New Member, and just returned from visiting your cool system

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

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New Member, and just returned from visiting your cool system

Postby Mdlbigcat » Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:31 pm

Good Evening.

I am a new member posting to this board, and I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mark, and I live in Oaklyn, NJ [SEPTA/PATCO/NJT country]. I am a lifelong rail/transit buff and this week I just visited Boston and rode the MBTA for the first time.

I wouls like to say that I'm fascinated with your system, it has a lot in common with the other systems I rode [SEPTA, NYCTA, PATH, PATCO, MdMTA, WMATA, NJT], and some unique things that I find interesting.

One of the first things is the fact that the door chimes on the subway cars sound EXACTLY like the door chimes on the Broad St Subway here in Philly. [I thought they were unique, until I went to Boston]. Does anyone know why they sound alike?

Second, the fare system can be quite unnerving considering how ancient it is. All of the other systems mentioned has some form of a modern system featuring faregates that allow you to swipe passes or farecards, use those cards on both buses and subways for a seamless ride. I used the one-day pass to do that, since the two separate fares would have bankrupted me. Also on the Green Line, why is it free going outbound on the surface? It seems that you are depriving yourself a lot of fare revenue, revenue that could be put to much needed use.

And finally, I noticed how CROWDED the system gets. I rode on packed trains most of the day on all lines, especially on the Green Line. That line had some of the most packed cars I've seen in my life.

After doing the system the first time, I felt that I must go back to get a better feel for the subway, and the neighborhoods surrounding the stations, especially places like Boston Common, Harvard Sq, and Government Center. Also I would like to do more walking around downtown so I can see how absoulutely vibrant your city really is.

I hope to come back at the end of the month.

Thanks for letting me speak.

Mark De Loatch.
69th St. Train Making All stops.......Doors are Closing!
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:21 pm

First off........the city is getting back into the school season, which increases rider-ship tremendously with not only college students, but soetimes their friends and relatives who are here to help them move in and get acquainted. Also, traditionally late Sept. through early Nov. is when Boston's tourist season is at it's highest volume.

As far as freebies on the green-line surface stops out-bound, I have never heard of any valid reason behind it. Maybe back in the early days it was kinda like the airport tunnels and Tobin Bridge, free out-bound and double in-bound. aybe i's just a Boston thing, LOL :P

As fare as the fare collection system, the MBTA is supposed to be implementing an automated fare collection system........like any other big company in this day and age, they just want to cut jobs by replacing people with machines. :( There was a thread about the new fare collection system, here's the link>>>>
http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6001&sid=9c84d7578afc8cbfa7a04f5da022bf43
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Postby StevieC48 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:10 am

MDBIGCAT when you come up next time let me and I can show you around the system and mabe a shop or two Stevie
Farewell old friend thanks for the memories.
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Postby jrc520 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:32 am

I think the free outbound is sort of a concession from the days where there were system-wide transfers between different modes. As for being packed, well, yea, others have summed that up.
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Postby efin98 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:16 am

Also the bus and rail systems are two seperate beasts(well the buses are beasts anyway :wink: ) so unlike other cities Boston has been hesitant to impliment a base fare for both buses and trains. For visitors like you though, that wouldn't matter since the vast majority either buy passes(good for both) or only change between the two once or twice. Also if someone is going between bus lines they can obtain a free bus to bus transfer which eliminates $.90 from each way.
And IIRC Boston is not the only city that still uses tokens- SEPTA still doesn and until a year ago New York still did.
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Postby CS » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:02 am

Well I would like to welcome you to our forum and I hope you enjoy what we have to offer here.

I believe I saw something somewhere that said the reason why the green line is free outbound is to reduce dwell times - people can just get on and the operator can open all of the doors. I don't know how true that is...

Also, New York got rid of it's tokens about two years ago. When I was down there in 2002, I believe that the Metrocard system was already in place.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:22 pm

CS, I was thinking about the reduction of the 'dwell time' above ground, especially on lines that ran in the middle of streets. I didn't think that would be a valid reason because they still collected fares inbound.

any better info would be great.
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Postby eddiebear » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:37 am

Glad you enjoyed your self-directed tour of the system.

No fares have been collected on the outbound surface portion of Green Line routes for a number of years. The surface portions of the Green Line routes were classified in the same context as bus and trackless trolley lines, surface routes. As such surface line fares prevailed. Up until the McLernon era car to bus and bus to bus, etc. paper transfers were issued. (Free transfers prevailed within the confines of transfer stations - rapid transit to bus, etc. - without the paper transfers.) McLernon, an import from New York and controversial, ended the paper transfer system, so when you exited one transit vehicle to transfer to another, you paid another fare on your next vehicle.
Once you got outside the confines of the Trolley Subway, even though you hadn't changed vehicles, you entered the Surface Lines domain and had to pay a Surface Lines fare to exit. This slowed down operations considerably, so eventually, the outbound exit fare was dropped and the inbound fare was raised to cover the outbound shortfall. The majority of outbound riders are homeward bound in the afternoon and evening and are probably more interested in getting home. Their trip times are not affected in the morning because everyone pays a fare anyway.
McClernon was hired to replace Edward Dana, about 1960. There isn't much good written about him, by the way.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:48 am

Oh, and bus-to-bus paper transfers were re-introduced a few years ago too.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:46 am

This is what CS wrote:Well I would like to welcome you to our forum and I hope you enjoy what we have to offer here.

I believe I saw something somewhere that said the reason why the green line is free outbound is to reduce dwell times - people can just get on and the operator can open all of the doors. I don't know how true that is...

Also, New York got rid of it's tokens about two years ago. When I was down there in 2002, I believe that the Metrocard system was already in place.


Yes, same here from his sidekick mod Robert P, welcome to our boards.

Also, NYCTA tokens were eliminated in early 2003 actually, because when I went there in Dec 2002, they were still using tokens at that time, which I depended on. Now I'm used to the new WMATA-style farecards New York has, and they can be used for up to one calendar year from date of purchase.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:56 am

I think NYCTA still accepted tokens as (partial) bus fare payment until the end of 2003.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:48 pm

Oh all right, I didn't know that they still worked on buses for a full year.
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