Red-Blue Connector

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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby BandA » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:07 pm

I just went onto the MBTA trip planner. The shortest trip between Bowdoin and Charles/MGH is walking. It is 9 minutes and only 0.5 mile. You can also walk 0.1 to Government Center, then it is an 11 minute trip.

If you build the Red-Blue connector for $$$$ you get no new stations. Is there bus service along Cambridge St? That would be a lot cheaper to try. I'm sorry, it's just not worth the money.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:54 pm

BandA, that would make sense if the reason for the extension was to get people from Bowdoin or Government Center to Charles, but that is not the reason. The reason is to get people from Maverick to Central Square, etc.,with only one change, so that it is a little quicker and a little easier to commute from East Boston and points northeast to Cambridge and points northwest. (Also, I guess, to get them from Revere Beach to Mass General with no change at all.) The time savings on that would be pretty significant. Assuming that walking from the Blue Line to the Red Line at Charles would take the same amount of time as walking from the Green Line to the Red Line at Park, and that riding from GC to Charles on the Blue Line would take the same amount of time as riding from Park to Charles on the Red Line, every passenger passenger would save the whole time needed to get off at GC, walk up to the Green Line Platform, wait for a train, and ride to Park St. That must be five or six minutes even at rush hour headways. Five or six minutes a passenger, I imagine. Could be 10-20% of many people's commute.

The hope would be to have fewer people changing trains at Govt Ctr and and Park and crowding up the trains between those two stations, because they would make just one transfer at Charles instead, and to attract substantial numbers of new passengers because the trip would be quicker.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Red Wing » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:28 am

Why would there not be enough gain from it? 1. This would relieve the core stations from extra transfers. 2. It would provide 1 transfer instead of two. 3. Speed up travel times for many people.
As for your Bowdoin comment, there are out of the box options such as moving walkways and pedestrian tunnels to connect Government Center to Bowdoin.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby bgl » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:57 am

Arborwayfan wrote:BandA, that would make sense if the reason for the extension was to get people from Bowdoin or Government Center to Charles, but that is not the reason. The reason is to get people from Maverick to Central Square, etc.,with only one change, so that it is a little quicker and a little easier to commute from East Boston and points northeast to Cambridge and points northwest. (Also, I guess, to get them from Revere Beach to Mass General with no change at all.) The time savings on that would be pretty significant. Assuming that walking from the Blue Line to the Red Line at Charles would take the same amount of time as walking from the Green Line to the Red Line at Park, and that riding from GC to Charles on the Blue Line would take the same amount of time as riding from Park to Charles on the Red Line, every passenger passenger would save the whole time needed to get off at GC, walk up to the Green Line Platform, wait for a train, and ride to Park St. That must be five or six minutes even at rush hour headways. Five or six minutes a passenger, I imagine. Could be 10-20% of many people's commute.

The hope would be to have fewer people changing trains at Govt Ctr and and Park and crowding up the trains between those two stations, because they would make just one transfer at Charles instead, and to attract substantial numbers of new passengers because the trip would be quicker.


I think you also hit the nail on the head at the end - the Red/Blue connector alleviates a ton of crush pressure at Park St and Government St during rush hours, and anyone who does the Green to Red transfer at Park can attest to how insane it is. It also allows easier airport access from points north of MGH on the Red Line.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby BandA » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:14 pm

Arborwayfan wrote:BandA, that would make sense if the reason for the extension was to get people from Bowdoin or Government Center to Charles, but that is not the reason. The reason is to get people from Maverick to Central Square, etc.,with only one change, so that it is a little quicker and a little easier to commute from East Boston and points northeast to Cambridge and points northwest. (Also, I guess, to get them from Revere Beach to Mass General with no change at all.) The time savings on that would be pretty significant. Assuming that walking from the Blue Line to the Red Line at Charles would take the same amount of time as walking from the Green Line to the Red Line at Park, and that riding from GC to Charles on the Blue Line would take the same amount of time as riding from Park to Charles on the Red Line, every passenger passenger would save the whole time needed to get off at GC, walk up to the Green Line Platform, wait for a train, and ride to Park St. That must be five or six minutes even at rush hour headways. Five or six minutes a passenger, I imagine. Could be 10-20% of many people's commute.

The hope would be to have fewer people changing trains at Govt Ctr and and Park and crowding up the trains between those two stations, because they would make just one transfer at Charles instead, and to attract substantial numbers of new passengers because the trip would be quicker.
According to Trip Planner, the best trip Maverick to Central takes 16 minutes, including a 0.2 Mile walk (6 min) from State Street to Park. Mr Google gives a more realistic 28 min by subway, including 7 minute walk State to Downtown Crossing, or 24 min to drive 6.2 Miles! Or a very dangerous 6.4 Mile, 40 min bicycle trip via Everett.

Trip planner says avoiding the 0.2Mi walk adds about 4 minutes. Mr google says 28 minutes regardless of walking the transfer, using orange line or using the green line.

How much time saving is worth $750M in 2013 dollars? Say the carrying cost for this project is $40M in perpetuity... for 12,000 additional daily boardings, or 4,380,000 additional annual boardings. So, actually this might make financial sense if they can build it for something close to the 2013 budget.

But walking a short distance is also a good choice.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby RenegadeMonster » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:34 pm

Most people don't want to walk though. Especially in the winter or when it's raining.

While I have no problem walking my self. I do it every day from North Station to the Financial Distract rather than taking the Orange Line into town.

I think instead of being a time saver. We should think about it on how much congestion it will relieved by those having to make two transfers reducing to it to 1.

It relieves the bottleneck in park / downtown crossing meaning we can increase capacity of the system.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Arborwayfan » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:28 am

BandA, you have added a useful fact: 0.2 mi from State to Park. What about a pedestrian tunnel from State Street to DTC, perhaps complete with moving walkways? Or GC to Park, or State to Park. The northbound OL platforms are within sight of each other, although I suspect there isn't room for a connector between the tunnel and the foundations of the buildings. I wonder what the engineering problems and costs would be to bore a ped tunnel direct from the Alewife-bound Red Line platform at DTC to the Wonderland-bound Blue Line platform at State, complete with moving walkways. Or to buy rights of way through the basements of adjacent buildings and make a connecting tunnel that way. That might be a cheaper, better way. It would not help congestion a
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:58 pm

A pedestrian tunnel from State to DTX has been discussed here repeatedly. There's simply no room under Washington Street for one.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:13 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:A pedestrian tunnel from State to DTX has been discussed here repeatedly. There's simply no room under Washington Street for one.


There actually is a proposal for a downtown "Super Station" that woudl include these kinds of passageways

https://www.wcvb.com/article/downtown-superstation-mbta-imagines-future-transit-for-boston-area/22620471

Massachusetts transportation officials have unveiled a draft of an investment plan designed to imagine the future of Boston area transit over two decades into the future.

The plan, which includes short-term plans and long term big ideas proposes a downtown superstation that would connect three MBTA train lines, and imagining extensions to communities in need of economic growth.

Connecting stations at State and Downtown Crossing and thus Park Street,
through underground pedestrian walkways could make trips easier and faster by eliminating a transfer while freeing up needed capacity on rapid transit lines passing through downtown. The proximity of Park Street to Downtown Crossing creates an opportunity to consolidate their functions (Downtown access plus Red Line connections to Green and Orange, respectively) into one Red Line station. This could remove one of the constraints to increasing frequencies beyond the three-minute headways resulting from the Red Line Systemwide Improvement Program.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:30 am

[quote="BandA"]I just went onto the MBTA trip planner. The shortest trip between Bowdoin and Charles/MGH is walking. It is 9 minutes and only 0.5 mile. You can also walk 0.1 to Government Center, then it is an 11 minute trip.

If you build the Red-Blue connector for $$$$ you get no new stations. Is there bus service along Cambridge St? That would be a lot cheaper to try. I'm sorry, it's just not worth the money.[/quote]

Next December you'll be singing a different tune about walking being easier.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby BandA » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:43 pm

...or deal with the double-transfer in bad weather, probably adds 5 min realistically.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Maverickstation1 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:30 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote:
BandA wrote:I just went onto the MBTA trip planner. The shortest trip between Bowdoin and Charles/MGH is walking. It is 9 minutes and only 0.5 mile. You can also walk 0.1 to Government Center, then it is an 11 minute trip.

If you build the Red-Blue connector for $$$$ you get no new stations. Is there bus service along Cambridge St? That would be a lot cheaper to try. I'm sorry, it's just not worth the money.


Next December you'll be singing a different tune about walking being easier.


There is no bus service along Cambridge Street, stupid as that is.

As someone who actually rides that Blue Line a few times a week for work it is no exaggeration to state that about 1/3 of the riders on these packed rush hour trains
are heading to the Red Line for service towards Alewife.

For me I usually connect by walking between Bowdin and Charles MGH,but the majority of riders make the connection by taking a trolley at Govt Center and then Red Line
Alewife service.

The Blue Red connector has been needed for quite awhile, and more so today given the population surge along the waterfront in Eastie, Amazon,or not.

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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Disney Guy » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:16 pm

Would it really be desirable to construct a half mile long sinuous bypass for Cambridge bound (Red Line) trains in order to combine Park St. and Downtown Crossing Red Line platforms into a single set of platforms under Winter St.?

Starting north of South Station the new Cambridge bound tube would split off from the existing tunnel and dive down below the latter, remaining directly below the latter under Summer St., Winter St., and for a short distance under Boston Common. The bypass would them move to the side and rise up and rejoin the existing Cambridge bound track. The existing Cambridge bound tunnel under Winter St. would become the Ashmont/Braintree bound platform while the bypass tunnel will have the Cambridge bound platform under Winter St. as a third level below street level. Parts of the decommissioned original Cambridge bound tracks at Park St. and Downtown Crossing would provide stairway and elevator access to the ends of the new third level platform.

There is no opportunity to consolidate Park St. and Downtown Crossing Red Line stations without building this bypass since we may not commandeer the existing track space and disrupt service during the construction period.

A bus shuttle between Charles and Bowdoin would not attract Blue Line and Red Line riders unless it was free. Still, the full benefits would not be realized immediately since few if any riders currently using the Green Line to get between the Red and Blue Lines and using stored value fare media would opt for either the bus shuttle or the walk since it takes another fare to re-enter the subway.
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby andrewjw » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:55 pm

Disney Guy wrote:Would it really be desirable to construct a half mile long sinuous bypass for Cambridge bound (Red Line) trains in order to combine Park St. and Downtown Crossing Red Line platforms into a single set of platforms under Winter St.?

Starting north of South Station the new Cambridge bound tube would split off from the existing tunnel and dive down below the latter, remaining directly below the latter under Summer St., Winter St., and for a short distance under Boston Common. The bypass would them move to the side and rise up and rejoin the existing Cambridge bound track. The existing Cambridge bound tunnel under Winter St. would become the Ashmont/Braintree bound platform while the bypass tunnel will have the Cambridge bound platform under Winter St. as a third level below street level. Parts of the decommissioned original Cambridge bound tracks at Park St. and Downtown Crossing would provide stairway and elevator access to the ends of the new third level platform.

There is no opportunity to consolidate Park St. and Downtown Crossing Red Line stations without building this bypass since we may not commandeer the existing track space and disrupt service during the construction period.

A bus shuttle between Charles and Bowdoin would not attract Blue Line and Red Line riders unless it was free. Still, the full benefits would not be realized immediately since few if any riders currently using the Green Line to get between the Red and Blue Lines and using stored value fare media would opt for either the bus shuttle or the walk since it takes another fare to re-enter the subway.

I'm not sure why anyone would do this to the Red Line, nor have I ever heard of such a proposal. The Blue-Red Connector would be a Blue Line extension...
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Re: Red-Blue Connector

Postby Maverickstation1 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:01 am

I'm not sure why anyone would do this to the Red Line, nor have I ever heard of such a proposal. The Blue-Red Connector would be a Blue Line extension...[/quote]


Exactly, the Red-Blue connector would be an extension of the Blue Line, under Cambridge Street, and ending at a low-level platform at the existing Charles/MGH red Line Station.
When the Charles/MGH station was rebuilt provisions for this were already made.

As for the issue of transfers the majority of daily Blue Line rider are using the monthly, or weekly Charlie Cards, no issue there.
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