Silver Line Thread/Tracker

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Postby jck » Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:24 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Arborway wrote:
RussNelson wrote:Rode the "Silver Line" a few weeks ago, for the first time. Very unimpressed. If I wanted to ride the bus, I would have ridden the bus. Instead, I got to ride a bus when I wanted to ride a train. Noisy and bumpy. Bleh.


I can't get over how bumpy the ride is, and the insanity of using the SL buses as a major means of transporting passengers with bulky luggage. It seems like a sadistic joke.


Which is why all the airport and rent-a-car shuttles are not off-the-shelf city buses, but actually designed with suspensions to ensure something resembling a smooth ride while towing or racking luggage. Those shuttles aren't exactly designed for city driving either like a regular bus would be, but that's why they stick them to their specialty of going terminal-to-terminal. Unfortunately that's one limitation of doing a one-size-fits-all make for the SL and just reconfiguring interiors. I also think the state's craptacular style of grooved concrete pavement that seems to be all the rage on Big Dig roads makes the problem even worse.

I've done that ride too as a standee a crowded dual-mode precariously positioned with heavy bags around one arm and between legs and a tenuous grip on the nearest pole, and it's scary as hell...especially when the driver's got the same lead brake foot as if they were driving on any other line. I almost prefer doing Blue-to-shuttle if I'm doing anything heavier than light travel or picking someone up, even with the pain-in-butt extra subway transfer because you get taken to the terminal on a shuttle that's actually built-to-task. I really wonder if they're gonna be back to the drawing board with the SL1 racks setup the first time one of them has to slam it to a dead stop that launches all the 50-pound projectiles off the racks and/or drags their owners through the aisles like ragdolls. Seems like multiple concussions, bruises/lacerations/broken bones, and lawsuits waiting to happen.


And just to pile on, the fact that the Silver Line can't use the left-most lane in terminal B of the airport is just a sad joke. People double and triple park all time, but the Silver Line cannot get around, because it's stuck using right-hand lanes only.

Every aspect of the silver line was so poorly thought out, from the too-narrow underground lanes which limit the speed to around 20 mph, to the fact that Silver line comes above ground just in time to hit an unprioritized traffic light, to the circuitous routing from "Silver Line Way" to the Ted Williams tunnel. I think a street-level express bus service to the airport running from South Station, even with a single stop by the convention center, would be much faster, even in traffic.


You have to allow at least 1/2 hour from South Station to terminal, which is just unacceptably slow for the short distance the line covers in that time.
jck
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:46 am

Postby octr202 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:15 pm

Which is further compounded by the fact that the T continues to claim a 15 minute trip from SS to Terminal A. Like so many other features, I pity the person who actually uses the MBTA trip planner* to plan a trip to Logan airport -- nearly all origin points end up with the system telling the user to take the Sliver Line. If they're banking on that 15 minute trip, they could be in for a cruel surprise, especially if they arrive at South Station to find the SL1 is already jammed to the gills, and have to wait another 10 minutes for it, in addition to the slow trip in general.

If you're going to Term. E, I suspect that its probably faster to get off at A and walk thru the parking garages via the sky bridges. Not sure for the other terminals, as I've mostly been using A of late.

*Among interesting choices it generated...
-Cleveland Circle to Logan:
1) 86 to Harvard, Red to SS, SL1 to Logan
2) Walk to Chestnut Hill/Comm. Ave., B Line to Park St., Red to SS, SL1 to Logan

-Washington& Congress (downtown) to Logan:
1) Orange State to DTX, Red DTX to SS, SL1 to Logan
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby Ron Newman » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:41 pm

What is the problem with the left lane? Is the Silver Line bus too tall to fit there?
Ron Newman
 
Posts: 2772
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:04 pm
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Postby octr202 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:41 am

Ron Newman wrote:What is the problem with the left lane? Is the Silver Line bus too tall to fit there?


That's the mystery. The overhead clearances appear to be the same in all lanes at terminal B, and in fact, the motor coaches (which seem to be at least the same if not taller than the dual-modes) run in those lanes all the time. I'd love to know what the real reason is (perhaps that's not just roadway, but there's some sort of structure under there that can't support the weight of the dual-modes?), because as it is, it just seems like a case of "oh, the Silver Line had a chance of being convenient, let's slow it down a little more."
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby jck » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:40 am

octr202 wrote:Which is further compounded by the fact that the T continues to claim a 15 minute trip from SS to Terminal A. Like so many other features, I pity the person who actually uses the MBTA trip planner* to plan a trip to Logan airport -- nearly all origin points end up with the system telling the user to take the Sliver Line. If they're banking on that 15 minute trip, they could be in for a cruel surprise, especially if they arrive at South Station to find the SL1 is already jammed to the gills, and have to wait another 10 minutes for it, in addition to the slow trip in general.

If you're going to Term. E, I suspect that its probably faster to get off at A and walk thru the parking garages via the sky bridges. Not sure for the other terminals, as I've mostly been using A of late.

*Among interesting choices it generated...
-Cleveland Circle to Logan:
1) 86 to Harvard, Red to SS, SL1 to Logan
2) Walk to Chestnut Hill/Comm. Ave., B Line to Park St., Red to SS, SL1 to Logan

-Washington& Congress (downtown) to Logan:
1) Orange State to DTX, Red DTX to SS, SL1 to Logan


It's never taken me 15 minutes from S. Station to Terminal A.

If you're going to terminal C or E, I would strongly suggest using the Blue line.
jck
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:46 am

Postby RailBus63 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:35 am

Nobody was putting up the funds to build a rail line from South Station to Logan Airport - not the Feds and not the state. They built a bus line instead. Get over it.
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:16 am

RailBus63 wrote:Nobody was putting up the funds to build a rail line from South Station to Logan Airport - not the Feds and not the state. They built a bus line instead. Get over it.


What does that have to do with SL1 not being able to use the left lane at terminals?
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7244
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Postby octr202 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:48 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:Nobody was putting up the funds to build a rail line from South Station to Logan Airport - not the Feds and not the state. They built a bus line instead. Get over it.


What does that have to do with SL1 not being able to use the left lane at terminals?


Granted -- I wasn't expecting a rail line to be built. However, I'd expect that MBTA to report accurate information in their website to travelers. Telling people to expect a 15 minute ride from SS to the airport is fictional, at best. Granted, this, and the routing problems with the trip planner (favoring the SL1 when the BL makes more sense) could all be part of the larger problems with the trip planner, it appears to just another attempt to sweep the problems with the SL1 under the rug, while giving travelers the false impression of a quick trip.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby Epsilon » Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:42 am

I took the SL1 just the past week for the first time... I got not one but two trips around Logan Airport, as our bus driver decided not to open the back doors at Terminal E where I was disembarking, (though to the T's credit, they did have another bus waiting at Silver Line Way and allowed us to take that)

A bit of a long wait for the bus on the way home... while waiting at Terminal E, I noticed that the system map there shows the long-lost SL4 to Andrew Square... is that even still in the cards anymore?
Epsilon
 

Postby octr202 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:16 pm

A small but annoying rant about the Silver Line from this weekend...the T was using non-Massport (luggage rack) buses on the SL1 both on my trip to and from the airport. While on the way back last night I didn't see any others out there, on Thursday afternoon, going to Logan, I saw 4 Massport rack buses either out of service (one), or being used for other routes (two on the SL2 and one on the Silver Line Way short-turn). In particular, while my SL1 was boarding, there was a rack bus sitting in front of us that departed simultaneously for Silver Line Way, while people going to the airport clogged the aisle on the SL1 bus with their luggage. I'd love to hear an explanation why those luggage racks are needed for South Boston commuters and not riders going to the airport with, well, luggage.

Just another way the SL1 is great for anyone traveling to the airport, as long as you don't have luggage.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby RailBus63 » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:06 am

It's frustrating to see the MBTA bring a typical transit mentality to the SL1. They need to understand that airport travel patterns fluctuate throughout the year and have several extremely busy periods. The T must realistically evaluate ridership during those periods and provide sufficient capacity to meet demand. Massport beefs up it shuttle service during such times - if their shuttles had been operating on normal schedules, the same crowding issues we see on the SL1 would occur. Rental car companies put every available bus in their fleet our during those busy days - the MBTA needs to do the same (with financial assistance from Massport as appropriate).

Massport should monitor the MBTA's operation of the SL1 and make a huge stink at Park Plaza if the T is running luggage rack buses on the other routes while regular dual-modes are on the airport run. During busy times, if there aren't enough dual-mode buses then the MBTA should have plans ready to operate regular yellow T buses and run supplementary service direct to South Station as appropriate.

The bigger problem with the Silver Line (including the Washington St. service ) always seems to come back to operations. The MBTA dispatches buses down the line and they're on their own after that. The SL1 is not the Harvard-Dudley - there should be allowances for flexibility when needed. If the airport line was managed properly, an onsite manager and supervisors could evaluate where crowds are heaviest and designate certain SL1 runs as needed to operate from South Station only to specific terminals, thus saving travel time for customers and getting the buses turned back to South Station more quickly.

The MBTA needs to think less like a transit authority if this service is ever going to meet its potential, but I don't have a lot of faith that this will happen.
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:11 am

It's the little things on SL1 that need to be fixed.

Why does the SL1 stop twice departing South Station... once at the "approved" stop, and then again a few yards down the platform?

At that second stop, why does the Starter come on to the bus to chat with the driver, even for only 30 seconds?

Why do shift changes occur on the outbound departure at the aforementioned second stop? Why not in the turn-around when buses are laying over?

Finally, and most importantly, why has traffic light premption not been installed at Silver Line Way just beyond the portal? That can cost one to two minutes each way, a big percentage of a 15-20 minute trip. I did a "write to the top" to the SL chief about this, and received no reply.
Enjoy Life!
Take the Diverging Route
User avatar
Diverging Route
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:35 pm

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:17 am

Better yet, why not remove the traffic light? D street is not especially busy, and Silver Line buses can easily cross half of it at a time and wait to cross the other half if needed.
Ron Newman
 
Posts: 2772
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:04 pm
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:59 am

Diverging Route wrote:Finally, and most importantly, why has traffic light premption not been installed at Silver Line Way just beyond the portal? That can cost one to two minutes each way, a big percentage of a 15-20 minute trip. I did a "write to the top" to the SL chief about this, and received no reply.


Signal priority is actually a condition of meeting the CLF requirements for the Silver Line...and the T has been barked at about the SL Way light by parties with much bigger teeth to actually enforce something but still to no avail.

Since this is maybe THE most widespread traffic management issue on all the T's surface modes I'm scratching my head as to why it's so damn hard to even attempt it anywhere, much less fulfill their mandate to install it on all GL and SL branches and a double-digit list of the highest-priority bus routes. Must be awfully empowering to go through life feeling full invincibility to all lawsuits and legal documents you signed under oath, eh?
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7244
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Silver Line Thread/Tracker

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:58 pm

State to consider extending Silver Line bus service to East Boston, Chelsea

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/eas ... ng_si.html
User avatar
Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:26 am
Location: Eastie

Previous

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests