Moderators: CRail, sery2831
dbperry wrote:Unfortunately comfort and ideal passenger experience can't drive the boatYou're right. So we should just remove all seats because standees take less room than seated passengers.
BostonUrbEx wrote:He did say ideal.dbperry wrote:Unfortunately comfort and ideal passenger experience can't drive the boatYou're right. So we should just remove all seats because standees take less room than seated passengers.
BostonUrbEx wrote:It is about balance. And 2x2 sounds like the right balance. Any "lost" capacity is really just lost seating capacity. Standing isn't ideal, but it is a brief compromise some folks need to make and many do. Nobody should be standing all the way in from Lowell, no. But nobody from Melrose or Newton is dying because they have to stand. 3x2 is wasting space with all the empty middle seats, and wasting time with people doing the tango to shuffle around and let someone in.If you're talking a 2x2 with more floor space, and the same size 2-seater as exists today, sure. But we're talking passenger comfort, if you're removing the third seat aren't you going to make the remaining seats a little bigger? So you're ultimately going to be at a net loss in capacity - nevermind the outcry from additional standees. All you have to do is look at twitter to see the complaints when there aren't enough seats. It would take a fundamental shift in ridership mentality to accept MORE standees but more comfortable seats. The folks further out would love it, the folks closer in would hate it.
deathtopumpkins wrote:So, now you're running two 6-car sets with seating for 1680 instead of one 8-car set with a seating of 1440. But you need two crews and two locomotives to do it. The railroad industry in general is going the other way. Double-stacks, multilevels, higher capacity cars. More tonnage for the same footage. Of course people care a little more about being stuffed in a train than general freight does, but from an efficiency standpoint the same concept applies - bigger trains are more efficient. So more frequency means more crews and more locomotives in daily operation, ie less efficiency. So now that one train which has 8 cars at $2.5m per and an engine at another $5m costs you $25m, the two 6 car trains cost you $40m. And they cost nearly twice as much to operate (double the crews, double the fuel consumption, double the locomotive wear and 1.5 times the coach maintenance).Rockingham Racer wrote:Good points, but don't you think more cars 2X2 could be used to add frequencies? I know: Trinnau said comfort is expensive. So is convenience. More frequencies spreads out the crowd on the trains that are stuffed. Just my .02.Exactly. Yes, those peak hour Providence and Worcester trains need all the capacity they can get, but in the same ideal world where the MBTA orders coaches with 2x2 seats, they also order enough coaches to add runs. Add a couple extra rush hour trains and I'm sure you could comfortably fit everyone in 2x2 coaches with some room to spare for growth.
octr202 wrote:Exactly. The vast majority of riders see only their system, so they (probably fortunately) don't know what they're missing. I wish I'd had more time recently to ride MARC's K-cars, but one trip this summer was a pleasant surprise. I was making an Amtrak connection and so I had luggage. I was worried when the train was all double-deckers, but the cars had much more seating on the end "mezzanine" level than our cars do, and frankly were far more comfortable than any seats the MBTA uses. The end-level seats were the same high-back "semi-bucket" seats which a lot of commuter rail operators are using. There was a good amount of space for folks who have luggage, strollers, or mobility challenges to be able to ride in normal seats, not sideways jumpseats like our cars.+1!
Conversely, I've also been on SEPTA and MN in the past year (Silverliner IV's and V's, and M-7's, respectively), and while nice, I did find the seating there less comfortable than most of what the MBTA runs. That said, much of those systems operates with a level of service that is significantly better than what we're offered here in regards to frequency. SEPTA's fares, in particular, are a good deal less than MBTA commuter rail.
Passenger amenities can't be the only driving factor, but at some point the MBTA needs to decide which aspects of the commuting experience it wants to embrace for the commuter rail system. Right now we're stuck with a combination of high fares, low frequency, long travel times, and mediocre equipment. It may be the best we can manage right now, but it's not encouraging in the long run.