• Gov't Center Closure 2014 Discussion

  • 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 Disney Guy
 
Trains for two and perhaps three lines can terminate at North Station but most of the time it would not be possible to space out the outbound trains to make up for delays during their inbound trips. Trains would have to leave as soon as they change ends (Actually the same problem exists at Government Center today.)

Some outbound scheduling improvement could be had if trains can be stacked end to end on the tail tracks and operators could swap consists, namely the next run (any destination) to go out outbound takes the consist that is closest to the station at that moment. All the consists would have to be the same, that is, no three car trains.
  by SM89
 
I went to tonight's meeting. Here are some highlights:

1) B and D will terminate at Park Street. D will go to North Station off peak. Increased frequency on C throughout construction.
2) Bus loop serving I believe State, Haymarket, Gov't Center, and Bowdoin.
3) More trains on Orange, Blue, and Green during the closure.
4) Bowdoin will be open regular hours like other stations.

Peoples' suggestions:
1) Silver Line to Airport Station so Blue liners can get to the Red Line at South Station without going through the mess.
2) Shuttle/Express bus from Maverick to Charles/MGH.
3) Hubway stations (at Bowdoin for example) so people can finish the rest of their commute via bicycle.

Other comments:
1) "The headhouse is too tall and fancy"
2) "Why do riders have to maneuver through the green line platform to get to the blue line when they could just add some fare gates to the emergency exit"
3) "The Red-Blue connector would have addressed most of peoples' issues with transfers and commute times"

There's more, so ask some questions and I'll probably remember what else was said.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
How are they going to increase Orange service? They don't have any cars to spare at peak hours.
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
 
I was there too.

One of the frustrations many commuters had, was the lack of transfers. Unless you have a Links pass, you will not be allowed to walk from State to Park unless you want to pay a second time. A man in the audience pointed out how they offer transfers on the 39 from the E, and some MBTA official said it could not be done in this situation. He was very flippant about it too.

As mentioned before me, there will be no second entrance. It will only be built and used as an emergency exit. I did not hear or see if that then meant Bowdoin is now saved.

There were several people upset about the Red Line / Blue Line connecter. Any discussion of it was squashed by the discussion leader.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:I was there too.

One of the frustrations many commuters had, was the lack of transfers. Unless you have a Links pass, you will not be allowed to walk from State to Park unless you want to pay a second time. A man in the audience pointed out how they offer transfers on the 39 from the E, and some MBTA official said it could not be done in this situation. He was very flippant about it too.

As mentioned before me, there will be no second entrance. It will only be built and used as an emergency exit. I did not hear or see if that then meant Bowdoin is now saved.

There were several people upset about the Red Line / Blue Line connecter. Any discussion of it was squashed by the discussion leader.
I've now seen 3 different meeting recaps online from various attendees. All of them noted the very passive-aggressive tone from the T.

You'd think they'd send the PR A-team for this one given the severe impacts people are being asked to swallow...right on Hizzoner's doorstep.
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: You'd think they'd send the PR A-team for this one given the severe impacts people are being asked to swallow...right on Hizzoner's doorstep.
I have been to many of these type of meeting, from the MBTA to the BRA. This was pretty bad. Not the worse, but bad. The discussion leader, would ask for questions and then treat them like they were just statements, and never ask for an answer. The MBTA people look pretty unprepared. My friend and I left at 7 because we realized we were not going to get any answers.
  by SM89
 
Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:I was there too.

One of the frustrations many commuters had, was the lack of transfers. Unless you have a Links pass, you will not be allowed to walk from State to Park unless you want to pay a second time. A man in the audience pointed out how they offer transfers on the 39 from the E, and some MBTA official said it could not be done in this situation. He was very flippant about it too.
I was sitting in front of that guy. I wanted to turn around and tell him that they haven't offered those free transfers in at least 5 years now that they've switched to the CharlieCard. It gives you the discounted (bus + differential) when you switch.

Also, I realized very quickly that this meeting was so that the MBTA could address some concerns with the CHOSEN alternative: the station closure. I felt that everyone agonizing over that decision wasn't adding to the discussion. They were looking for ways to address the issues with the closure, not having a debate of whether it should close or not.
  by saulblum
 
Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:One of the frustrations many commuters had, was the lack of transfers. Unless you have a Links pass, you will not be allowed to walk from State to Park unless you want to pay a second time. A man in the audience pointed out how they offer transfers on the 39 from the E, and some MBTA official said it could not be done in this situation. He was very flippant about it too.
I was the one who made the followup comment regarding out-of-system transfers.

The presentation included a bullet point showing that passengers with passes could walk between State and Park, Downtown Crossing and Haymarket -- each around .3 miles -- to make transfers without needing the Orange Line. Unless the weather was inclement, or you have mobility issues, doing such a walk would be usually faster than taking the Orange Line. (Plus it would be good exercise.) Of course those without passes would be forced to pay twice unless an out-of-system walking transfer were implemented.

The immediate response to the first question about such a transfer was, "The Charlie system has its pluses over the old tokens, but such a transfer is not a part of the system." I call BS. It's software. Between now and the start of the project, the gates at the several stations could be reprogrammed to not deduct a fare if the rider had already entered the system within a certain time period. And if that's too much work, then implement some sort of paper transfer that you hand to a station agent.

I called them out on it, stating that the immediate response of, "no, the system doesn't allow that," shows a lack of imagination and creativity in helping riders work around the closure. Suddenly they changed their tune: "We'll bring it up."
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
 
SM89 wrote: I was sitting in front of that guy. I wanted to turn around and tell him that they haven't offered those free transfers in at least 5 years now that they've switched to the CharlieCard. It gives you the discounted (bus + differential) when you switch.
Interesting, I wish you had said something, or the MBTA people. We walked away thinking that they were still doing that and dumbfounded as why they could not for this project.

We were next to the two older gentlemen who took issue with the Architecture of the building, but behind the women who announced how she has sued everyone at the state. I actually like the design. I thought it was pretty good.
I do believe we need to have more sane level headed people at the meetings. Otherwise its overrun with the Bat $#!+ crazy people. :)
  by saulblum
 
Regardless of whether a walking transfer is added for those without passes, such a transfer should be encouraged to relieve pressure on the Orange Line. Transit maps tend to distort the real distances between stops, and even daily commuters might not realize just how close State is to Park, DTX and Haymarket.
  by SM89
 
Honestly though, if you're a daily commuter, the type of person most affected by this closure, why wouldn't you have a charlie card?
  by saulblum
 
SM89 wrote:Honestly though, if you're a daily commuter, the type of person most affected by this closure, why wouldn't you have a charlie card?
Yes, which is why regardless of what decision is made regarding non-pass holders, a walking transfer should be actively encouraged, and supported with well-placed street-level signs. Of course, this being Boston, no extra signage will be added.

I was more put off by the flippant and immediate response of "the AFC system doesn't let us do that" than by whether it would actually impact too many riders. And the number of non-pass holders looking to make the transfer might not be substantial, but is likely high enough to warrant looking into enabling such a transfer, when we're talking about a two-year closure. Every rider making such a transfer is one fewer rider on the Orange Line platform at State.
  by sery2831
 
saulblum wrote:I was more put off by the flippant and immediate response of "the AFC system doesn't let us do that" than by whether it would actually impact too many riders. And the number of non-pass holders looking to make the transfer might not be substantial, but is likely high enough to warrant looking into enabling such a transfer, when we're talking about a two-year closure. Every rider making such a transfer is one fewer rider on the Orange Line platform at State.
This is true. The current set does not allow for it... And if you have not noticed the only thing the T can change is the fare price in the system. And that's all they will be able to change for sometime.
  by saulblum
 
sery2831 wrote:This is true. The current set does not allow for it... And if you have not noticed the only thing the T can change is the fare price in the system. And that's all they will be able to change for sometime.
I have a hard time buying this argument. The card already stores the mode of the most recent trip, which the fare gate is reading, to determine whether the rider is transferring from a bus, and to therefore deduct a smaller amount. What is the software impediment to changing the software of the gates at the relevant stations to see whether the rider is coming from a subway stop, and if so, to not deduct a fare and not cancel out a possible bus transfer the rider might then make?

Is it truly a software limitation, or a matter of no one at the T knowing how to reprogram the gates and having to contract the work to Cubic?
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