Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

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

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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby CRail » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:53 am

I don't have any issue with the change itself, but that there was a knee-jerk reaction to a problem fabricated by a sensationalist article which didn't even state true facts. The issue is only exacerbated here by those who argue merit to such fallacies without any knowledge of the topic at hand. You can insist "the sky is red" repeatedly until your lungs are void of wind but I can still look up and see that it's blue.

Like I said before, if you don't believe me, go watch the procedure at Park Street yourself. If you won't, then you'll have to take the word of someone who has.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby danib62 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:49 am

Corey I agree that the $3.8m is probably a very liberal estimate and you can even doubt the veracity of the tracker data. At the end of the day though the schedule as written is basically impossible to keep. To just boil it down to the core issue, as it is right now the last E inbound "w" trip is scheduled to leave Heath St. at 12:47 am while the last B outbound "w" trip is scheduled to leave Park St. at 12:52 AM. At the end of the day unless that last E trip somehow makes it from Heath St. to Park St. in 5 minutes there is no way that last B run ever departs on time.

The T could solve this 2 ways. Change nothing in the way the operation runs but just publish a realistic schedule of shutdown operations as they actually occur, or move up the last E inbound run so that it runs on a realistic schedule so that the last B trip actual has a shot at departing on time. Seems like the T opted for the later.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby RailBus63 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:46 am

The $3.8 million estimate was complete garbage that I suspect the author knew was misleading, but it made for a great attention-grabbing headline.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby The EGE » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:21 pm

Having sat next to the author of the original blog post that first came up with a $2-3 million number (later revised to $3.8 million based on more accurate data), I can say it was a carefully considered approximation and not made up at all.

In 2014, the T reported that a bus cost $178 per hour to operate, a heavy rail car $240 and a light rail car $264. Giving them the benefit of the doubt that they're operating single car green line trains, the cost per hour of four light rail cars (B, C, D and Mattapan), 30 heavy rail cars (five trains at six cars each) and 56 buses comes to $18,224 per hour, or $304 per minute. If the Lechmere car causes a 21 minute delay (as scheduled), this costs $6,384 per day, or $2.33 million per year. In fact, the average delay is more on the order of 34 minutes, which costs $3.77 million. This assumes that all delays are caused by the late Lechmere car; if we attribute 20% of the delays to other causes, there is still a direct operating cost of 1.9 to 3 million dollars per year.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby jboutiet » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:54 pm

The EGE wrote:Having sat next to the author of the original blog post that first came up with a $2-3 million number (later revised to $3.8 million based on more accurate data), I can say it was a carefully considered approximation and not made up at all.

In 2014, the T reported that a bus cost $178 per hour to operate, a heavy rail car $240 and a light rail car $264. Giving them the benefit of the doubt that they're operating single car green line trains, the cost per hour of four light rail cars (B, C, D and Mattapan), 30 heavy rail cars (five trains at six cars each) and 56 buses comes to $18,224 per hour, or $304 per minute. If the Lechmere car causes a 21 minute delay (as scheduled), this costs $6,384 per day, or $2.33 million per year. In fact, the average delay is more on the order of 34 minutes, which costs $3.77 million. This assumes that all delays are caused by the late Lechmere car; if we attribute 20% of the delays to other causes, there is still a direct operating cost of 1.9 to 3 million dollars per year.
I presume these are high level averages based on all associated operating costs, not all of which are incurred evenly. I.e., your running costs at rush hour are much higher than your running costs at 12:30AM, and there are also fixed costs that you can't avoid by ending early. Which is a long way to say that shaving 20 minutes off of your operating time at the very end of the day, but running the same number of trips with the same equipment, is not going to actually save 33% of your average hourly cost.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby CRail » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:47 am

The EGE wrote:
If the Lechmere car causes a 21 minute delay...

It doesn't. Quite often, it waits for other trains to connect making all of your careful mathematics and data analysis moot.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby danib62 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:42 am

CRail wrote:It doesn't. Quite often, it waits for other trains to connect making all of your careful mathematics and data analysis moot.

In your experience Corey what usually causes the hold up?
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby danib62 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:10 am

So it's been a little over a week since they made the change. Anyone have any experience with the new shutdown?
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby Disney Guy » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:54 am

I don't think it takes any rocket science or fancy mathematical equations to adjust the schedule of the last trips of the night.
Someone with a clipboard could do surveys on random nights to see who has been waiting for whom and for how long.

Operators probably just accepted as part of their jobs the wait for the last connecting train to arrive at a transfer point.

In this case it took some reporter trying to earn brownie points from his newspaper and stopping by on a snowy evening and/or perhaps the darkest evening of the year to conjure up a 3.8 milion dollar figure of wasted money and kibitz the T to study the problem and make the aforementioned schedule change.

Now who was it who commented here that he once unexpectedly had miles to go (on foot) before he sleeps?
(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.
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Re: Is the last E of the day costing $3.8m?

Postby BigUglyCat » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:37 pm

Disney Guy wrote:Now who was it who commented here that he once unexpectedly had miles to go (on foot) before he sleeps?

Robert Frost? Oh, HERE! Sorry, my bad! :(
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