OPTO and POP On the Green Line

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Sat May 19, 2012 1:28 pm

Image

Getting back on topic, I noticed that cameras are being installed on the upper (green line) level of Park Street station. At first, I thought these were merely for surveillance purposes but the sheer number of them--and the flat screens at the front of the platforms--leads me me to believe that OPTO will be implemented some time in the near future.

I asked a T construction worker what the purpose of the screens was and he said he didn't know, since he works in construction. We were chatting about the nature of the different lines (red line vs. green, specifically) and when I asked him about OPTO on the green line, he alluded to the fact that the green line is a totally different line than the heavy rail lines (obviously).

Anyway, I know POP systems have been discussed here before, but I think a good stepping stone for the green line would be to have OPTO in the central subway and out to Lechmere (including GLX if it's ever built), meaning that all fare-controlled stations would have OPTO. Then, the B, C and D branches--which would retain one operator in each car--could turn around at Kenmore and make their outbound trip. The E line could turn around at Park given that that's the first loop after Copley.

This, of course, would be massively inconvenient for riders as they would have to switch cars once reaching Kenmore or Park. But, once a feasible POP system were implemented, all branches could resume running like they do today, but with only one operator. Thoughts?
User avatar
CircusFreakGRITZ
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat May 19, 2012 4:15 pm

CircusFreakGRITZ wrote:Image

Getting back on topic, I noticed that cameras are being installed on the upper (green line) level of Park Street station. At first, I thought these were merely for surveillance purposes but the sheer number of them--and the flat screens at the front of the platforms--leads me me to believe that OPTO will be implemented some time in the near future.

I asked a T construction worker what the purpose of the screens was and he said he didn't know, since he works in construction. We were chatting about the nature of the different lines (red line vs. green, specifically) and when I asked him about OPTO on the green line, he alluded to the fact that the green line is a totally different line than the heavy rail lines (obviously).

Anyway, I know POP systems have been discussed here before, but I think a good stepping stone for the green line would be to have OPTO in the central subway and out to Lechmere (including GLX if it's ever built), meaning that all fare-controlled stations would have OPTO. Then, the B, C and D branches--which would retain one operator in each car--could turn around at Kenmore and make their outbound trip. The E line could turn around at Park given that that's the first loop after Copley.

This, of course, would be massively inconvenient for riders as they would have to switch cars once reaching Kenmore or Park. But, once a feasible POP system were implemented, all branches could resume running like they do today, but with only one operator. Thoughts?

Wait, what does OPTO have to do with where you loop trains? And who in their right mind would slash service through the subway?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby The EGE » Sat May 19, 2012 4:37 pm

B can't turn at Kenmore - only C and D have access to the loop.
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2460
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the N Judah

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Sat May 19, 2012 8:19 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Wait, what does OPTO have to do with where you loop trains? And who in their right mind would slash service through the subway?

Because there is currently an operator in each car to collect fares. In the central subway there is no need since all stops are enclosed in fare-controlled areas.

As for the B line not having access to the loop--ah, there goes my idea. Doubt they would've done something like that anyway they'll probably go pure OPTO like SF Muni.
User avatar
CircusFreakGRITZ
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby obienick » Sat May 19, 2012 11:37 pm

My idea:

Since the E, although the shortest, is most likely to get delayed due to street running, it should be truncated to Park. On the other hand, the D which has a complete segregated ROW should be extended all through Lechmere.

Now with respect to OPTO of the green line, the new length of the E within the prepaid zone is rather short so multi person operation wouldn't matter much. The stations on the D could easily be fenced in and have gates installed allowing for OPTO. The B can get truncated at Kenmore. The loop is only used for staging trains for Sox games and the B is also often delayed due to BU. And for the C, an operator can hop on to the second/third car at Kenmore outbound and jump off inbound. Balancing of services within the central subway can be achieved by Perhaps adding a short turn Reservoir--Government Center. Basically any central subway train would be OPTO and any surface except for the D would have two or 3 operators.

Basically the T ******ed themselves by not going to POP with the Charlie Card/Ticket system. This operational scheme is not too complicated and can easily be accomplished with minimal investment.

Can the current system be retrofitted cheaply for POP?
obienick
 
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: NY

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby jamesinclair » Sat May 19, 2012 11:56 pm

CircusFreakGRITZ wrote:Anyway, I know POP systems have been discussed here before, but I think a good stepping stone for the green line would be to have OPTO in the central subway and out to Lechmere (including GLX if it's ever built), meaning that all fare-controlled stations would have OPTO. Then, the B, C and D branches--which would retain one operator in each car--could turn around at Kenmore and make their outbound trip. The E line could turn around at Park given that that's the first loop after Copley.

This, of course, would be massively inconvenient for riders as they would have to switch cars once reaching Kenmore or Park. But, once a feasible POP system were implemented, all branches could resume running like they do today, but with only one operator. Thoughts?


Instead of screwing over passengers, why not just have operators hop off one train at kenmore and board the next outbound?


Or simply go proof of payment for real. The only job of the driver should be to drive, not worry about fares, questions etc
jamesinclair
 
Posts: 2163
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby sery2831 » Sun May 20, 2012 12:29 am

I find this interesting. There is a huge push to collect all the fares, and it looks like they want to remove a person whose job it is to collect fares. POP will not work on the T without a major over haul on how the fare collections are done.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5134
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Sun May 20, 2012 1:26 am

I like the idea of fencing in D line stations with fare gates, and I totally agree that the D line should run through to Lechmere. Why exactly was it truncated to Gov't Center? It used to run to Lechmere along with the E line back before the new North Station was built. I know it's been argued that "Lechmere would be over-served," but I don't believe that for one second. If anything, Lechmere is underserved and could use twice as much frequency. Lechmere trains are always packed, at least in my experience. Maybe if the green line goes OPTO they can run more trains to Lechmere? Image

Anyway, in terms of fare gates, Riverside is already done. Fenway and Reservoir could easily be done. The rest of the stops could be done as well with some creativity.
User avatar
CircusFreakGRITZ
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby jwhite07 » Sun May 20, 2012 8:29 am

Since the E, although the shortest, is most likely to get delayed due to street running, it should be truncated to Park. On the other hand, the D which has a complete segregated ROW should be extended all through Lechmere.


Park Street "historically" was the terminus of the Arborway line, and undoubtedly that's what worked best back then. Keep in mind, though, that the inbound termini of each line has been tinkered with so many times over the years, it's hard to determine if there will ever be a pattern that can be stuck with long term. It's a variable that they have to continually tweak to respond to the latest change in equipment and crew utilization, passenger travel patterns and flow, dwell times, traffic management, and so on. For example, your D line running through to Lechmere, which seems completely logical, might not in fact be the best solution. Maybe it has been found that by turning the cars at Government Center instead, you can improve utilization to the point where you get, say, two more trips to Riverside per peak period with the same amount of equipment and manpower. Hopefully that has all been studied out and the termini as they are today are optimal for today's situation, but maybe a few years down the road, something else will work better and they'll change it again.
User avatar
jwhite07
 
Posts: 1411
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:39 pm

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby Arborway » Sun May 20, 2012 5:52 pm

sery2831 wrote:I find this interesting. There is a huge push to collect all the fares, and it looks like they want to remove a person whose job it is to collect fares. POP will not work on the T without a major over haul on how the fare collections are done.


I think L.A. has figured it out pretty well. At any given time, there are a good number of sheriff's deputies roaming the system, handing out $250 fare evasion fines like they're candy -- with a bonus on-the-spot warrant check for those who get fined. There are days were I see as many deputies on the Metro as I saw T Police over the course of a about a year.

One T inspector is a lot less intimidating than pairs (and they always travel in pairs) of armed deputies walking from car to car. Or the classic wall o' cops waiting at the end of a platform to greet arriving passengers. No baggage searches, just flash them your ticket / let them scan your Metro card and continue on. Don't have a valid ticket? Get ready to have a bad day.
Arborway
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:11 pm
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby Matthew » Mon May 21, 2012 12:05 am

I have trouble believing that they tweak and optimize routes and schedules so much. We're talking about an agency that can't re-route a Green line train to a different branch after it has gone out of service at Gov't Center; instead they make "B" line riders stand-by at Kenmore for "schedule adjustments."

Installing fare gates at all surface "D" line stations in order to get Green OPTO would be obscenely expensive, and that would completely defeat the point of going OPTO. Well, I'm sure they can get some "capital" grant to cover it but then "operation" of the new fare-gates would prove to require more costly maintenance.

Having the rear car operator(s) switch back to outbound trains at Kenmore and the Prudential sounds like a reasonable plan. Well at least until the operators push back over being forced to climb up and down stairs every 30 minutes :)
Matthew
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:20 pm

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby sery2831 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:23 am

Having trailer operators get off at Kenmore inbound and on an outbound sounds like a true scheduling night mare. What happens in service interruptions? It may not look like the trains do not have schedules, but they really do.

As for POP, there has to be a change on how the fares are collected at the subway stations. For one, pass back privileges on the Charlie Card and Charlie Tickets would have to be eliminated. Every person would need to have a physical proof of payment(too much room for stories like oh my friend let me in on his Charlie Card and went to Braintree while I am going to Harvard Ave... for example). They would have to sign all the stations to keep your ticket and not deposit it in the handy recycling bin they provide just inside the fare gates at most stations. There would have to be a true penalty for fare evasion and not small fines which the State seems to be resistant on passing. And the biggest issue would be installing Fare Vending Machines at all the surface stops. It would be unrealistic to expect everyone paying to use ONE fare box on a train at rush hour!
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5134
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby diburning » Mon May 21, 2012 3:00 am

They should then just raise the surcharge on paying cash on board. Instead of $2.50 cash, and $2.00 with the charlie card, do $3.00 cash, and $2.00 with the charlie card. Also charge the full $3 on the first ride if the charlie card is reloaded on board under a certain amount (something like $5 would be fair; to prevent people from holding up the line by loading a single ride every time) The state will rake in more money, and people will PAY for wasting everyone's time because they're standing there for 5 minutes trying to load their charlie card with $2 in wet, crinkled bills.
User avatar
diburning
 
Posts: 2970
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Practicing safe CSX by using Three-Step Protection

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby Disney Guy » Mon May 21, 2012 5:18 am

sery2831 wrote:Having trailer operators get off at Kenmore inbound and on an outbound sounds like a true scheduling night mare. What happens in service interruptions? It may not look like the trains do not have schedules, but they really do. !

The Law Of Averages can be used to decide how many extra trailer operators should be on hand FIFO to meet outbound trains at Kenmore or Symphony (Or rather Blandford, St. Mary's, Fenway, and Northeastern). If IROPS get too far out of line then an occasional outbound train has no trailer operator to meet it and stays in OPTO mode for the entire outbound trip.

An outbound train could wait for a trailer operator for a limited time depending on traffic behind it.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
User avatar
Disney Guy
 
Posts: 788
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Nashua, NH

Re: OPTO and POP On the Green Line

Postby diburning » Mon May 21, 2012 5:52 am

I don't see how this would save money by eliminating the second operators.

Running OPTO outbound on surface stops is a recipe for disaster.

Here's my idea of how it might happen. B, C, and D would run with two operators up to Kenmore. The second operator would get off, and board the next outbound train to work the second/third car. Maybe one or two backup operators would be kept on hand so that no train goes outbound without a second operator. This will get very interesting during rush hour with 3-car trains, or at other times when there are singles vs doubles (if a single goes inbound, who will take the outbound double?)

The E would probably not run OPTO at all since it merges in at Copley. Since there's no way to get from one side to the other without going upstairs and crossing the street (there is a platform crossing for maintenance crews, but if they used that for every operator that gets off, then it would cause backups in the center subway as well as increasing the risk of injury). It also doesn't make much sense to base a separate set of backups at Copley just to service that one line. It could happen though, during rush hour when they are needed.

Another thing they can do is install gates on all of the platforms on the D line. Since the platforms are nice and wide, with no road crossings to worry about, it should not be very hard. Then, maybe they can run full-OPTO on that line. They'd have to fence off the rear of some of the platforms though.

The B and C have narrow platforms (like Harvard Ave or Warren st on the B) so fencing them off and adding faregates would be a major safety issue with people cramming onto the platform. There's really nothing they can do about it since they can't annex any more of the road to extend the platform. The road is narrow enough as it is already. They COULD make it work by moving the tracks so that the tracks are closer to the curb on the other side, but it would be very costly to do so.
User avatar
diburning
 
Posts: 2970
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Practicing safe CSX by using Three-Step Protection

Next

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests