttle bus to Black Falcon. Since Drydock Ave. + Black Falcon Ave. form a loop anyway you could probably re-streetscape both, stick a single-track reservation to the side of each street for grade separation, then maybe have 1 emergency turnout on each street capable of storing a full trainset in a dire emergency. 6-min. peak headway just like B/C/D/E, and probably fed from the Medford Branch. Maybe if there's a blizzard out or something they temporarily curtail service to the SL Way loop as a safety valve while the roads are messed, but otherwise this is the bread-and-butter pattern.

SL1 and SL3 continue doing their thing from the Transitway with buses as today. Or, to break out Shepard's idea further...maybe you do bite the bullet and move them totally-surface to BRT lanes. Either way it coexists.


Now, as per my headway maths a few posts up you've probably got bandwidth (because the fixed-guideway trains move more nimbly and don't chew up time at SS loop) to fit 2 LRT branch schedules and 2 BRT (i.e. SL1/3) schedules in there harmoniously. In which case you can either grab the Union Branch or an Urban Ring route (even it that's just a +1 from the GLX Brickbottom carhouse to a Sullivan superstation to plant the flag), feed that through into the Transitway as the second 6-min. trolley branch headway (for a 3-min. total trolley headway on the mainline), and loop that one at the SL Way turnback. Having established that as a minimum service pattern for the second branch, if you're then feeling brave enough you can entertain doing a surface extension of that schedule to City Point. Which would basically be a "trolley-stitution" of the overcrowded 7 bus, Take II of the original Silver Line branch to CP, and an approximation of the old pre-1953 Green Line branch to CP via the Pleasant St. portal (present-day 9 bus). The Summer St. bridge being an ultra-wide 4 lanes means you can probably re-stripe it to have trolleys run traffic-separated left of the yellow line...limiting actual full mixed-traffic running to just points outbound of the Summer/E 1st intersection. With so much grade separation everywhere else...hell yes you could interline a 6-min. headway branch schedule all day to City Point and not have any worries whatsoever about any traffic putting stress on it. In which case, the Transitway becomes a Medford-Black Falcon + Union/UR/"other"-City Point trolley subway and combo SL1/3 busway. Within the same headway margins as today, because remember...total available headways aren't the problem in the Seaport, capacity-per-headway is and you already licked that by bringing the high-capacity trolleys into the Transitway mainline in the first place.

If comfort level is in any way squeamish with ^said^ coexistence arrangement, then that's when Shepard's street BRT peeling one or more of the bus routes out of the Transitway makes you sleep well at night. Remember as well, we've got Urban Ring to consider, and probably a split between north-half LRT and south-half BRT due to where available ROW's are and ain't. So if you're hedging that that Dudley-Southie quadrant of Ring is a BRT build, maybe you bump the two Ted routes out of the Transitway to the surface BRT lanes to make room for bringing that UR spine inside in their place. In which case the Transitway becomes Downtown/etc.-Black Falcon trolley (6 min.), Downtown/etc.-City Point trolley (6 min.), and South Station-Dudley/etc. express bus (6 min.). How's that for supersizing your Seaport transit portfolio, eh?
 

choo

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I don’t see why you need all the same bus types. Why not the high capacity to do a loop to SLW a couple of those mixed in with a few limited stop airport ones — like just SS, Wtc, slw then airport. Even get massport to do a LEX that uses the tunnel every 20 min (would have to be battery bus)

Is there any reason they can’t just fix the roadway, that will immediately increase speed-> capacity.
 

FK4

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Question: Where does the green line end in the Seaport under these proposals? I'm reading as far as the old Manulife building stop under D street but what happens after that?

Also, are we building an....F line...route that goes from Dudley through Boylston via a street car on Washington and then into the old tunnel somehow and then it continues over to South Station via a new tunnel under Essex? I believe the promise to the residents of Roxbury was a one seat ride to the airport. What Silver Line bus service would remain in this scenario?
If you go back to the “green line reconfiguration” thread there was intense discussion on all the details of this ... I wanna say it was maybe 7 or so years ago. I think the one seat airport ride from Dudley was nixed but it doesn’t matter since the routings, other than improve flow massively, would connect Dudley to multiple employment areas and would be a huge win for the neighborhood. The threads worth reading through, lots of good commentary from folks who know much than me about transit.
Edit, F like beat me to it, and looks like it was 2015. Worth reading tho.
 
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jass

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Something has to give...and it bloody isn't going to be ripping out more seats and calling it a day
...
doesn't do anything except kick the can another couple years on a problem that then comes roaring back worse than ever with growth.
And again, I said this is something that should be done NOW because it can be implemented in 9 months while other solutions are found. Anything infrastructure takes years. Buying a new bus is one of the fastest things any transit agency can do because they're off the shelf. No custom factory build in Springfield. No 10 months of testing. No false starts. You send the manufacturer a check and you get a delivery in 6-10 months.

While this is happening, you ALSO look at permanent, long-term solutions.

They've already tried a bunch of stuff, from corralling luggage-boarders to one door and general passengers to the other, to minor layout optimizations as the vehicles have aged and been rebuilt, to having staff with notepads and counters taking a near-continuous stream of boarding/alighting and passenger movement data for 15 years trying to uncover an exploit, to studying the crap out of other agencies' fleets' seating arrangements and what specialties they're catered to.
All this fails because youre using the same stupid bus design.

They can't do greater-than 60 footers on the SS loop...so spare us the "this bad boy" pics of vehicles clearly a whole lot longer than 60 ft.
The point of the picture was
a) More doors
b) Wider doors
C) Continuous low-floor

AKA, the same features touted with the new Orange and Red Line trains.

Additionally, you can have a vehicle of unlimited length with the same turn radius as long as there are enough articulation points.

Which is why Zurich can run these guys in mixed traffic on narrow downtown streets



The fact is, different bus routes have different conditions, and it does not make sense to buy a single model for every line. Overhead wire aside, the only difference between a SL1 and a 39 bus are the two little luggage racks.

Thats dumb because the ridership types and boarding patterns are very different.

You have to address capacity-per-headway in a fundamentally different way, or it's not anywhere fucking enough to matter in the end.
Cool, see you in 10 years when nothing has been done because using global best practices is scary.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I don’t see why you need all the same bus types. Why not the high capacity to do a loop to SLW a couple of those mixed in with a few limited stop airport ones — like just SS, Wtc, slw then airport. Even get massport to do a LEX that uses the tunnel every 20 min (would have to be battery bus)

Is there any reason they can’t just fix the roadway, that will immediately increase speed-> capacity.
Most of the frequencies that used to be pure SL Way loops (and there used to be a lot of them) got vultured for SL3 when it was introduced. That was how they netted the extra route pattern almost entirely through rearrangement of headways and equipment rather than additions, because pure additions aren't possible in any meaningful way against all the forces of schedule attrition slowly working against the Transitway. To carve out any extra bandwidth for a fourth permanent service pattern (i.e. anything more than the occasional run-as-directed that gets summoned to plug a chance headway gap) you pretty much would have to budget for whacking D St. as a starting point. And signalize the whole thing. And definitely treating the ride quality in a major way so that ceases to be a source of future attrition.


No, there's no reason not to fix the roadway. None whatsoever. It was unacceptably bad on Opening Day in '04 and should've been troubleshooting right then and there while the contractor was still under warranty for the work. But fixing it wouldn't increase speed enough to net savings outside the margin-of-error that could be poured back into new schedules. It's more that (1) speeds are going to imminently degrade enough to start overtly harming the schedule if they let it decay any worse than it's gotten, and (2) it's getting to be a form of masochism to be a standee--let alone a standee trying to balance bags or in-use cell phone while holding on--with all that horrible jerking and vibration under-foot.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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And again, I said this is something that should be done NOW because it can be implemented in 9 months while other solutions are found. Anything infrastructure takes years. Buying a new bus is one of the fastest things any transit agency can do because they're off the shelf. No custom factory build in Springfield. No 10 months of testing. No false starts. You send the manufacturer a check and you get a delivery in 6-10 months.

While this is happening, you ALSO look at permanent, long-term solutions.
That is patently false. Buses go through procurement just like anything, take 2-4 years minimum to arrive, and then have a programmed lifespan where you're committed to it even when the next short-attention span tweak you wish you had thought of comes to somebody else's fleet the next year. Anywhere. Scouring the Internet for the one picture of the one exception that beat the clock doesn't end up increasing the odds of it happening for your Procurement Dept., and I would assume if there is actual interest in applying a real-world solution here we'd be filtering first for the things that have...you know...halfway realistic starting odds. Otherwise no quantity of lazy hottakez hurled at the subject is going to make instant gratification any more real-world achievable. If you want to debate real-world solutions in an any sort of intellectually honest way, you'd be taking this into account. This is just noise for noise's sake.

All this fails because youre using the same stupid bus design.
Then find a design that fits the divergent audiences pulling the Silver Line in opposite directions to its own degradation. Pulling seats out lowers the overcrowding threshold, meaning you have to run more headways. Oops...we can't run more headways. Adding doors means finding the make that'll do that within Transitway dimensions, NOT remove too many seats in the process because that clobbers the overcrowding metric, and finding a luggage storage solution that keeps bag-bearing standees from blocking the extra doors as badly as the existing ones. A 3-door bus that underperforms its reference spec on passenger flow to the same degree the 2-door bus is badly underperforming its reference spec on passenger flow because the conflicting ridership profiles can't stay out of their own way...is losing the war all the same. Oh, don't get me wrong...it is a mighty fine kick of the can. But in your own parlance, same ending: stupid bus design fails to address root of problem because same bad thing happening on new bus.

The point of the picture was
a) More doors
b) Wider doors
C) Continuous low-floor

AKA, the same features touted with the new Orange and Red Line trains.
At what loss of seating? You start with 37 on the luggage rack buses, and you can only board 52 before the bus is statistically overcrowded. You're going to reduce that threshold how much further to widen the doors, add doors? You're still lowering the overcrowding threshold when the overcrowding threshold IS the problem. Can-kick...PUNT! Then the comparison with HRT trains, the very densest capacity mode of them all when it comes to standee capacity before overcrowding. The old door-poor Orange trains started at 348 per train and are reducing to 282 per door-ful new train...about 82% of old but at outright IMPROVEMENT to the supportable standee density. Red 378 per train of door-poor 015/016/017-series trains to 300 on the 01800's, 279 on the 01900's. Barely any change at all from the 25-year-old cars, but a similar outright improvement to standee density from the oldest cars.

Do you see what the difference-maker to crowding actually is, what's moving the needle the most, and where the mode choices start moving in opposite directions? It's not the number of seats or doors, it's the passenger density the vehicle can support before it becomes too overcrowded to do all its schedule-making tasks accessibly. Whatever 'something' the deletion of seats or addition of doors does on the plus side tomorrow to the bus on egress flow it's doing something else to supportable density the demand growth is preying on.

Additionally, you can have a vehicle of unlimited length with the same turn radius as long as there are enough articulation points.

Which is why Zurich can run these guys in mixed traffic on narrow downtown streets



The fact is, different bus routes have different conditions, and it does not make sense to buy a single model for every line. Overhead wire aside, the only difference between a SL1 and a 39 bus are the two little luggage racks.
Narrow streets are not a subway tunnel. Multi-artic buses aren't looping line-of-sight in a cavern chopped up by support columns. The Transitway is different. It has a whole 200-page hyper-technical specs manual of very project-specific vehicle requirements that are very much not MUTCD-standard and special-as-a-snowflake to the Transitway and any/all components of a hypothetical Phase III. They include things like wholly separate operating conditions in open vs. pinched tunnel segments, such that it's not enough for geometric OK'ness in reference operating conditions but there must also be full evacuation space around a stuck vehicle or else the geometry (onboard or lineside) must default to more restrictive allowances.

I am not taking a whole course in Elementary Differential Equations to prove to the last foot and last artic joint the absolute maximum size vehicle you can fit in there. Do that yourself if you're truly curious. But it is NOT a reference spec liftable from any old city using any old turning radius. It's T-specific, Transitway-specific. It is. All the Google Image Searches in the world that don't attempt to answer "Does this fit the Transitway specs?" are a waste of time. If they say they're pinned into 60-footers with 1 artic joint as a procurement target, that's because it's overwhelmingly statistically likely it's the closest matching reference spec you can buy off-shelf with widely competitive bidding. As opposed to some 69.125 ft. unicorn with a custom-design rear artic joint that fits the Transitway spec like a speedo but is manufactured by absolutely no one's current assembly line. I am more willing to take their word on that from a long-winded FCMB fleet presentation than I am some context-free picture of a Zurich trackless trolley, whether that makes me a quitter or not.

Thats dumb because the ridership types and boarding patterns are very different.
Now we're getting somewhere...but in the wrong way. Yes, the ridership types are different. That's the whole problem. People riding inside the Seaport have to get on/off quicker than the Airport riders who are staying put--with their luggage positioned wherever it is be that blocking a door or not--until the terminals. But because Transitway headways are finite and the capacity-per-headway so low, the intra-Seaport riders who have to move fast get crammed in with the luggage-bearing riders who aren't moving at all on the same vehicles without differentiation. Worse, the luggage-rack equipped buses that have the lowest overcrowding threshold of all have to carry somewhat more than half the water for the whole mainline's frequency pie.

Now, what's going to address that? The same people who have to move must get around the same people who aren't moving with their luggage regardless of what you do to the bus's interior. Removing seats exacerbates the situation by lowering the threshold for schedule-damaging overcrowding. The growth curve is shoveling more intra-Seaport riders into direct conflict with all those luggage-bearers.

Rearranging vehicle livery is some exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if you aren't doing something to segregate the audiences within the headway cap or lift the capacity-per-headway ceiling. You can do it to some streamlining benefit while plotting the answers to the hard questions, but if voice is just going to trail off into the distance every time the quickest hottakez have to pivot to the hard stuff and the long game...it's just wasting time.

So what are your ideas, jass, for pivoting to the hard solves? If we're so interested in putting every solution on the table.


Cool, see you in 10 years when nothing has been done because using global best practices is scary.
Cool. In the meantime we're having a great discussion here covering a whole multitude of juicy issues and multi-faceted solves while you'll still be posting flip image hottakes and calling out haters. Not a hard choice for my interests.
 

George_Apley

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Here's a rough visualization of what F-Line described. At least, I think it's pretty close. May be off the street grid from what he discussed.

1575505380338.png
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Here's a rough visualization of what F-Line described. At least, I think it's pretty close. May be off the street grid from what he discussed.

View attachment 1632
Close.

I was thinking more that the SL2 replacement goes down Drydock Ave. and returns on Black Falcon Ave. in a sort of unidirectional super-loop to sweep the neighborhood. It would allow you to slim down the profile to just single-track the whole way around the block such that you can re-streetscape said curbside track into its own reservation so the branch could be done free of any "pure" street-running. So long as there were emergency turnouts on each street for stuffing a disabled car in a pinch an around-the-block loop with single track would work fine, and probably strike the best balance on street config. It's a very common arrangement on many LRT systems.

Stick the SL Way loop in there, too, as that's the demarcation point for "end-subway/begin-surface" and the throttle point for maintaining full Transitway-Downtown schedules should any disablements happen on the surface. And I was also figuring that Branch #2 loops there from Day 1 to net the 3-min. headway target in the tunnel before you go on to build the City Point surface line, such that achieving maximal Transitway throughput isn't direct-dependent on making an up/down decision on whether to go to CP.
 

FK4

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Any idea on the cost of putting light rail here? With and without tying it into the green line?
 

Tallguy

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Wouldn't a fixed guideway https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_bus
increase headways by allowing higher speeds? In addition, it would more easily allow mixed use if/when GL is in the tunnel. And, yes, D st would need to be dealt with. Is there any data on how much Logan traffic is to/from SS and how much is BCEC? The more that is SS, the more sense to run LEX out of the Bus Terminal, rather than through the Seaport. Maybe the new tower could bring a ramp even closer to the headhouse for a more seemless transfer?
 

JeffDowntown

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That is patently false. Buses go through procurement just like anything, take 2-4 years minimum to arrive, and then have a programmed lifespan where you're committed to it even when the next short-attention span tweak you wish you had thought of comes to somebody else's fleet the next year. Anywhere. Scouring the Internet for the one picture of the one exception that beat the clock doesn't end up increasing the odds of it happening for your Procurement Dept., and I would assume if there is actual interest in applying a real-world solution here we'd be filtering first for the things that have...you know...halfway realistic starting odds. Otherwise no quantity of lazy hottakez hurled at the subject is going to make instant gratification any more real-world achievable. If you want to debate real-world solutions in an any sort of intellectually honest way, you'd be taking this into account. This is just noise for noise's sake.



Then find a design that fits the divergent audiences pulling the Silver Line in opposite directions to its own degradation. Pulling seats out lowers the overcrowding threshold, meaning you have to run more headways. Oops...we can't run more headways. Adding doors means finding the make that'll do that within Transitway dimensions, NOT remove too many seats in the process because that clobbers the overcrowding metric, and finding a luggage storage solution that keeps bag-bearing standees from blocking the extra doors as badly as the existing ones. A 3-door bus that underperforms its reference spec on passenger flow to the same degree the 2-door bus is badly underperforming its reference spec on passenger flow because the conflicting ridership profiles can't stay out of their own way...is losing the war all the same. Oh, don't get me wrong...it is a mighty fine kick of the can. But in your own parlance, same ending: stupid bus design fails to address root of problem because same bad thing happening on new bus.



At what loss of seating? You start with 37 on the luggage rack buses, and you can only board 52 before the bus is statistically overcrowded. You're going to reduce that threshold how much further to widen the doors, add doors? You're still lowering the overcrowding threshold when the overcrowding threshold IS the problem. Can-kick...PUNT! Then the comparison with HRT trains, the very densest capacity mode of them all when it comes to standee capacity before overcrowding. The old door-poor Orange trains started at 348 per train and are reducing to 282 per door-ful new train...about 82% of old but at outright IMPROVEMENT to the supportable standee density. Red 378 per train of door-poor 015/016/017-series trains to 300 on the 01800's, 279 on the 01900's. Barely any change at all from the 25-year-old cars, but a similar outright improvement to standee density from the oldest cars.

Do you see what the difference-maker to crowding actually is, what's moving the needle the most, and where the mode choices start moving in opposite directions? It's not the number of seats or doors, it's the passenger density the vehicle can support before it becomes too overcrowded to do all its schedule-making tasks accessibly. Whatever 'something' the deletion of seats or addition of doors does on the plus side tomorrow to the bus on egress flow it's doing something else to supportable density the demand growth is preying on.



Narrow streets are not a subway tunnel. Multi-artic buses aren't looping line-of-sight in a cavern chopped up by support columns. The Transitway is different. It has a whole 200-page hyper-technical specs manual of very project-specific vehicle requirements that are very much not MUTCD-standard and special-as-a-snowflake to the Transitway and any/all components of a hypothetical Phase III. They include things like wholly separate operating conditions in open vs. pinched tunnel segments, such that it's not enough for geometric OK'ness in reference operating conditions but there must also be full evacuation space around a stuck vehicle or else the geometry (onboard or lineside) must default to more restrictive allowances.

I am not taking a whole course in Elementary Differential Equations to prove to the last foot and last artic joint the absolute maximum size vehicle you can fit in there. Do that yourself if you're truly curious. But it is NOT a reference spec liftable from any old city using any old turning radius. It's T-specific, Transitway-specific. It is. All the Google Image Searches in the world that don't attempt to answer "Does this fit the Transitway specs?" are a waste of time. If they say they're pinned into 60-footers with 1 artic joint as a procurement target, that's because it's overwhelmingly statistically likely it's the closest matching reference spec you can buy off-shelf with widely competitive bidding. As opposed to some 69.125 ft. unicorn with a custom-design rear artic joint that fits the Transitway spec like a speedo but is manufactured by absolutely no one's current assembly line. I am more willing to take their word on that from a long-winded FCMB fleet presentation than I am some context-free picture of a Zurich trackless trolley, whether that makes me a quitter or not.



Now we're getting somewhere...but in the wrong way. Yes, the ridership types are different. That's the whole problem. People riding inside the Seaport have to get on/off quicker than the Airport riders who are staying put--with their luggage positioned wherever it is be that blocking a door or not--until the terminals. But because Transitway headways are finite and the capacity-per-headway so low, the intra-Seaport riders who have to move fast get crammed in with the luggage-bearing riders who aren't moving at all on the same vehicles without differentiation. Worse, the luggage-rack equipped buses that have the lowest overcrowding threshold of all have to carry somewhat more than half the water for the whole mainline's frequency pie.

Now, what's going to address that? The same people who have to move must get around the same people who aren't moving with their luggage regardless of what you do to the bus's interior. Removing seats exacerbates the situation by lowering the threshold for schedule-damaging overcrowding. The growth curve is shoveling more intra-Seaport riders into direct conflict with all those luggage-bearers.

Rearranging vehicle livery is some exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if you aren't doing something to segregate the audiences within the headway cap or lift the capacity-per-headway ceiling. You can do it to some streamlining benefit while plotting the answers to the hard questions, but if voice is just going to trail off into the distance every time the quickest hottakez have to pivot to the hard stuff and the long game...it's just wasting time.

So what are your ideas, jass, for pivoting to the hard solves? If we're so interested in putting every solution on the table.




Cool. In the meantime we're having a great discussion here covering a whole multitude of juicy issues and multi-faceted solves while you'll still be posting flip image hottakes and calling out haters. Not a hard choice for my interests.
The mixed ridership challenge on the SL buses is one I am surprised hasn't been dealt with via route segregation.

SL1 Express South Station to Logan -- no Seaport stops
SL0 Express World Trade Center to Logan -- no other stops (for the BCEC crowds)

SL2 and SL3 make all stops
 

millerm277

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And again, I said this is something that should be done NOW because it can be implemented in 9 months while other solutions are found. Anything infrastructure takes years. Buying a new bus is one of the fastest things any transit agency can do because they're off the shelf. No custom factory build in Springfield. No 10 months of testing. No false starts. You send the manufacturer a check and you get a delivery in 6-10 months.
In addition to the reasons F-Line mentioned:

The existing ones aren't off the shelf buses. The T just rebuilt them all in that problematic contract with whatever company in Maine because they have basically no idea what they're going to do for replacements and are trying to buy time to figure that out.

Neoplan quit the US market. I don't believe any manufacturer is making dual-mode electric buses for the US market at present, so anything they want to order is going to be some long-lead time custom creation, or they're going to have to move to a different propulsion model (all battery, or extended-range battery + diesel) that they obviously aren't prepared to write a contract for today.

They're only just starting to test buses with different battery options and are a long way from being able to make a large order of those or having the other infrastructure that's potentially needed in place for them.
 

Deetroyt

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Close.

I was thinking more that the SL2 replacement goes down Drydock Ave. and returns on Black Falcon Ave. in a sort of unidirectional super-loop to sweep the neighborhood. It would allow you to slim down the profile to just single-track the whole way around the block such that you can re-streetscape said curbside track into its own reservation so the branch could be done free of any "pure" street-running. So long as there were emergency turnouts on each street for stuffing a disabled car in a pinch an around-the-block loop with single track would work fine, and probably strike the best balance on street config. It's a very common arrangement on many LRT systems.

Stick the SL Way loop in there, too, as that's the demarcation point for "end-subway/begin-surface" and the throttle point for maintaining full Transitway-Downtown schedules should any disablements happen on the surface. And I was also figuring that Branch #2 loops there from Day 1 to net the 3-min. headway target in the tunnel before you go on to build the City Point surface line, such that achieving maximal Transitway throughput isn't direct-dependent on making an up/down decision on whether to go to CP.
Would it be possible for the CP branch to use that new bridge from Summer street behind the power plant, or is that reserved for trucks using the Conley terminal? I'm imagining this route getting stuck in traffic anywhere south of E. First st.
 

jass

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F-line, it's hard to take you seriously when you call a bus that has sold 40,000 units manufactured by one of the biggest vehicle companies in the world "the one exception"

Once again, it shows that in your mind, anything outside the northeast US doesn't exist. That's the mindset that gets us stuck with an outdated vehicle design developed in 1998 for suburban markets.

It reminds me of the same bullshit you hear from US transit agencies and open gangways on trains.

You also talk extensively about the "overcrowding threshold." Huh? You mean an internal policy metric that could easily be modified? You want to handicap vehicle procurement because somebody at one point came up with that number?

Removing seats means more people fit. That doesn't mean the bus is "overcrowded" it means you increased capacity by 15% at a cost of zero. Adding more doors means theres no time penalty in loading and unloading those extra bodies.

What matters is dwell time. Thats why dictates headways and overall capacity. Not some bullshit "overcrowding threshold".

The existing ones aren't off the shelf buses. The T just rebuilt them all in that problematic contract with whatever company in Maine because they have basically no idea what they're going to do for replacements and are trying to buy time to figure that out.
This is true, which is why I said "propulsion issues aside". What propulsion you choose has no relationship with your interior seating configuration. It DOES affect other structural decisions like 100% low-floor and extra doors because of how the external skeleton needs to be set up.

I don't believe any manufacturer is making dual-mode electric buses for the US market at present, so anything they want to order is going to be some long-lead time custom creation
Thats what the MBTA is looking at. But they dont have to.

Buy America rules only apply if you use federal funds. If the MBTA uses state funds, they can buy any bus thev want, right off the shelf. I dont know if anyone is making the dual-mode electric buses for France or China or Brazil, but if someone is, the MBTA should take a good hard look at that, rather than some Frankenstein custom creation that will fall apart in 4 years.
 

ulrichomega

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You also talk extensively about the "overcrowding threshold." Huh? You mean an internal policy metric that could easily be modified? You want to handicap vehicle procurement because somebody at one point came up with that number?

Removing seats means more people fit. That doesn't mean the bus is "overcrowded" it means you increased capacity by 15% at a cost of zero. Adding more doors means theres no time penalty in loading and unloading those extra bodies.
This is the one I don't get. Removing seats lowers capacity? Why does an arbitrary metric that applies to normal buses need to apply to the Silver Line? I mean, I get why (the Silver Line is a bus), but why does it need to? Just because that's how things are now doesn't mean they can't change, but this is a problem I have with a lot of F-Line's comments. I get how riders on the longer routes to Chelsea and the Airport might want to sit for the whole length, but surely we can modify some of the buses in the short term to increase standing capacity. SL2 riders would surely be okay with some standing required if it meant they can actually get on a bus rather than needing to wait for the next one. Of course it's not going to solve literally every problem the Silver Line has. I'm not on the "just buy better buses" boat because of the procurement process taking a long time, but that's a separate issue.
 

ceo

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Do the dual-mode buses have some battery capacity? Yesterday while I was waiting at Courthouse, an outbound bus came through with its pans down, and I'm pretty sure the engine wasn't running.
Actually, doesn't the T have a couple of battery-electric artics on eval? Might have been one of those.
 

ulrichomega

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Do the dual-mode buses have some battery capacity? Yesterday while I was waiting at Courthouse, an outbound bus came through with its pans down, and I'm pretty sure the engine wasn't running.
Actually, doesn't the T have a couple of battery-electric artics on eval? Might have been one of those.
Was it an SL3 bus? I want to say they procured some battery buses for that route.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Was it an SL3 bus? I want to say they procured some battery buses for that route.
They've been running most of the BEB and Extended Range Hybrids on SL2 actually but thats probably what it was they still head through SL Way
 

ulrichomega

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They've been running most of the BEB and Extended Range Hybrids on SL2 actually but thats probably what it was they still head through SL Way
Ah. I was just aware they'd augmented the fleet and assumed the new buses would be on that route. Good to know!
 

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