Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby danib62 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:45 pm

They should encourage people to Hubway around the closure instead of waiting for the busses...
"We are running with normal train service on the Red Line. We apologize for the inconvenience."
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:21 am

It's going to be really awesome on weekends in Boston when we have shuttles north of Sullivan Square, shuttles between Park and Kendall, no Government Center, and possibly shuttles south of Ruggles. Hurray, Summer 2013 Construction!
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby connartist88h » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:59 pm

Five weeks since the last comments posted in this thread, we have now entered the stage 1 traffic pattern as of today. Even though the construction animation video was over seven minutes long, it takes an visit to the bridge in its current phase to understand what's actually happening.

For rubber-tired vehicles and pedestrians, the upstream side of the bridge is closed. Pedestrians use only the downstream crosswalk. Inbound traffic to Boston shifts over the median to the upstream side before the Red Line surfaces, and is limited to one motor vehicle lane plus an unbuffered bike lane. At Charles Circle, green arrows have replaced balls on the traffic lights.

Cambridge-bound traffic is diverted, but an outbound bike lane exists, separated from inbound traffic with a painted buffer and pylons across the bridge. These pylons are movable and it appears they will be shifted a few feet to the left during planned weekend bus substitution, which will operate on the bridge in both directions. It was previously implied that bicycles would share the same lane during bustitution, but MassDOT and the MBTA have changed their minds on that matter.

Though the ROW won't change until the shoo-fly track is installed during stage 2, can anyone confirm whether the Red Line will face any additional speed restrictions during stage 1?
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby boblothrope » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:55 am

Once again I was very disappointed by the lack of notification of Kendall-Park Street busing.

In the Harvard T station main head-house this weekend, I didn't see *any* signs outside fare control.

And the automated announcements still said trains to Braintree and Ashmont were arriving. If they didn't want to say a train to Kendall was arriving to avoid confusing people, they should have announced that each train was for Ashmont *and* Braintree.

They promised to keep everyone informed during these disruptions. Yet someone with an alternative (taking the 1 or 66 bus, etc) would have had *no* idea there was anything going on, until they'd already paid and happened to notice a sign on the platform, or the train showed up with a destination sign of Kendall.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby BandM4266 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:20 pm

boblothrope wrote:And the automated announcements still said trains to Braintree and Ashmont were arriving. If they didn't want to say a train to Kendall was arriving to avoid confusing people, they should have announced that each train was for Ashmont *and* Braintree.

They promised to keep everyone informed during these disruptions. Yet someone with an alternative (taking the 1 or 66 bus, etc) would have had *no* idea there was anything going on, until they'd already paid and happened to notice a sign on the platform, or the train showed up with a destination sign of Kendall.


I agree that they could have done better with signage, but as far as the station announcing train arrivals as Braintree or Ashmont, they need that . People are used to seeing this so would probably still keep waiting for the next train if boarding at Davis sq to go inbound, as they would want a one seat ride to destination.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby Disney Guy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:08 am

Have any of the Red line Kendal to Park busing weekends happened yet?

Yes, at stations Alewife through Central they could put up a terse sign with something like:

Sat-Sun Take Any Train Take Shuttle Bus At Kendall For Boston
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby boblothrope » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:24 pm

BandM4266 wrote:
boblothrope wrote:And the automated announcements still said trains to Braintree and [EDIT: "or" makes more sense] Ashmont were arriving. If they didn't want to say a train to Kendall was arriving to avoid confusing people, they should have announced that each train was for Ashmont *and* Braintree.


I agree that they could have done better with signage, but as far as the station announcing train arrivals as Braintree or Ashmont, they need that . People are used to seeing this so would probably still keep waiting for the next train if boarding at Davis sq to go inbound, as they would want a one seat ride to destination.


I anticipated that issue in my post. As I suggested: "Attention passengers: The next Red Line train to Ashmont *and* Braintree is now approaching."

Or how about, "Attention passengers: The next Red Line train to Kendall/MIT is now approaching. *All* passengers please take this train to connect to shuttle buses to further destinations." That would get everyone's attention.

With the current incorrect announcements, an Ashmont passenger might skip a train announced as Braintree, even though all trains only make it to Kendall.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby CRail » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:08 pm

boblothrope wrote:With the current incorrect announcements, an Ashmont passenger might skip a train announced as Braintree, even though all trains only make it to Kendall.

And the world will continue to spin. These service changes have been heavily publicized in the time leading up to them. If you use public transportation regularly, you should understand it enough to get around without all the luxuries of modern technology. How did anyone get anywhere before PA systems and destination signs?
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby boblothrope » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:16 pm

CRail wrote:
boblothrope wrote:With the current incorrect announcements, an Ashmont passenger might skip a train announced as Braintree, even though all trains only make it to Kendall.

And the world will continue to spin. These service changes have been heavily publicized in the time leading up to them. If you use public transportation regularly, you should understand it enough to get around without all the luxuries of modern technology. How did anyone get anywhere before PA systems and destination signs?


With an attitude like that, I hope you don't hold any leadership role with the T, nor any other passenger rail system.

The world will continue to spin if the T screws up in any number of ways. The T should still work to correct and prevent screw-ups.

Before there were PA systems and destination signs, there were paper signs. But now that we have the additional sources of information, we have to make sure they're correct. Would you be ok with major mistakes in schedules and maps on the T's website, because people used to get by just fine before there was an Internet? Why did we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the fancy electronic signs and announcements if they're wrong?

People who really know what they're doing don't need any signs at all. You could take away all the signs and maps in the entire T, and *I'd* still get where I was going. But the signs are important for the people who need them. When providing passenger information, the T should think like someone who is spending their first day in Boston, and wanders into a station with no advance planning.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby sery2831 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:40 pm

boblothrope wrote:
The world will continue to spin if the T screws up in any number of ways. The T should still work to correct and prevent screw-ups.



This isn't a screw up. I am willing to bet the system is not able to handle an edit beyond pre-programmed announcements. Why not suggest an announcement to the MBTA be made in between trains with instructions to take any train? Or does this already occur?
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:45 am

Anyone notice that instead of turning right onto Park, buses are looping ALL the way around the Common? We can't make passengers cross a low-volume street like Park St to get a shuttle? And then the buses run right past Bowdoin, but can't stop there? Bowdoin is going to be open full hours soon - might as well get it into trial now and allow the transfer. And if we're going to run all the way around the Common, why not stop at Boylston? Not so much for the Green Line transfer, but the Silver Line.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby boblothrope » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:00 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Anyone notice that instead of turning right onto Park, buses are looping ALL the way around the Common? We can't make passengers cross a low-volume street like Park St to get a shuttle?


Supposedly they tried this years ago, but staging and loading the buses on the block of Tremont between Beacon and Park caused delays.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby boblothrope » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:03 pm

sery2831 wrote:This isn't a screw up. I am willing to bet the system is not able to handle an edit beyond pre-programmed announcements.


Designing an automated announcement system that can't handle planned diversions is a screw-up. And if the incorrect messages can't be altered, they should be turned off.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby diburning » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:18 pm

sery2831 wrote:
boblothrope wrote:
The world will continue to spin if the T screws up in any number of ways. The T should still work to correct and prevent screw-ups.



This isn't a screw up. I am willing to bet the system is not able to handle an edit beyond pre-programmed announcements. Why not suggest an announcement to the MBTA be made in between trains with instructions to take any train? Or does this already occur?


The announcements were done by Frank Oglesby. By the looks of it, they're no longer having him do any new announcements since it appears that new announcements do not use his voice. The on-board announcement about elevator service at Park st is done by another person.

The delay announcements at the stations and the voice that tells how long the next train will be is done by the same software (but different voice) as the PTIS and North/South/Back Bay Station announcements.

I don't see why they can't just use the software to make announcements about the disruption.

This is what they use; AT&T Text to Speech: http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php
Feel free to play around with it!

Mike is the alternate station countdown announcements (The Next Ashmont Train Arrives In Five Minutes) (We are experiencing delays of 20 minutes due to a disabled train at Broadway)
Rich is the North Station, South Station, and Back Bay Station announcements (Good morning, may I have your attention please, now boarding on track...)
Crystal is the female PTIS voice on the commuter rail.
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Re: Longfellow Bridge Repairs: Red Line to be Disrupted

Postby sery2831 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:06 am

boblothrope wrote:
sery2831 wrote:This isn't a screw up. I am willing to bet the system is not able to handle an edit beyond pre-programmed announcements.


Designing an automated announcement system that can't handle planned diversions is a screw-up. And if the incorrect messages can't be altered, they should be turned off.


This is something you should complain directly to the MBTA and not discussed here.
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