Late Night Service Discussion

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

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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:49 am

Late night service may bring in more additional fare revenue than it looks like:

If someone who would otherwise have driven pays two fares because they can go home late, both fares are additional revenue because of the later service, even if the first fare is at another time of day.

Maybe that's obvious, and it's sure not going to pay the whole cost, but if someone says the service is a failure because only x people ride, be sure to consider the other half of all those round trips.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Patrick Boylan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:08 am

Arborway fan, an argument some posters made in
Route 78: New bus route - Cornwells to 30th St. Express viewtopic.php?f=72&t=74577&hilit=cornwells+heights&start=75
was that SEPTA should have run a train instead of a bus for its pre and post rail express bus experiment. In this case I argued that the passengers on this bus formerly drove both ways, and now would take the bus one way and the train the other way.
NH2060 wrote:
connartist88h wrote:Has there been any consideration of single-track overnight operations?

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.

I've seen NJT run wrong rail on lines with hour or worse headways and have no notice, even at stations with electronic signs and sound systems. One memorable time for me was Mt Arlington 8:47am weekday, the next train's 12:20pm. I was trainwatching, so platform didn't matter much to me, the sole real passenger had to scramble downstairs, under and back up when he realized the inbound train was on the outbound track.
CRail wrote: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.

Philadelphia's Green line once had 24 hour service on all 5 of its branches, cut back to only 3 of its branches decades ago. When I was a rider they scheduled regular maintenance shutdowns 1 night each week, had signs that said something like "Subway surface does not operate in subway Mon mornings 1am to 6am. When blue light is flashing use Market St subway to 40th St for diversion". They have also installed pretty heavy gates at all the entrances.
I'll have to pay attention and see what maintenance shutdowns they have nowadays, but I bet it's something similar.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:25 pm

New "Night Owl" service is to start Saturday March 22. Last trains to leave Park Street about 2:30AM on Friday and Saturday "nights" (actually Saturday and Sunday mornings).
Last edited by bostontrainguy on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:33 pm

Link?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:41 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Link?


Sorry, no link yet.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:56 am

Boston Globe -
Late-night T service set to begin March 28


Curious about this part of the article:

One of the most significant challenges to instituting later weekend hours, Davey said, was finding people willing to operate the trains and buses later into the night and negotiating agreements with unions to accommodate extended work hours.

“We couldn’t implement this service by edict,” Davey said. “We had to work with our partners, especially those in [Boston Carmen’s Union Local] 589.”

Davey said that requirements for the amount of rest employees must receive between shifts prevent the T from simply tacking on two hours at the end of each worker’s weekend shift.

Much of the staff who will be operating the late-night shifts are new. At a Wednesday meeting of the Transportation Department board of directors, MBTA chief financial officer Jonathan R. Davis said the service required 133 new recruits, most of whom have been hired and are in training.

“For some of our more senior employees, working until three or four in the morning is not exactly an attractive proposition,” Davey said.


Does anyone know if an agreement was made with the Carmen's Union to operate this service at regular hourly rates? As most probably know, the Night Owl service a decade ago was extraordinarily expensive to operate because of the negotiated double-time rate for employees whose shifts go past 2:00 a.m., combined with the willingness of many senior operators to bid on these shifts.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby SM89 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:42 am

I think it was mentioned on the news that most of the shifts were being covered by the new employees? Maybe that's a hint that they aren't as lucrative hours as they were with the Night Owl.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:03 pm

That would be a major concession by the union.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:20 pm

It's not that attractive. It's more like working seven hours but getting paid eight and it is also more condensed or straight time so there isn't a big break between halfs.

Since they had to hire a lot of new people to do it, it shows that the higher rated operators didn't want it and that says a lot.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby NH2060 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:47 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:It's not that attractive. It's more like working seven hours but getting paid eight and it is also more condensed or straight time so there isn't a big break between halfs.

Since they had to hire a lot of new people to do it, it shows that the higher rated operators didn't want it and that says a lot.

If I was a senior operator no way would I want to work that early in the morning. That would feel like a de-motion. Those jobs are more ideal for newer (and presumably younger) employees since they can handle those hours with far more ease.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby Finch » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:39 pm

I had an interesting experience this past weekend wherein my friends and I stayed out later than the T normally runs, mistakenly thinking that late night service would be running. My fault; I forgot they pushed the date out a week. But we had attempted to confirm the schedule by checking out the Red Line schedule online, which lists the Friday last runs at 2:00AM or so. This was the wrong night anyway, as we were out on Saturday night. But in my quick glance I saw the "2:15AM" for Alewife, and thought I was golden. I hope there weren't any other dummies like me who got caught out in the cold.

But now I'm wondering. Why are the last Friday runs listed around 2:00AM for all lines right now? Did they put that up prematurely? Did the trains really run that late this past Friday (or other Fridays)?
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:09 pm

I note that, upon inspection, the online schedules only list the later times for Fridays, and show the regular times for Saturdays.

Yet all the announcements, and the FAQ on the T site, say the later service will run Fridays and Saturdays. I presume this is just an oversight by someone at the T?
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby RailBus63 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:42 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:It's not that attractive. It's more like working seven hours but getting paid eight .


Your math is off. When it was double-time, then it was like working a four hour shift and getting paid for eight.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby CRail » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:18 pm

I don't know where this 'double time' figure comes from, nor the claim that if you worked one trip during night owl the differential was for the entire shift. According to some of the people who actually worked those shifts, It's not factual.

Someone showed me the timetable and bostontrainguy is correct. The night owl runs are shortened to compensate for the differential.
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Re: Late Night Service Discussion

Postby rethcir » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:48 am

Well, weekend one is over and the city hasn't burnt down. I did not take advantage but anecdotal evidence suggests that the Red Line was fairly dead late at night (from someone returning from work late) and the Green Line was fairly packed (from someone going out on the town). Glad to hear it went smoothly with no arrests and I just hope it stays financially viable. Still think they could get away with charging significantly more than standard fare.
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