OPTO and POP On the Green Line

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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby bbfen » Mon May 21, 2012 9:28 am

Not sure why it's a benefit to get operators out of the second car. They are union and can't be shed from the payroll right? How is it cost savings?
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby Matthew » Mon May 21, 2012 12:21 pm

How is running outbound OPTO a disaster? It used to be free. This would be similar but with the possibility of fare inspectors.

Putting gates on every surface station is unacceptably expensive. That's why GLX stations are over $10 million apiece. Making that a requirement for OPTO is absurd.

"E" branch operator changes can happen at Prudential.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby sery2831 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:34 pm

Matthew wrote:How is running outbound OPTO a disaster? It used to be free. This would be similar but with the possibility of fare inspectors.


If you run outbound OPTO what do you do with the trailer person that came inbound?

There is no cost savings for taking the trailer operator off at Kenmore. You would need protect staffing to cover service delays, and then pay over time to the person who missed their trip. So extra staffing and now the possibly paying additional overtime since the protect operator could also incur overtime depending on what they protect.

And what happens in mechanical failures in the Central Subway? You don't have a second operator to operate the trailer to push the dead set into a siding or out of the subway. You would have to wait for an inspector to arrive and preform this duty, causing greater delays.

And lastly, I will keep making this point. POP is PROOF of payment, which means boarding a vehicle paid and able to prove the payment. If you cannot buy your fare at the station, then POP will not work! One(or two) fare box on board a train is not sufficient for the volume of ridership.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby diburning » Mon May 21, 2012 4:57 pm

I second that. Back in the day, when the fare was 85 cents a passenger and the ridership wasn't as high as it is now, they could get away with only opening the front doors all the time at surface stops even at rush hour. Now with ridership up, and people getting larger, they can't really do that anymore.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby CRail » Mon May 21, 2012 8:05 pm

John made the best point regarding operators in each car. Unlike in heavy rail, cars can be split and trains made up en-route. This is in part because every car is equipped with someone who can run it.

Scenario A: There's a gap in service on Comm ave. and a 2 car Beacon St. train comes into Park St. Well, you want to get something outbound on Comm Ave without waiting for this train to go to N. Sta and come back, and the next train is going all the way to Lechmere. So, split the train at Park St., loop the first car at GC and send the trailer to N. Station. Take the leader and divert it to Comm Ave for a trip... oh wait, the second car has no operator? Well, sucks for B passengers doesn't it?

Scenario B: 3679-3808 come into Kenmore with door problems. They decide to split the deuce to isolate the problem (find out what car is acting up). Sure enough, it's 3808 acting up (I can be biased, it's my story). Well you can run 3679 as scheduled and deadhead 3808 to the pit at Park St. or back to the Res with the second operator, so long as you have one. Otherwise all passengers will be dumped and left behind while 1 good car departs out of service.

I challenge the real savings of any kind of OPTO on the green (just as I did with OPTO on the rest of the system), any benefits of partial OPTO would be completely insignificant and pose a much greater logistical nightmare. Plus there are too many things to go wrong and screw up the service.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby danib62 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:09 pm

As someone who has championed OPTO on the red, orange, and blue lines I think it would be a total nightmare on the green line. Unless they switch to a true POP system with heavy enforcement it will not work.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby Matthew » Mon May 21, 2012 10:32 pm

I would like to see OPTO at least in the Central Subway at first. The "outbound" thing was only in case something went wrong. But in principle, it is possible.

I want to point out that San Francisco Muni does OPTO with POP, and they are not that dissimilar from us. They have extensive street running -- sometimes a station is just a bit of yellow paint on a pole. The multi car trains run in the street as well as underground with a single operator. There are multiple fareboxes (Clipper Card) per train. If you must pay cash, you talk to the driver, and get a receipt.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon May 21, 2012 11:25 pm

I'd like to see OPTO on a 3-car train or two running on the GLX and short turning at Brattle on each trip. Or if the abandoned Tremont tunnel could be used to change ends and crossover, then run Tufts - Boylston for all trains, all OPTO. That'd probably be the best scenario.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby CRail » Tue May 22, 2012 8:16 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:I'd like to see OPTO on a 3-car train or two running on the GLX and short turning at Brattle on each trip...

Why couldn't this be done without OPTO? Why would you like to see less staff and less operability? The same situation without OPTO might allow one or two cars to be short turned at Brattle and the other continue to be turned elsewhere reducing congestion in the subway.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue May 22, 2012 8:55 am

CRail wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:I'd like to see OPTO on a 3-car train or two running on the GLX and short turning at Brattle on each trip...

Why couldn't this be done without OPTO? Why would you like to see less staff and less operability? The same situation without OPTO might allow one or two cars to be short turned at Brattle and the other continue to be turned elsewhere reducing congestion in the subway.


That would provide an additional 3 cars of capacity for just one more staff member.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue May 22, 2012 4:55 pm

CRail wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:I'd like to see OPTO on a 3-car train or two running on the GLX and short turning at Brattle on each trip...

Why couldn't this be done without OPTO? Why would you like to see less staff and less operability? The same situation without OPTO might allow one or two cars to be short turned at Brattle and the other continue to be turned elsewhere reducing congestion in the subway.

It could, but it's the only route where OPTO could be put in place without making changes anywhere else on the system. I'd say it makes more sense to save money on a few fewer operators vs retaining flexibility for a scenario (splitting trains and sending the cars on different routes) that AFAIK doesn't occur even today.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby railwye » Wed May 23, 2012 12:15 am

bbfen wrote:Not sure why it's a benefit to get operators out of the second car. They are union and can't be shed from the payroll right? How is it cost savings?


That would depend on what is in their union contract. I don’t know what that is.


Generally speaking, a union contract may specify that an employee may be terminated only for just cause (misconduct or incompetence). That applies as long as the work is there. But if the work is eliminated that’s another story.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby diburning » Wed May 23, 2012 12:21 am

They will not be terminated. As discussed on the other OPTO thread, they will most likely be put to work doing other jobs such as CSAs or Inspectors. The savings will be in the long run as people retire, move away, get other jobs, etc, and the (soon to be nonexistant) positions simply won't be filled.
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby CRail » Wed May 23, 2012 8:20 am

While trains may not be scheduled to separate, it happens as adjustments are made in the field, and the trailerman operating is more common than a 'someday we might need it' scenario.

Getting rid of the trailer (and guards) is like shutting a light off to save on your electric bill while your air conditioner spins your meter like a top. The problems outweigh the savings, but people don't seem to get that. As a little kid, I watched/read many stories about obsolescence and replacement, and the personified obsolete thing was always upset when the replacement came. You'd think of this as a natural response, but we seem to embrace and accelerate our very own obsolescence. Jobs are hard enough to get now, what will your kids do after you've eliminated them all?
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Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby Arborwayfan » Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 am

You mean we can't all be furnacemen in the new town hall, with our obsolete steam shovel as the furnace, CRail? I agree without you about eagerly eliminating jobs -- and we might add eagerly eliminating the need for physical work (from walking to raking leaves) so that we have time to go to the gym if we like it and can afford it. And that's a trend that's bad for transit -- people unwilling to walk half a mile or a mile to/from station.

Are trains, as opposed to single cars, operated only when operating all those cars singly on half the headway would crowd up either the subway or the particular line, and slow down the trip even if wait times became shorter? Are there any lines where former trailer ops could be running additional trips, either by running cars singly or by running them more often.
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