New Boarding Procedures Discussion

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New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:43 pm

Just received from MBCR...

Customer Information

Changes to “Off-Peak” Boarding Arrangements



Dear Needham Line Customer:

Beginning Monday, February 2, 2009, we will pilot new train boarding arrangements on the Needham line. We request that all customers use the high level platform at the outer end of the station platform during off-peak hours.

Trains departing inbound during the peak hours of operation, between 5:00am and 9:00am, Monday through Fridays, will board as usual so that we can comfortably accommodate the larger number of customers.

If you are boarding at South Station before 4:00PM or after 8:00PM, you will be asked to board at the outer end of the station.

We are making these changes to off peak boarding procedures in an effort to improve the level of customer safety as well as the overall on-time performance of your trains.

Asking customers to board at the high level platform will offer a level transfer for both boarding and exiting the train, eliminating the need to climb the stairs to board the train.

Reducing the number of doors in use will allow staff to ensure outer doors are closed prior to departure.

Establishing customer occupancy in two cars on any train during these off-peak hours, will assist with the proper collection of revenue, improve boarding efficiencies and decrease delays.


We would like to thank you in advance for your assistance during this effort while we attempt to improve service. We welcome your feedback at customerservice@mbcr.net

Thank you for riding the commuter rail.

Customer Service
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail
Operating the Commuter Rail on behalf of the MBTA
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure to be Tested on Needham

Postby danib62 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:03 pm

They've been "piloting" this off-peak boarding procedure on the fitchburg for years.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure to be Tested on Needham

Postby cpontani » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:19 pm

But what's the real issue here? Level boarding, or too tight a schedule? Do the manual doors add that much time to boarding/detraining?
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure to be Tested on Needham

Postby jamesinclair » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:48 am

cpontani wrote:But what's the real issue here? Level boarding, or too tight a schedule? Do the manual doors add that much time to boarding/detraining?


The doors dont, but people slowly climbing down the steps do
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure to be Tested on Needham

Postby cpontani » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:11 am

But there's tons of low-level platforms out there. So what are they doing? Essentially using one or two cars to hit the mini-high? So now you only get to use two doors, but quicker, but people will be lined up to get out those two doors. I don't see how this would save time than everybody using the whole train. How long are the trains, and how many cars are open during off-peak?
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure to be Tested on Needham

Postby diburning » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:37 am

trains can be 5-8 cars. Off peak usually has one or two cars open.
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Off-peak boarding

Postby bierhere » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:46 pm

Customer Service Information

Changes to “Off-Peak” Boarding

Beginning Monday, February 1, 2010, new off peak train boarding and operating procedures will be implemented on all commuter rail lines. From this date forward, no off peak trains will be allowed to depart a station until all exterior doors are fully closed.

To assist with this procedure, we request that all customers use the high-level platform or the outer end of the platform at each station during off peak hours and board into the limited number of open coaches indicated by the train crew. Limiting customer occupancy to fewer cars on off peak trains will assist with the proper collection of revenue, enhance boarding safety and improve on-time performance. Off peak service is displayed in gray on the public schedules.

If you are boarding outbound trains at South and North Station before 4:00PM or after 8:00PM, you will be directed to board at the outer end of the station on the coaches closest to the locomotive.

We are making these changes to off peak boarding procedures in an effort to improve the level of customer safety. Reducing the number of doors in use allows staff to make certain that outer doors are closed prior to departure. This will ensure that we do not compromise the overall on-time performance of your trains.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind customers that they MUST NOT open their own doors or traps and must always board where a conductor is present. The practice of passengers opening their own doors will delay trains as train crews will be required to shut all traps and outside doors before the train can depart the station.

Peak period trains, highlighted in yellow on your schedule, will continue to board as usual so that we can comfortably accommodate the larger number of customers.

We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation while we improve the level of safety for our customers.

We welcome your feedback at: customerservice@mbcr.net.

Thank you for riding the commuter rail.

Customer Service
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail
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Re: Off-peak boarding

Postby ST214 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:53 pm

There are all kinds of signs here telling folks to board at the high levels....2 problems....

1. Passengers don't read them.....
2. The trains are still stopping where they did before, using head end cars.

As far as boarding near the loco at North Station, that has been the practice for as long as i can remember. South Station is a different story.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby CRail » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:01 pm

First of all, the MBTA is the customer! Riders are passengers, little nitpick, that just gets under my skin.

Anywho, the first major problem with this policy (proving that MBCR has no idea how to run trains, or how their trains are run), is that Conductors are not able to "ensure everyone's safety" when the doors are completely closed because they can't FLAG! If this procedure is followed to the letter passengers will get hurt, and crew members will face penalties when something goes wrong. I also see this as a sneaky attempt to cut crews. If they get everybody crammed into one or two cars they will say they don't need a trainman on that job. I hope people see through this, however I'm fairly certain they won't.

Funny how this comes out right after they sealed the deal for three more years. It's things like this that make me wish I were interested in something else.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby ST214 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:04 pm

I was thinking that too....I fear there's more behind this....


CRail wrote:First of all, the MBTA is the customer! Riders are passengers, little nitpick, that just gets under my skin.

Anywho, the first major problem with this policy (proving that MBCR has no idea how to run trains, or how their trains are run), is that Conductors are not able to "ensure everyone's safety" when the doors are completely closed because they can't FLAG! If this procedure is followed to the letter passengers will get hurt, and crew members will face penalties when something goes wrong. I also see this as a sneaky attempt to cut crews. If they get everybody crammed into one or two cars they will say they don't need a trainman on that job. I hope people see through this, however I'm fairly certain they won't.

Funny how this comes out right after they sealed the deal for three more years. It's things like this that make me wish I were interested in something else.
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:09 pm

CRail wrote:First of all, the MBTA is the customer! Riders are passengers, little nitpick, that just gets under my skin.


Also, the first announcement says Monday Feb 2, this one says Monday Feb 1. Tehehe.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby DaveMelvin » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:53 pm

Ten bucks says this nonsense is related to a crack down by the FRA. That's the only reasonable explanation.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby Diverging Route » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:06 pm

And how will this be enforced on the ultracrowded afternoon departures from South Station? For example, the 5:00pm to Providence is usually seven K-cars, with three or four crew members. Passengers WILL continue to open their own doors at stations such as Sharon and Mansfield. As it is now, the station stops at these stations can be as long as three minutes with the volume of passengers de-training, and using all available doors.
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby CRail » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:30 pm

Off peak... stick to weather :wink:
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Re: New Off-Peak Boarding Procedure(was:to be Tested on Needham)

Postby jscola30 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:15 pm

So does this mean all the automatic doors will actually work as their supposed to so passengers wont have to force them open.....hahahhahahahahah


all kidding aside, I've noticed that's been better lately.


I wonder too if this policy will actually delay trains as it takes longer to walk to the front of the train (can be an issue with people with alot of bags, such as my self) at the terminal stations. On a serious note, is there any reason they can't board at the other end of the train?
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