• Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

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  by Diverging Route
 
The project will begin this summer. Temporary Red Line tracks to be constructed, with full closure over 25 weekends. MBTA gets 20 new buses to supplement service.

Story from the Boston Globe.
  by The EGE
 
Math time.

The Red Line runs at 14-minute headways on each branch on Saturdays, and 16 on Sundays. That means that on the Longfellow Bridge there is a train every 7 minutes northbound.

The normal capacity of a Red Line train is considered to be 167 people per car, or 1000 per train. Let's say weekend trains get about half-full, or 500 people. The planning capacity of a 40' MBTA bus is about 50 people. Thus it takes about 10 buses per train to match half-full capacity.

That's a bus every 40 seconds, all day, every weekend. This is going to be an insane operation. Let's hope they're smart enough to add service on the #1 as well to mitigate the flow - the Red Line can get pretty busy on Saturday nights.

From some planning documents I looked at, it looks like they'll be running a temp track over one of the westbound/northbound lanes when the time comes to reconstruct the area under the tracks.
  by boblothrope
 
The EGE wrote:That's a bus every 40 seconds, all day, every weekend. This is going to be an insane operation. Let's hope they're smart enough to add service on the #1 as well to mitigate the flow - the Red Line can get pretty busy on Saturday nights.
They've done this before. So they know how many buses to run.

I hope they'll find a way for buses to get through the traffic light stupidity near Park Street and Kendall, maybe by having cops wave them through. That's where much of the time is wasted. Or if they wanted to get creative, they could close Park Street (the street, not the station), and make it one-way northbound for buses only.

The other big problem is passenger congestion at Kendall, which slows down loading, and delays trains on the entire Kendall-Alewife segment. But I'm not sure what to do about that one.
  by Rbts Stn
 
I just don't see Red Line trains over the bridge running at half capacity all day long on weekends. Hell, they don't run nearly half full on weekdays between 10AM and 3PM, or after 7:30PM, why would weekends be busier?

I'd be willing to wager that most weekend trains are under 1/3 full, even, which would mean you don't need buses every 40 seconds.

For Garden events and even Sox games, sure, trains are busier. But otherwise? The match is good, but based on questionable theories.
  by CRail
 
Ever ride the system during the weekend? The difference between weekend and weekday riderships is that during the week, you see two peaks and a lull between them and a gradually decreasing volume level after the second. Saturdays see a comparable ridership, but without the peaks. Those who commute TO the city (park and ride) to work are replaced by those who are traveling there for pleasure, and those who live and work in the city and use the system as their primary means of transportation still go out and do their thing on Saturday. You don't see the crush loads of the rush hours because the traffic isn't concentrated to 2 commute times (which is why they try to limit bustitution to weekends when it can handle the load), but the ridership is still there. Sporting events certainly add to those crowds too and spikes them to rush hour levels, especially in the absence of rush hour headways. As boblothrope said they've done this before so they have an idea of what they're doing. The only difference is that in the past, they've been able to use the bridge in both directions.
  by boblothrope
 
CRail wrote:The only difference is that in the past, they've been able to use the bridge in both directions.
Good point -- I hadn't realized the northbound buses won't be able to use the Longfellow. The detour via the Museum of Science bridge will make a bad situation even worse.

On the plus side (for transit riders), the Globe article says that during the Red Line shutdowns, the southbound side of the bridge will be closed to all vehicles except the T buses.
  by MBTA1016
 
Detouring past the museum of science will be a headache and a nightmare. That intersection is just outright dangerous, I've seen how bad it can be, it will be compounded if there's any sports or concerts at the garden on the same weekend as the disruptions. I happened to read the story diverging linked to. How does the T expect to have a set of tracks with electrified third rail next to cars with no barrier between the two?
  by AznSumtinSumtin
 
Mbta fan wrote:I happened to read the story diverging linked to. How does the T expect to have a set of tracks with electrified third rail next to cars with no barrier between the two?
No where in the story does it say there won't be a barrier separating the tracks and the roadway.
  by Disney Guy
 
The third rail will be on the far side of the track, not right up against cars.

It would be desirable to run some or most trains from the south to Charles to change ends. Those folks going to Mass General Hospital as well as some wishing to walk across the bridge could get off there and fewer buses would be needed.
  by MBTA1016
 
AznSumtinSumtin wrote:
Mbta fan wrote:I happened to read the story diverging linked to. How does the T expect to have a set of tracks with electrified third rail next to cars with no barrier between the two?
No where in the story does it say there won't be a barrier separating the tracks and the roadway.
I didn't see anything that says there would be a barrier to protect the trains from cars.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
Mbta fan wrote:
AznSumtinSumtin wrote:
Mbta fan wrote:I happened to read the story diverging linked to. How does the T expect to have a set of tracks with electrified third rail next to cars with no barrier between the two?
No where in the story does it say there won't be a barrier separating the tracks and the roadway.
I didn't see anything that says there would be a barrier to protect the trains from cars.
The rendering don't show any temporary barrier, either. But I find it highly unlikely the MBTA would not put up any barrier (I have a feeling it might not even be legal with a third rail present). It sure would be cool to get pictures of "mixed" traffic, though, but I doubt that'll happen.
  by MBTA1016
 
Urby I do agree it will make for some intersting pics, but if they actually do put up a barrier it would ruin a great photo. I'm only bringing up the barrier issue because inevitably a car will hit a train on the bridge.
  by BandM4266
 
Mbta fan wrote:Urby I do agree it will make for some intersting pics, but if they actually do put up a barrier it would ruin a great photo. I'm only bringing up the barrier issue because inevitably a car will hit a train on the bridge.
I highly doubt that they wouldn't put up a barrier of some sort, wether it be a jersey barrier or a temp fence erected to keep people let alone cars out of the track area. You are going by a drawing drawn up presumably by a globe staff member and not too much good comes out of that paper.
  by MBTA1016
 
I'm just pointing out there should be some barriers just for safety. Everyone will find out if there are barriers once construction starts up.
  by CRail
 
There will be a barrier, let's continue...
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