Seaport Transportation

ceo

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I didn't see what route, but that must be what it was. Realized after the bus left that I hadn't actually seen that it had pans at all.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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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"
You are still throwing elbow after elbow with zero...none...nada attempt at explaining which purchase that would fit Silver Line clearance specs. It is completely irrelevant if you think those clearance specs are stupid. If stupid is what we physically have to work with, it's what we physically have to work with and no amount of bitching about it is going to get the solution on the property faster. It cuts down the purchase options to where some "40,000 unit"-sold gem isn't an option. Fact of life; we deal and move on in spite of the inconvenience. So filter accordingly, and suggest a solution from what will fit. The 200 pages of specs are PDF'd on the T design standards website, under project-specific documents. Have at it if you don't believe the FCMB on what they claim the Procurement Dept.'s dimensional max is.

It is getting doubly hard to take you seriously, jass, when you time and again refuse to do your own legwork on the same stuff you shit all over other posters for providing. You want exactitude, but won't give more than flip hottakes in reply. It's not advancing the discourse.

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 That's the mindset that gets us stuck with an outdated vehicle design developed in 1998 for suburban markets.
And the mindset that a physical limitation spec is "stupid" instead of a limitation you must real-world accommodate to get anything whatsoever bought that can run on the Silver Line ensures that finding an actual solution isn't the actual endgame...freely being able to call anything and anyone "stupid" is. Oh-fucking-well...the discussion marches on in spite of the content-free jabs.

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".
Nothing's stopping you from lobbying the T to change its statistical formula for bus overcrowding as a private citizen if that troubles you so. Go for it. It's more productive than venting your spleen at the Internet. The fact is the whole bus mode would be unmanageable if they DIDN'T have any metric that sounded the alarm on when a route is overcrowded, because overcrowding DOES kill dwell times. The formula they came up with is the across-board threshold where standee load starts dragging dwells.

The existence of a metric is not the problem, because they'd have no way of measuring what overcrowding is if that metric didn't exist. Whether they're plugging the right numbers into the equation, or whether something as situational as a heavy skew of luggage-bearing passengers means the Silver Line should get a tweaked equation...YES, those are legit questions. And very easily testable by plugging in different variables and comparing to ground counts, so we could be having an extremely productive spin-off discussion on exactly that topic of find-a-better-metric.

But it all takes a little more engaging-of-brain than "overcrowding thresholds are bullshit [*drops mic*]" and hurling insults at whoever inconveniently states that one happens to officially exist. You have the power to suggest a solution for a better metric; stop unilaterally bitching and try it out for a change.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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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.
This is where "Should the Silver Line have a tweaked metric?" becomes a breakaway discussion. Don't shoot the messenger on the fact that such a metric does exist and is actionably used across the agency for all manner of planning; I didn't come up with 140%, they did. And they decided that was the best figure to run with for making big-picture decisions like mass procurements. If there's a problem it's that such formula isn't situationally specific enough, and we need to ID what exactly needs to be changed or added to it to make it better reflect pan-Transitway reality. Where the crowding problem rears itself is not the SL1/2/3 endpoints, but how the headway pie ends up being divided on the mainline amidst extremely limited ability to juggle headways. There's a conflict where the fastest-growing intra-Seaport riders are having their flow cramped by the airport riders, but reapportionment options are limited for segregating the audiences. What then?

The "Is this the right metric?" question should absolutely be part of the full-court-press leaving no stone unturned to fix the problems. But given what we know, capacity-per-headway looms so massive as a primary factor that it's going to be dauntingly hard to add up some vehicle livery and apportionment tweaks within the limits of the bus mode and be able to stay ahead of imminent growth. You're probably always going to come staring at the same bottom-line conclusion: another higher-capacity mode has to come in and start taking up a big share of these headways. At least with a dual-mode compatible tunnel already there you can have your cake and eat it too with that question, as crowd-swallower intra-Seaport trolleys free copious bandwidth for hyper-customization of the Ted/airport buses' livery and mission-specific segregation of those audiences from the Seaport's.

TL;DR...the metric discussion should get thrashed out to the nines, but it can't stop there.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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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.
It could, but that part of the neighborhood is a lot sparser so the ridership would get dodgier the more blocks off-center it got. The original Silver Line CP route was a clunker on ridership because it chose E. 1st as its exclusive corridor for both inbound and outbound directions instead of doing the Broadway/E 1st. superloop that the 7 & 9 do to sweep the neighborhood. And that was at a time 15 years ago before E. 1st's very recent burst of redev when it was a considerably more decaying stretch of neighborhood thoroughfare than it is now. They didn't know it at the time, but in Southie psychology a sweep of Broadway ended up being a non-optional feature for transit demand.

Conley Haul's even more off-center than E. 1st was, so despite the operational convenience of only needing to run amongst trucks it's probably never going to be considered. Then again, the re-stripe of Summer to the E. 1st intersection giving trolleys left-lane separation clears out enough traffic separation (even if only utilizing yellow paint and a few plastic reflectors to do the job) that you're halfway to City Point before ever having a trolley in the same lane as a car. Not even the old SL route had it that good back in the day. A non-optional trip down Broadway really isn't dispatching-scary at all when 8 blocks is the sum total of all mixed-traffic running.
 

Deetroyt

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thanks...i do like this as an option to siphon some ridership off the 7, and if it was greenline that connected to the rest of the line at Boylston it might even take some 9 ridership. Even without those two considerations its usefulness for getting people from east side of Southie to Seaport district would be hugely beneficial.
 

DBM

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From good old UHub--I don't believe anyone posted this yet (moderator please delete if this is redundant):

https://www.universalhub.com/2020/massport-boston-feud-over-possible-south-boston

Only in Boston. Moreover, it's funny-sad when you think of how interchangeable the two public agencies are--for all the wrong reasons:

1.) Both hated for being quasi-publics, with all that entails in terms of lack of accountability and transparency.
2.) Both hated for being perceived patronage nests
3.) Both allowed to amass imperial fiefdoms in the Seaport/South Boston area--which, realistically, no one cared about from ca. 1965-1990 when the area was post-deindustrialization lunar landscape.
4.) Both disliked by other government agencies forced to do business with them because of numbers #1-#3 above (esp. in terms of self-funding mechanisms via landlord status and not having to go begging for taxpayers dollars as far as I'm aware).

Anyway--discuss as you will.

[Moderator: please fold this into any preexisting Seaport Transportation planning thread if there is one; I couldn't find any]
[Mod note: done! -Arlington]
 
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fatnoah

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Rebuild the rail corridor as trucks + trains, ensure connection to Seaport industry, extend to Conley, and problem solved. Yeah, I know it's not feasible or remotely likely, but I can dream, can't I?
 

Arlington

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In this case, I'll side with the BPDA because Massport has put a lot of "people" uses on its land, but ignored the traffic it created, and can't act shocked when those people need a way to get around by transit.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I'd time-travel them both to a pre-cleanup 1985 Inner Harbor and push them over the edge in a photo-op dunk contest to teach a lesson about what the public thinks of their "cooperation". Because it's really not about who's better at their stated job, it's that when intersectionality of roles requires coming together it's always the most lizard-brained turf warrage that breaks out. Every time, no matter what. I don't follow that Massport or BDPA has to "win" here by one triumphing over the other. That mentality is exactly why so much shit never gets done here, and a lot of the progress that does happen is so half-assed and sprawly because it had to progress in spite of the turf warrage at much diminished focus on detail. Nor do I think getting rid of them both and creating a "Seaport Authority" is going to do any better...because then you've got a mega-fiefdom that really really answers to no one and you only have to adjust the map a little to find the next point of intersectionality that all goes to spit. It would be like the Turnpike Authority Redux...hard pass, please.

It's sort of the same thing as with our broken Legislature-by-dictatorship and the rancid politics informing that. Warring silos is the natural end state of Masshole executive politics. It doesn't stop until the public gets mad as hell and revolts or the top elected officials (see: Turnpike Authority dismemberment post-CA/T, MassDOT-ification of the MBTA) senses a mortal threat bubbling bottom-up from a frustrated electorate and acts preemptively before the heat gets expressed in any actual vote counts. It's not easy, but (<--) there's two examples right off the bat of bunkered-in fiefdoms where near-revolutionary (for MA scales) reorg has been launched to ward off trouble from a mad-as-hell public.

Certainly at city level there's enough endemic multi-generational frustration with the BDA/BDPA that similar bubble-up frustration conditions are not hard to envision a future Mayor (just not this particular one) acting on. Because we've probably done our last "rebranding" kick-the-can with that agency, so next inflection point of nothing ever changing is going to have to be a lot more substantial. The nothing-ever-changing of the BDPA always favoring the same old connected developers in a closed process inhibiting any new voices may eventually cause that inflection point by simple fact that the same-old same-old devs are getting awfully long-in-tooth and the 'idea drain' is starting to painfully show on signature projects when they keep getting shoveled the same-olds way.

The company the BDPA keeps certainly has to own some of the disappointing slab-to-slab integration in the resulting Seaport and dead-ender "solutions" to the transpo quagmire that keep getting vomited up by the precious business community like all the Track 61 and gondola unicorns. When you've got a biz dev coalition that veteran and insidery drawing most-favored status for that long, they eventually lose all willingness to get their hands dirty solving problems in addition to suffering from collective 'idea drain'. You can only get away with that lazy tokenism for so long before it gets swept up in an undercurrent of frustration as Exhibit Q of old connected dudes failing to adjust, and thus the culture the BDPA chooses to travel in is going to be the inflection point more than any big show of modifying their org structure.

With Massport it's tougher because their duties are so varied, and self-managed Logan isn't at a lack for dynamic adjustment. They've also done a pretty decent job right-sizing the true biz potential of a 'tweener' East Coast shipping port and both protecting land use (see: Boston 2024 grab-all-the-lands acid fever) that infringe on long-range prospects for economic sustainability and also batting away pure-loser or surplus-to-requirement pitches that overestimate our pecking order vs. the PANYNJ's and Halifaxes of the East Coast. With them it's the intersectionality that bites. Crap like sharing city streets. You don't necessarily need an agency reboot or cultural revolution to tame that overreach...but Massport is definitely begging for its "State Police ramp" moment of digging in too far on something far too stupid to merit the full weight of institutional resistance, and the over-the-top display itself being their undoing.

I actually think the State Police vs. T fiasco does some favors here, because there's a limit to how much Massport can fight a war over lane striping before the "Oh FFS!!!🤬" public reaction in itself spurs some damage control. Of course, the reason the State Police ramp got so hot was because it was such a simple-ass single-point solution that was being blocked for so absurdly long over rank institutional pettiness.

It's a little more difficult when things blow up over divided-attention initiatives...like bus lanes anyone half-practical would back, except that some biz celebrities in the BDPA's "coalition of olds" with free access to the Globe's bat phone are still wasting bandwidth diluting the message with more free association about gondolas and Track 61 unicorns. It's easier for Massport to play intersectional games when the attention is divided at best. I mean...CEO's lazily whining through their City pol mouthpieces that purpose-built Haul Road should be open to regular car traffic during big BCEC events is exactly the sort of anti-focused mission-creep wandering crayon draw that makes it easier for Massport to obstruct across-the-board. If it's known that giving an inch at street level is going to bring a zombie like Haul Rd.-as-highway immediately up, of course they're going to be over-aggressively territorial. It would be lots harder for them to tactically oppose if the original initiatives in-question had reputation for staying on-point.

So, I guess in summary we need a galvanizing mad-as-hell moment here, because risk-averse MA pols have been proven to react to that several degrees before it reflects itself at the ballot box. And that moment is probably cultural with the dev/biz coalition the BDPA travels amongst, intersectional with purpose-built Massport. But it's kind of got to blow up at both in tandem, or else it's not putting enough urgency under both to act.

Do we have any potential flashpoints...the street-level equivalent of the State Police ramp that focuses the frustration on one tangible thing emblematic of the political failures? Or is there enough cleanup of the mealy-mouthed crayon-drawing to lead to a galvanizing issue that will collide at the intersection with Massport clean-angled enough that they'd look like the bad guy for obstructing a tightly-wound initiative? We need more than glancing blows to really clarify with examples who needs to clean up their overreaching fiefdoms in what ways. So what are our head-on collision possibilities in the neighborhood to bring that about? Suggestions???
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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The fact that there is no solid plan to add rail/trolley/street car service to Dudley or Seaport or Southie is crazy.
Well...yeah. Unfortunately that takes bigger institutional fish to fry than just the Seaport neighborhood because the Downtown-end linkup is the be-all/end-all. That would slot as a primary MassDOT/MBTA state mothership effort that doesn't engage the hornet's nest of infighting local institutions warring over Seaport transit. Mostly because construction-wise the dual-mode'ing of the Transitway will be totally invisible to the Seaport and probably not ops-disrupting to SL1/3 except for short-duration construction windows in the tunnel. The most visible surface signs would be burial of the D St. grade crossing (if it hasn't already been done prior) and transformation of various Silver Line Way slack like the turnout + parking lot into an LRV yardlet. The only other prereqs are terraforming SL2 into around-the-block side trolley reservation. And that may only be a functional streetscaping, since the service would still act as a unidirectional superloop only needing 1 curbside track on Black Falcon, 1 curbside track on Drydock, and possibly 1 "crossover" track on the Design Ctr. Pl. midblock for emergencies. Anything else like a branch to City Point over the Summer St. bridge I would fully expect to be a detached (if easy) separate effort from the main build.
 

Charlie_mta

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The fact that there is no solid plan to add rail/trolley/street car service to Dudley or Seaport or Southie is crazy.
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The wide spot already exists in the subway just west of Boylston Station to begin the tunnel to South Station. Just follow the old Post Office Square tunnel plan but divert it to join the existing bus tunnel near the bus tunnel turnaround, and convert the bus tunnel to dual use. The most logical transit project on earth.
 

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