Late Night Service Discussion

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby wicked » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:38 am

NH2060 wrote:
connartist88h wrote:Has there been any consideration of single-track overnight operations? I know the Munich U-Bahn has sent inbound and outbound trains to the same platform during scheduled overnight construction. This would be a viable option if service is provided with headways of twenty minutes or more, and sufficient switch-tracks exist.

The only problem I see with this is people running down to catch their train on one platform (i.e. "OUTBOUND TO RIVERSIDE") not knowing that the other platform (i.e. "INBOUND TO LECHMERE") is where they need to be to get onboard until the train comes in; especially at stations that don't have automated announcements and/or electronic information boards. This could be even more problematic for those who have "had a few too many" ;-)

If the T were to post large message boards at the entrances to each station stating something like "ATTENTION WEEKEND RIDERS: AFTER 12:30AM ALL NIGHT OWL SERVICE TRAINS WILL USE THE ___________ PLATFORM" then there's a lower risk for confusion.


When WMATA single-tracks through stations, it puts up physical barriers. At dual platform stations, that means cutting off access to the out-of-service platform, at island stations it usually involves putting up some of that plastic temporary yellow "fencing" on the side that's not being used.
wicked
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:17 pm
Location: MBTA Red Line, formerly WMATA Blue/Yellow

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bozepravde15 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:51 pm

Let the craziness begin...it appears from this Globe story at least, the night owl is coming back (albeit probably not with that name)

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/201 ... aign=sm_tw

"Starting next year, the T will run all subway trains and the 15 most popular bus routes until 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, the T is still cash-strapped, and the state budget remains tight, but Governor Deval Patrick has found about $20 million, along with pledges from corporate sponsors, to launch a one-year pilot program to begin in March or April."
bozepravde15
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:28 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby wicked » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:17 pm

I would think the T could get sponsors to foot most of the bill for this, if its marketing department were really creative. Right now, Patrick/Davey said the state is hoping sponsors pony up $2m to $5m.

Also note that the Globe has a sponsorship deal tentatively in place, and that's probably why it got the scoop.
wicked
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:17 pm
Location: MBTA Red Line, formerly WMATA Blue/Yellow

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bozepravde15 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:17 am

Well that was fast. The Globe story is gone (Adam Gaffin on Universal Hub also had to update his story). Also via UH, a link to the story on WHDH http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/loca ... d-service/

Too good to be true?

EDIT: Globe story is back up, about 45 minutes after it disappeared. Even so, going to wait to hear official word from the MBTA before I get my hopes up.
bozepravde15
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:28 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:00 am

Here's hoping they eventually add later commuter rail trips as well. Those of us from the suburbs who don't drive into the city already have to spend the night if we want to stay past 10 or 11 pm, which is now going to be 4-5 hours before the T stops running.
Call me Connor or DTP

Railfan & Roadgeek from the North Shore of Mass.
deathtopumpkins
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:56 am
Location: Somerville, MA

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby StefanW » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:26 am

I haven't seen anyone yet mention the previous work by the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee which laid the foundation for this current 1-year trial. Hopefully the revamped University Pass program will indeed be a long-term solution to funding the Late Night weekend service. I think the $20 million plus corporate sponsorship is likely a one-time funding measure to get the late-night service off the ground while the BU MBA students are doing their work.

It goes back to this past summer:
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/07/22/mbat-late-night-service-rider-oversight-committee/
bostonmagazine.com wrote:The MBTA Rider Oversight Committee, which operates on its own and discusses customer service improvements and service quality issues at their monthly meetings, will submit an official recommendation to MBTA board members on July 29, regarding a means to fund overnight service through the use of a re-envisioned college student pass program similar to those used by universities all around the country. Earlier this year, the committee tasked themselves with finding a way to make overnight service a reality by sending out a survey asking riders how they felt about adding the amenity. After receiving thousands of favorable responses, the committee put together their proposal, which offers ways to implement the service without adding to the MBTA’s existing debt load, according to their report.


The ROC report is http://mbtaroc.com/documents/other/MBTA_UPass_Report_20130718.pdf and there's also a presentation: http://mbtaroc.com/documents/other/MBTA_UPass_Presentation_20130729.pdf

Finally, this was some coverage of the University Pass program potential overhaul which would fund late-night:
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/11/14/mbta-student-semester-pass-program-boston-university-survey/

Without the funding from a new University Pass program I don't think the late-night service (even just Friday and Saturday nights) will be sustainable.
User avatar
StefanW
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:27 pm
Location: Lynn, MA / MP 11.53

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Rbts Stn » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:02 am

I really hope this works this time. I have many many fears about it happening, not limited to (in no particular order)

1) Running out of money after one year (or less)
2) Union rules we don't know about that restrict shifts or pay triple time or something similar raising costs substantially
3) Union rules that require police officers to ride routes after 1AM raising costs substantially
4) Crime issues that require police officers to ride these routes raising costs substantially
5) NIMBYs pulling out promises made 20 years ago that trains wouldn't ride in their backyards between certain hours of the morning


Perhaps they will raise fares on the Late Night Chuck routes to $5 or $7 to help cover costs? Still much cheaper than a taxi, or driving into the city and risking returning drunk.
User avatar
Rbts Stn
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:09 pm
Location: waiting for an "A" train to Watertown

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby StefanW » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:52 am

Rbts Stn wrote:Perhaps they will raise fares on the Late Night Chuck routes to $5 or $7 to help cover costs? Still much cheaper than a taxi, or driving into the city and risking returning drunk.


The last I heard, the existing AFC software from Scheidt & Bachmann won't allow for any type of time-of-day adjustments at all. Worse, there's apparently been a falling-out between Scheidt & Bachmann and the MBTA and I don't think we'd even see any new software / programming of AFC to allow for late-night route fares to be added. (In other words, it's definitely not possible for subway AFC gates to switch after 1AM for example but it **might** be possible for a bus or Green Line AFC machine to have a different route punched in by the operator. Same idea as the Local / Inner / Outer bus fare zones which are manually activated.) However adding those new fare levels would require work from Scheidt & Bachmann and right now it seems like that's very unlikely.

Even the more customizable "mTicketing" smartphone app - even if it could be adapted for late-night bus & Green Line operations - doesn't really help because you can't discriminate against someone who doesn't have a smartphone.

I think as far as funding / fares is concerned, the only real solution is the University Pass program overhaul that the ROC proposed. Anything else would require AFC changes that are unlikely unless MassDOT takes over Scheidt & Bachmann. :-)
User avatar
StefanW
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:27 pm
Location: Lynn, MA / MP 11.53

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:42 pm

StefanW wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:Perhaps they will raise fares on the Late Night Chuck routes to $5 or $7 to help cover costs? Still much cheaper than a taxi, or driving into the city and risking returning drunk.


The last I heard, the existing AFC software from Scheidt & Bachmann won't allow for any type of time-of-day adjustments at all. Worse, there's apparently been a falling-out between Scheidt & Bachmann and the MBTA and I don't think we'd even see any new software / programming of AFC to allow for late-night route fares to be added.


But the system now knows when student passes are valid, so there has to be some kind of time control.
bostontrainguy
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Finch » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:02 pm

TrainManTy wrote:What's the signaling/ATC system like if trains were to run wrong-main?

To my knowledge this is no problem, at least on the rapid transit lines. The ATO system handles it.
User avatar
Finch
 
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:38 pm

Finch wrote:
TrainManTy wrote:What's the signaling/ATC system like if trains were to run wrong-main?

To my knowledge this is no problem, at least on the rapid transit lines. The ATO system handles it.


Forget it on the Greenline!
bostontrainguy
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby rethcir » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:52 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:
StefanW wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:Perhaps they will raise fares on the Late Night Chuck routes to $5 or $7 to help cover costs? Still much cheaper than a taxi, or driving into the city and risking returning drunk.


The last I heard, the existing AFC software from Scheidt & Bachmann won't allow for any type of time-of-day adjustments at all. Worse, there's apparently been a falling-out between Scheidt & Bachmann and the MBTA and I don't think we'd even see any new software / programming of AFC to allow for late-night route fares to be added.


But the system now knows when student passes are valid, so there has to be some kind of time control.


The MBTA should own the actual source code. These Scheidt and Bachmann people were just the contractors who wrote it. Worst case, they can get the MIT kids to patch it..
rethcir
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:51 am

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby CRail » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:12 pm

Finch wrote:
TrainManTy wrote:What's the signaling/ATC system like if trains were to run wrong-main?

To my knowledge this is no problem, at least on the rapid transit lines. The ATO system handles it.

That is incorrect. The system is not bi-directional. Whenever a train has to run wrong iron, it is on the bypass. This is why it is very seldom done, because they're basically operating in dark territory without a proper code.

Regarding the fare system, if they couldn't update the system then how would they update the fare structure after an increase? The T isn't going to set it self up with a software system that it cannot update, especially when it's the one that handles their revenue. Despite the fact that is an overall horrendous system, it is certainly capable of being updated.

Systems which run 24/7 cannot do so without ever having a disruption. Things have to be maintained. I'm not sure how other systems handle that but I'm sure they have to shut down some time. The MBTA doesn't want to have regular service shutdowns or alterations to the public schedule (and rightfully so!), so they schedule the shut down nightly. In response to the comment about NYC's two track lines, they have enough redundant routes and alternate paths that they divert service all the time like it's nothing because they can with minimal impact. Boston does not have that luxury. As has been said before, however, operating later on non school/work nights shouldn't pose much of an issue for them. 24/7 service is a completely different story.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:25 pm

CRail wrote:
Regarding the fare system, if they couldn't update the system then how would they update the fare structure after an increase? The T isn't going to set it self up with a software system that it cannot update, especially when it's the one that handles their revenue. Despite the fact that is an overall horrendous system, it is certainly capable of being updated.


The only thing that can be updates IS the fares. They cannot change anything else in the system. They cannot add Zone 9 and 10 into the system for the CR. They cannot modify the machines to require a Student or a TAP card to purchase a discounted half fare ticket for the CR. They have to pay big bucks to make software updates, and the T seems to work around paying for these updates.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Finch » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:05 pm

CRail wrote:
Finch wrote:To my knowledge this is no problem, at least on the rapid transit lines. The ATO system handles it.

That is incorrect. The system is not bi-directional. Whenever a train has to run wrong iron, it is on the bypass. This is why it is very seldom done, because they're basically operating in dark territory without a proper code.

Ah, thanks. I was thinking of test trains that occasionally run overnight on wrong iron, but I forgot they need bypass for that.
User avatar
Finch
 
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: rmccown and 3 guests