An idea to make all doors open on Green line surface stops

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An idea to make all doors open on Green line surface stops

Postby jumbotusk » Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:35 am

As I'm sure everyone knows, only the front door of a green line trolley opens at inbound surface stops, so that fare can be collected. This obviously slows down the process because everyone must pay as they board, and do so single file.

How about this as a solution....

At inbound surface stops, open all doors and let people on for free (like outbound). However, when exiting the inbound trains in the central subway, you pay at turnstiles as you EXIT the system. Or, at Park, you would pay as you exit the green line platform and move to the Red line. This would require separating inbound from outbound passengers in the central subway, but that shouldn't be hard because in most cases they are separate side platforms. Boylston is easy. So is Copley. Arlington, Hynes and Kenmore would just need a barrier to separate the two sides. For example, You pay getting on outbound at Hynes, or you insert a token to exit coming from the inbound platform exit.

Downside..... Riders going from surface stop to surface stop inbound would be free. But who cares? It already is going outbound. The lost revenue from short-trip passengers would be balanced by added efficiency.

So essentially, in summary, inbound you pay upon exit. Outbound nothing changes.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Improvements?
Last edited by jumbotusk on Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SbooX » Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:46 am

My first thought was that this was a bad idea because I thought that people boarding in the central subway and going inbound would have to pay twice, but now I see what you are saying. This is actually one of the better ideas I've heard, and I think it might work better in Boston than POP. My biggest problem would be those damned BU bastards getting free rides both to and from school.

But maybe someone sees another reason it wouldn't work, other than the fact that the T would never go for it.
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Postby jumbotusk » Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:03 am

Thats easy. Just close BU East, BU Central and BU West. Problem solved.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:16 am

i have gotten on at a surface stop w/o paying, that was my first time though getting on at a surface stop, so i didn't know what to do, so i just walked onto the train, the operator didn't say anything
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Postby octr202 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:33 am

This is an interesting idea. I think if the GL only ran between GC and the west it might work. However, north of GC becomes a problem. Haymarket's island platform is tough, as is the new superstation. At Haymarket and North Station, how do you seperate riders from the surface (who haven't paid yet) from the riders from the Red or Blue Lines who have paid (this is on eastbound trains)? You would then need to issue transfers within subway stations for riders changing between lines.

Also, the idea of eliminating all fares on the surface portions would cost serious revenue. While a minority, there are a number of people that use only surface portions of the Green Line for their commutes, and an even greater number for occasional trips. When I was at BC, I used to take the B Line to Harvard Av. or the BU area all the time for shopping, eating out, etc. That's definately a real transit trip, as opposed to just hopping one or two stops. Now you pay one fare for this round trip -- but under the plan you'd pay nothing. That would be a serious revenue loss.

I don't want this to sound harsh -- I think this is one of the more creative solutions I've heard in a while for the Green Line, but its running into the same problem as they all do. The GL just isn't wuite a subway, but its not quite a streetcar either. I'm not apologizing for a lack of solutions on the part of the T, but this isn't an easy one to tackle.
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Postby BC Eagle » Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:16 pm

jumbotusk wrote:Thats easy. Just close BU East, BU Central and BU West. Problem solved.


If you really want to combat the BU problem you'd have to close Blanford St., St. Paul St., and Pleasant St. as well. :-D

But in all seriousness, I was in awe of the T's stupidity when they reconstructed BU East and BU Central, effectively cementing their future. There is no need for those two stops, none whatsoever. It was much better when there was only 1 temporary stop while those two were being rebuilt. Furthermore, Blanford St. is also a useless stop. Why would anyone getting on the B-Line outbound at Kenmore Square not walk the hundred feet to the Blanford stop and ride for free. When pressed, how does the T address this issue? The eliminate stops on the other end of the Line. As you can tell, the B-Line makes me incredibly angry.
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Postby trigonalmayhem » Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:31 pm

BC Eagle, there was a reason I took the 57 when I lived out in Brighton.

:wink:
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Postby Railsfuture1 » Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:56 am

The better solution would be to install fare control of some kind at all stations, or at the very least charge outbound passengers. There is no earthly reason why outbound should be free. Since you already have a driver/conductor at the front of two car trains, you might as well charge them for outbound travel. Now, I don't live in Boston, I'm from Springfield, but it really bothers me that we out in the west suffer from crappy roads and bus service, when the T is allowed to charge people nothing to ride on a system that, while I support its existence whole-heartedly, is far more expensive to operate. Charging a larger far for inbound on the D line doesn't make up for it.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:22 am

The better solution would be to install fare control of some kind at all stations, or at the very least charge outbound passengers. There is no earthly reason why outbound should be free. Since you already have a driver/conductor at the front of two car trains, you might as well charge them for outbound travel. Now, I don't live in Boston, I'm from Springfield, but it really bothers me that we out in the west suffer from crappy roads and bus service, when the T is allowed to charge people nothing to ride on a system that, while I support its existence whole-heartedly, is far more expensive to operate. Charging a larger far for inbound on the D line doesn't make up for it.


There's a big reason why the outbound is free -- crowd management. Green Line cars are long, and under the current system, an outbound fare would require everyone to exit the outbound cars via the front door. Frequently, the GL is so crowded that there is no earthly way someone exiting on the first half of the surface portion, going outbound, would ever make it to the front of the car. All you have to do is look at what Prudential and Symphony are like outbound, and you'll see why its not done. Dwell times would rise signifiganly, as would the ticked off attitude of passengers.

I ride the 71, one of the two trackless trolley routes where you pay as you exit outbound. At rush hour, when the TT is full, it can be a real pain in the a** to stumble past all the people crammed in the aisles to get off, while the TT is bouncing around (and the new low floor ones are even tougher to get thru!). And that's only on a 40 foot bus...
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Postby mersk862 » Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:09 am

I could see this working when the automatic fare control comes into play. At stations where you pay to enter the turnstiles, you just keep your card and swipe it to exit. For those who board at a surface station, you can still board the train for free going inbound, but in the central subway, there is a vending machine where you buy an exit ticket (kind of similar to NJ Transit's EWR operation).

Jeff
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Postby parovozis » Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:56 pm

I have an interesting proposal.

Let's introduce the POP system on the surface GL and collect fares on all subway stations as people exit.

1. Passengers using just the subway will see no difference.

2. Passengers using just the surface lines will see a "regular" POP system, no need to worry about transfers to/from subway lines.

3. Passengers entering the subway through any surface line will show/wave/sweep their POP tickets at exit.

4. Passengers leaving the subway throug any surface line will have to buy and validate POP tickets in the subway in advance.

Any ideas why this won't work?
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Postby Railsfuture1 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:13 am

Having exit control would be very inconvienant for a lot of people. The only place I am concerned about is outbound on the green branches. All inbound on those branches, people must pay a fare. I think that people on those outbound branches should be pay. No free rides. People already pay inbound anywhere and so crowd control is clearly not an issue. And outbound, there are less crowds anyway. Make 'em PAY!
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Postby octr202 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:31 am

Yes, but how would you collect fares from people exiting outbound? Funneling everyone thru the front door to exit out would probably double the time it takes to make each run.
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Postby astrosa » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:42 pm

Railsfuture1,

I don't think you really see the reason that it would be much more difficult to collect fares from people boarding on the outbound lines. No, crowd control isn't an issue on the inbound lines because most people are boarding, not exiting, so they can all just proceed through the front door to the back of the car. Those that need to exit before the car enters the subway can either stay near the front of the car or just make their way to the front as the train approaches their stop. Once the car enters the subway, it's no problem for people to exit through the center and rear doors.

Outbound is a much different story. The majority of people are coming from downtown and will be exiting at some point along the route. Don't forget that they've already paid upon entrance to the central subway, so it's not like everyone on an outbound train is getting a free ride. Maybe it isn't so apparent on the other lines, but outbound trains often get extremely crowded on the B line.

Regardless of whether you collect fare on entrance or exit, it still has to be done at the front door, which means passengers will only be able to exit through that one door. When you're stuck in the back of a train sardine-style, it's all you can do to move to the nearest door (no more than say 15ft away). To make it to the front door (as much as 70ft away) in time for your stop would probably require you to start moving several stops in advance, and that's only one person. Having a number of people trying to worm their way through a packed car to the front door is senseless when there are 3 doors available per side.

Also, I've never seen evidence that the higher fares on the D line are an attempt to "make up for" the free outbound rides. Remember that the D line is more of a rapid tranist line than the others, since it is much longer and has a greater distance between stops, and it serves both Brookline and Newton in addition to Boston. Also, it parallels the C line closely, so you can either pay the standard fare for the C line or pay extra for a much faster ride on the D, which is the option I personally choose whenever in this situation.
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Postby parovozis » Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:12 pm

Railsfuture1 wrote:Having exit control would be very inconvienant for a lot of people.


What's the difference between paying as you enter and paying as you exit? (As long as we talk about subway stations, not GL trains.)
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