MBTA @ 50

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MBTA @ 50

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:01 am

8/3/1964. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the T's incorporation.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Diverging Route » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:10 am

Nice article in Sunday's Boston Globe.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby GE45tonner » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:04 pm

Would have liked if they mentioned HOW the lines were color-coded, because I've always found that interesting.

Red Line - It's geographically association with Harvard, which's main color is Red

Blue Line - It runs underneath part of Boston Harbor

Green Line - It's branches reach out to the Fens, were the city turns to green

Orange Line - The original elevated route was over Washington Street, once known as Orange Street

I only assume that Purple, Yellow, and Silver were the only names left and have no special meaning :P
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:28 pm

50 years of Money Being Thrown Away by the Mostly Broken Transportation Attempt…

Lowlights:

1966

Unnecessary route number changes.

1969

TEMPORARY closure of Watertown Line

1971

ATO

1976

American Motors buses

1977

The SLRV

1980

Decision to build Alewife Extension with tight curve at Harvard

1985

New Forest Hills Terminal for E Branch (hasn't seen a steel wheel yet)

1992

Forced by politicians to tear up Watertown Line

1999

Type 8s

2003

Articulated CNG Buses bankrupt Neoplan
NABI buses
"Rebuilding" of Fields Corner and Ashmont Stations

2008

No snow removal capability on Mattapan Ashmont Line

2000s

"Forward" Funding - No ability the increase service as ridership balloons
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby jonnhrr » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:58 pm

Gerry, you forgot tearing down the Washington St El, replacing it with a rapid transit line that is in a less convenient location, then throwing in "bus rapid transit" to make up for it.

I guess there were some good things:

The Braintree extension
The type 7's
restoration of the Old Colony commuter service
Rehabbed PCC's on the Mattapan line.

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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:39 pm

What about shutting down passenger service on the Lexington/Bedford line in anticipation of the Red Line extension that was shockingly NIMBY'd out of existence?

or spending all of that money on the new trackless trolleys only to pull down the wires over Trapelo?

or building the Braintree extension in such a way that adding a dual-tracked ROW for proper CR service on the Old Colony Lines would cost about as much as building a new subway from scratch?

or reneging on their legal obligation to build the Red<-> blue connector?

or choosing to spend >1 Billion extending the most overburdened line of all into a city with hundreds of thousands of riders when DMU/EMU service would have been far cheaper and wouldn't have led to ANOTHER CR line getting crippled by single-track running?
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:40 am

Bramdeisroberts wrote:or choosing to spend >1 Billion extending the most overburdened line of all into a city with hundreds of thousands of riders when DMU/EMU service would have been far cheaper and wouldn't have led to ANOTHER CR line getting crippled by single-track running?


I thought both the Fitchburg and Lowell lines will both still be 2 tracks after the GLX?
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:50 am

I can't see how they can shoehorn 4 tracks and required separation of LR and CR into that right-of-way. (Especially on the outer end, beyond the junction with the old freight cut-off.

Seriously, the MBTA did some good things and some bad things over the years. Sadly, many of the bad things will remain as long as we have a transit system. Also, one must remember that the MBTA was dealt a bad hand by the McLernon era of the MTA, when much valuable infrastructure was trashed. In recent years, though, the MBTA has sold off much of its most valuable long-term asset - real estate - to raise short term cash. A classic example was the sale of key property at Ashmont Station, during the "rehabilitation" of the station, creating major disruptions for the customers.

The MBTA needs a funding arrangement which insures that it can meet future needs, not by ill-advised capital programs, but by improving existing service.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:36 pm

You hit the nail on the head, it all comes down to funding, which the T rarely gets anywhere near what it needs to run a proper public transit system, much less to build and improve for the future. They do a great job with what we give them, but unfortunately they have to rob Peter to pay Paul every day in order to do it (I.e. station renovations when the trains that go to them are 40 years old).

Compare that to how the MTA, Transport For London, or even the WMATA manages to keep themselves funded with what they actually need to provide good service and adapt to new needs.

I think a lot of the problem lies with the political landscape in this state, where every little community seems to have this extremely shortsighted view of "well I don't live in Boston and the T doesn't service me directly, so why should I have to pay for it?".

If we look a few hundred miles to our Southwest, we'd see that New York, and by extension the MTA, Metronorth, and the LIRR have no problem flexing their political muscles and reminding the rest of the state that without them, their state's economy would look no different from that of Northern Ohio without the economic boost from Cleveland, so just give us what we need to keep NYC ticking.

Massachusetts is no different, but for some reason, nobody in City Hall or the transportation building seems to want to take that approach, and so things with the T are left mired in their current state of chronic mediocrity.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby sery2831 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:49 am

Gerry6309 wrote:I can't see how they can shoehorn 4 tracks and required separation of LR and CR into that right-of-way. (Especially on the outer end, beyond the junction with the old freight cut-off.



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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby StevieC48 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:04 pm

The blue line got its color because of its destination Revere where the ocean is and not because it went under the harbor. I forgot about that and it sounds plausible. May be im misraken
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:08 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:or spending all of that money on the new trackless trolleys only to pull down the wires over Trapelo?


When did this happen? I didn't know there were any routes beyond Waverly Sq. The only diesel equivalent today is the 554.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:19 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
Bramdeisroberts wrote:or spending all of that money on the new trackless trolleys only to pull down the wires over Trapelo?


When did this happen? I didn't know there were any routes beyond Waverly Sq. The only diesel equivalent today is the 554.

News to me as well. IIRC diesel buses are currently substituting on at least some of the trackless routes due to construction, but that's only supposed to be temporary.

Waverly Square has always been the end of the 73 because prior to the grade separation in the 1950s, the Fitchburg Line blocked the streetcars from going any further. The 554 is a much newer route.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:28 pm

Take a drive down Trapelo from Waverley to Mount Auburn Street, I haven't seen wires or tracklesses there in at least 1+ year.
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Re: MBTA @ 50

Postby The EGE » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:54 am

Bramdeisroberts wrote:Take a drive down Trapelo from Waverley to Mount Auburn Street, I haven't seen wires or tracklesses there in at least 1+ year.


Diesel buses started running in September 2013; it should be a two-year project. I haven't heard updates.
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