Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

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Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby Rbts Stn » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:55 pm

Saw this on the news this morning:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/04/09/m ... n-airport/

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Silver Line at S Station already beyond the faregates, so this is really a free ride to anywhere on the Rapid Transit system?

And if so, I wonder why they aren't advertising it as such. I think it would be much more desirable if listed that way.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:49 pm

You misread the article. It clearly says no fares will be collected "From Logan Airport Into Boston".

Fares will still be collected going towards Logan.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby jboutiet » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:06 pm

But once you get from Logan to S Station, you can go anywhere else for free, since you're already inside the gates, no? So it's a free ride from Logan to anywhere on the subway system?
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby BigUglyCat » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:14 pm

Do you suppose that they'll empty the bus at South Station, and then charge the fare to anyone entering (or re-entering)?
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby Arlington » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:03 pm

BigUglyCat wrote:Do you suppose that they'll empty the bus at South Station, and then charge the fare to anyone entering (or re-entering)?

It does seem like a free ride anywhere in the rail system. I read it to simply mean that no fares will be collected while boarding at the Silver Line's Airport stops--it is a way to get arriving out of towners to start their visit with a transit trip. Even better if they ride both the Silver Line and the Red Line and know how both work...had they ridden a cab, the MBTA would probably never get them as a customer at all.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby CS » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:17 pm

Their seems to be confusion to those who may not be familiar with the system - if indeed they will not be collecting fares from the Airport to South Station, that means free ride on the rapid transit system. It is within the fare control area. Wait until people who live in East Boston near the airport catch on to this one...
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby Arlington » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:26 pm

CS wrote:Their seems to be confusion to those who may not be familiar with the system - if indeed they will not be collecting fares from the Airport to South Station, that means free ride on the rapid transit system. It is within the fare control area. Wait until people who live in East Boston near the airport catch on to this one...

With perimeter fencing, there aren't that many good ways to walk to Logan Terminals A and E. From almost anywhere near there, that's an awful lot of extra time and walking to save $2. Only if riders value their time at below minimum wage ($8/hr) is it worth walking an extra 15 minutes to save $2. And since your trip back won't be free, I don't see commuters giving up their rail pass.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby CS » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:49 pm

Arlington wrote:
CS wrote:Their seems to be confusion to those who may not be familiar with the system - if indeed they will not be collecting fares from the Airport to South Station, that means free ride on the rapid transit system. It is within the fare control area. Wait until people who live in East Boston near the airport catch on to this one...

With perimeter fencing, there aren't that many good ways to walk to Logan Terminals A and E. From almost anywhere near there, that's an awful lot of extra time and walking to save $2. Only if riders value their time at below minimum wage ($8/hr) is it worth walking an extra 15 minutes to save $2. And since your trip back won't be free, I don't see commuters giving up their rail pass.


You can walk to Airport Blue Line station, jump on a shuttle and change for a Silver Line... I suspect many of those making "at below" minimum wage WOULD do it to save 2 bucks. Isn't the T broke?
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby scrook » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:48 pm

"Isn't the T broke?"

Massport's paying the fares, as its in their self interest to move passengers off the airport quicker. Potentially a good deal for the T.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby Arlington » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:00 pm

scrook wrote:
CS wrote:"Isn't the T broke?"

Massport's paying the fares, as its in their self interest to move passengers off the airport quicker. Potentially a good deal for the T.

Exactly. As I detail below, the T is expecting to get 50% more in fares than they do today under this deal.

You have to read the whole Globe article to get the picture of its impact on T finances:
http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/06/05 ... story.html
Here's what I take away:
1) Today Massport gets 75% of the airport curbside farebox anyway (because it paid for the vehicles), so yes, the T today basically "gives away" Red Line rides to any Silver Line user who wants one after the T's having collected only 50cents (25% of $2).
2) Today Massport gets $200,000 per 90 days from the airport curbside farebox. The T gets $66k.
3) Paying the MBTA that $66k (on behalf of existing riders) and paying for expected new riders ($34k...a 50% ridership boost) will cost Massport an additional $100,000 per 90 days, and net the MBTA an additional $34k in that time (its share of the value of the new riders).

Massport is laying out $300k for all 90 days: giving up its $200k it would ordinarily get from the farebox, plus paying out $100k to the MBTA.
CS wrote:You can walk to Airport Blue Line station, jump on a shuttle and change for a Silver Line... I suspect many of those making "at below" minimum wage WOULD do it to save 2 bucks.

The beauty here (for the T) is that Massport pays the fares of any "farebeaters." Backtracking on a shuttle bus is a double loss for Massport (who has to pay for those two rides) but actually at least a partial win for the T (which gets 50c when the farebeater boards the SL). I suspect both the MBTA and Massport are confident enough that people hate slow, multiseat bus rides enough to not try it.

Admittedly, if the farebeater is switching from Airport or Maverick or Wood Island, the MBTA is out $1.50 (loss of $2 on the rail fare, recapture of 50c on the SL)

But really, any East Boston riders who want that badly to beat fares are already jumping over or piggybacking through the faregates at their closest Blue Line stop. Sidetracking on a bus through the airport to ride a bus on a circuitous route (compared to the Blue Line) is nearly the worst way to squeeze $2 out of a day that can be framed by the imagination.

All the T needs to come out ahead is 3 new riders (from out of town) step on the SL (a 50c win each) for each switch-from-the subway backtracker (a $1.50 loss). I think they can be confident that ratio will hold and that the T (as a system) will come out ahead.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby wicked » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:04 am

CS wrote:You can walk to Airport Blue Line station, jump on a shuttle and change for a Silver Line... I suspect many of those making "at below" minimum wage WOULD do it to save 2 bucks.


The closest residence to the T stop is between five and 10 minutes walking distance. Apartment buildings aren't next to the fare gates.

So instead of:
-- Walking to Airport station
-- Waiting XX minutes for Blue Line

You're now:
-- Walking to Airport station
-- Waiting XX minutes for shuttle
-- Waiting XX minutes for Silver Line
-- Waiting XX minutes for shuttle or Silver Line to navigate airport traffic
-- Assuming the Ted will be fine trafficwise (which it normally is)
-- Deal with the bus for the time it takes to get out of the tunnel, drive down Northern Avenue, shut off the diesel, turn on the electric and enter the busway

Unless you're going to Braintree there's no way you break even on the time, and that's even a stretch. And given the frequency of the Silver Line off peak, you'll still win with the Blue Line, every time.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby connartist88h » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:07 am

It's worth mentioning that off peak (late night) Blue Line service shows every 13 minutes vs. 12 minutes for the SL1. As a Logan employee headed for downtown after 10PM, I often found myself choosing whichever came first (SL1 or shuttle), and if I took the shuttle I would dread every time the train rolled in ahead of the bus and wanting the next 8 to 14 minutes of my life back. With countdown timers at the terminals now in place, I hardly ever bother with the blue line anymore when I return home, and I can use 10 minutes waiting more efficiently in the terminal than I can in the station. I'm sure my opinion would be more favorable of the Blue Line if and only if I worked earlier hours.

The airport commute makes me think of the monthly pass as a reentry permit. The following examples fit commuters but not passengers with luggage. For Blue to Red, I can run down Washington Street from State to DTX in under four minutes, or run to Charles when Bowdoin is open. For the SL1, I usually disembark outside the Seaport Hotel, run downstairs if I see another SL bus entering the tunnel, or even run all the way to South Station and still beat the bus I left by about 1-2 minutes. More often I'm now transferring to a Hubway bike at the earliest opportunity and enjoying the long ride, but the thought of free rides won't make me give up my pass anytime soon.
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby CS » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:50 am

Got it
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:56 am

CSX Conductor wrote:You misread the article. It clearly says no fares will be collected "From Logan Airport Into Boston".

Fares will still be collected going towards Logan.

Which is why the topic is "...from Logan"
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Re: Free Silver Line from Logan for next 3 months

Postby boblothrope » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:07 pm

connartist88h wrote:As a Logan employee headed for downtown after 10PM, I often found myself choosing whichever came first (SL1 or shuttle),


Isn't that hard to do at some terminals, because the shuttle and Silver Line stops are far apart?
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