Realistic opinions please.

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

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Postby Charliemta » Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:46 pm

I think the MBTA could learn about the benefits of new elevated rail systems from the Skytrain system, located in Vancouver, BC. It is not a monorail, but a traditional heavy rail system. The trains are automated (i.e. no driver), and that seems to work quite well.

The avatar that I use on here is a photo of a typical elevated Skytrain structure and train, above a Vancouver BC urban street. I think the structure blends in quite well, much less obtrusively than the old "els" of Boston. The Vancouver system is basically a pair of concrete box beams on a single column, usually located on a median strip down the center of the street. This would work well on some of Boston's wider streets such as South Washington Street thru the South End (for a Silver Line transit upgrade), Melnea Cass Blvd. (for the Urban Ring), Comm Ave thru the BU area, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and other locations.

I've ridden Skytrain a few times, and it is very fast, quiet and much more cost effective than tunneling. The system is tunneled under downtown Vancouver, but is elevated everywhere else.
Long live the "El"
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Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:12 am

I did not say Boston was THE dirtiest but I did say it was ABOUT the
dirtiest. I will stand by that. I have ridden much in Philadelphia and that
system is a disgrace.
Just a thought but I think both Philadelphia and Boston could well put to
work some of the 12 to 18 year olds that get into trouble on their transit
systems to work on weekend cleaning subway stations.
Instead of a judge slapping them on the wrist, put them to work for a
couple of weekends with protective gear, water, soap and mops, start
cleaning.
I tend to think that the Boston system is not too bad but the best two
systems in North America in my opinion are Toronto and Montreal.
Montreal Metro trains do not run during the wee hours of the night but they
have all night bus service which operates along the Metro routes. Their
fare system is not too complicated either even if you do not understand
French.
It has been some time since I have been to Toronto but the last time I was there, service was frequent, delays seldom encountered, everything
was clean and people were helpful. It is a joy to ride it.
Compare Boston with the Miami metro area and Miami has one rapid
transit rail line, one busway for express busses and one commuter rail line
between the outskirts of Miami (Hialeah) and West Palm Beach.
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