Weekend Service on the chopping block

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Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:49 pm

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/0 ... story.html

The T just announced that, pending FMCB approval, they intend to cut all weekend commuter rail service on a 1-year trial basis in July.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is proposing to eliminate all weekend commuter rail service and thousands of door-to-door rides for disabled passengers for a year, part of a series of cost-cutting moves to close a $42 million budget deficit.

MBTA officials are slated to present the proposals to its oversight board at Monday’s weekly meeting. The cuts could potentially take effect in July and last for a fiscal year, but the MBTA's fiscal and management control board could choose to reject or change all of the proposals.

Stephanie Pollack, the state’s transportation secretary, said considering such cuts is necessary to “reset” the agency’s budget and chart a sustainable spending course.


This line just killed me:

Officials say that Keolis has been challenged to rethink weekend service in a way that would save the MBTA more money.


I guess cutting is one way to save money on it!
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby rethcir » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:51 pm

This is no good at all. Could the trains, crews, etc be "right-sized" in some fashion to make weekend service more efficient?
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby RenegadeMonster » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:08 pm

I really hope that they do not do this.

While I don't use the CR regularly on the weekends. I do use it in the summer to get to the beaches on the North Shore / Glocstsr for concerts such as Country Fest last summer at Stage Fort Park. Very convenient when I live in Salem.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby rethcir » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:24 pm

RenegadeMonster wrote:I really hope that they do not do this.

While I don't use the CR regularly on the weekends. I do use it in the summer to get to the beaches on the North Shore / Glocstsr for concerts such as Country Fest last summer at Stage Fort Park. Very convenient when I live in Salem.


I rode back from Crane Beach on a commuter rail last summer. There were probably 100 people waiting for that train. Of course, the conductor never actually came thru and collected these peoples' fare, at least not before Salem when I disembarked.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby GP40MC1118 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:30 pm

Any chance the whole article could be posted?

D
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby RenegadeMonster » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:36 pm

rethcir wrote:
RenegadeMonster wrote:I really hope that they do not do this.

While I don't use the CR regularly on the weekends. I do use it in the summer to get to the beaches on the North Shore / Glocstsr for concerts such as Country Fest last summer at Stage Fort Park. Very convenient when I live in Salem.


I rode back from Crane Beach on a commuter rail last summer. There were probably 100 people waiting for that train. Of course, the conductor never actually came thru and collected these peoples' fare, at least not before Salem when I disembarked.


When I went to Gloucester from Salem for Country Fest last summer I had to buy a mTicket because my Zone 3 Monthly Pass only gets me between Boston and Salem. On the way to Gloucester not once did I see a conductor walk through the train and collect fares. I could of got away with not purchasing the ticket. On the return trip I almost made it back to Salem before my ticket was checked. The train was packed full this weekend.


I also noticed on other weekends when using the train and have seen conductors is that most people using the train on the weekends don't have monthly passes are are paying cash. Also, that wasn't the only time last summer I was on the train last summer where no one collected fares.

How about they simply work on collecting fares on the weekend rather than suspend service.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:38 pm

They should cut rush hour service, its by far the most expensive to provide
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby dm1120 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:48 pm

Monthly pass rates better come down as compensation for such a loss of service.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:52 pm

rethcir wrote:
RenegadeMonster wrote:I really hope that they do not do this.

While I don't use the CR regularly on the weekends. I do use it in the summer to get to the beaches on the North Shore / Glocstsr for concerts such as Country Fest last summer at Stage Fort Park. Very convenient when I live in Salem.


I rode back from Crane Beach on a commuter rail last summer. There were probably 100 people waiting for that train. Of course, the conductor never actually came thru and collected these peoples' fare, at least not before Salem when I disembarked.


Fare gates won't help that situation.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby dieciduej » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:00 pm

My guess, just a threat. Always lead with the worst case scenario so we they implement what ever policy they'll say, "we could have eliminated service." Door-to-door services is a third rail, pun intended, that would get to many groups firing arrows at the MBTA.

But if we can put a 10% fare increase in, all will be well. Remember, we could eliminated service!

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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby atlantis » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:41 pm

I wonder what roads will be closed on the weekends to save money! :wink:
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby RenegadeMonster » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:43 pm

dieciduej wrote:My guess, just a threat. Always lead with the worst case scenario so we they implement what ever policy they'll say, "we could have eliminated service." Door-to-door services is a third rail, pun intended, that would get to many groups firing arrows at the MBTA.

But if we can put a 10% fare increase in, all will be well. Remember, we could eliminated service!

JoeD



I don't think raising rates is a option on the table. They just raised rates last year and part of going that put a freeze on raising rates again for a number of years. Anyone remember how many years that was?
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby saulblum » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:55 pm

I took the most recent Blue Book data and entered the numbers for number of trains and ridership into a spreadsheet, broken down by weekday, Saturday and Sunday.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Overall, Saturdays see 28% of the number of trains a weekday sees, with 20% of the ridership. The Saturday percentage of riders on the Haverhill and Lowell lines is greater than the Saturday percentage of trains that run, and the number is close for the Rockport/Newburyport line.

Given the pathetic weekend schedules — 3-hour gaps on some lines — these numbers are not so shabby.

From the article:

According to May 2016 statistics from Keolis Commuter Services, the company that runs the commuter rail, trains provided about 8,300 trips heading toward Boston on Saturdays and 4,500 on Sundays.


Either weekend ridership has markedly slipped from 2013, or neither Keolis nor the T has any real sense of ridership. (Not surprising, given the manual nature of commuter rail fare collection.)
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:51 pm

I agree with others, this seems like a scare tactic to get more funding. Its like when the zoo said they would have to euthanize animals due to a lack of state funding.

Then again, who knows.
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Re: Weekend Service on the chopping block

Postby Trinnau » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:54 pm

For those who haven't seen the actual presentation which drove the article it can be found here. Check out slides 32-36, they are proposing to do a litany of things, and have a breakdown of subsidy. In short, PTC needs to shut down several lines, there are other projects and maintenance which could take advantage of a shutdown. There a challenge in there for Keolis to create new weekend schedules that better serve the public once weekend service is returned.

Not saying weekend commuter service wouldn't be missed on some lines, but they make an interesting argument.
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