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Old 05-12-2009, 02:31 PM
 
371 posts, read 1,113,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by western mass and love it View Post
i just think we need to step up to the modern age and start getting serious about uplifting western mass.
What does commuter train service have to do with "uplifting"?
Most of the countries urban sewers have public transportation. There's no connection.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
3,574 posts, read 4,942,768 times
Reputation: 4144
[quote=holden125;8774955]
Long term, better intercity and commuter rail to places like W. Mass, Portsmouth, etc. will be key. Right now, if I had to pick my top 5 projects for Boston (after the Fall River/New Bedford line), they would be:

-Just run the commuter rail frequently enough to make them a viable option for more people. A couple of weeks ago I had a friend drive me from Porter to Waltham because there's no train between 8PM and 11PM on Saturday night. On some lines the weekday mornings and weeknights are as bad.
-Extend the Green Line west from Lechmere across Somerville to West Medford as has been promised for years
-Extend the Blue Line to Lynn
-Extend the Red Line past Alewife, running above the Route 2 median like the Air Train in New York, to at least 128, like Riverside, to give people an option short of driving all the way to Alewife in traffic just to find the garage full.
-Look into some more express commuter trains. Metro North in NYC runs two trains on each line; one makes the first 10 stops or so while the second whizzes past those stops and only makes the stops beyond that. This speeds up the trip from far-flung locales considerably.

quote]

I like most of your proposed projects but I would like to add the following:

1 Revive the Green Line "A" Branch to Watertown and reroute it to North Beacon Street going past the Arsenal Mall and Condominium Complex instead of going through Brighton Center. The streets are too narrow in Brighton Center to support a trolley line now and the local community long opposed it but North Beacon Street is much wider in some parts. There is an up and coming young population in Watertown that will definitely benefit from the trolley line not to mention bring BU and other college kids right to the Arsenal Mall.

2 Re-extend the "E" Branch past Heath Street to Forest Hills but with far fewer stops than before it went out of service in 1985.

3 Extend the Orange Line either to Hyde Park or to Wakefield.

4 Add more service and stops to the Fairmount Line on the commuter rail
(I think they have plans to do that already but I haven't seen anything happening yet)

And yes I am in full support of the Fall River/New Bedford commuter rail extension.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,883,914 times
Reputation: 1502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
I like most of your proposed projects but I would like to add the following:

1 Revive the Green Line "A" Branch to Watertown and reroute it to North Beacon Street going past the Arsenal Mall and Condominium Complex instead of going through Brighton Center. The streets are too narrow in Brighton Center to support a trolley line now and the local community long opposed it but North Beacon Street is much wider in some parts. There is an up and coming young population in Watertown that will definitely benefit from the trolley line not to mention bring BU and other college kids right to the Arsenal Mall.

2 Re-extend the "E" Branch past Heath Street to Forest Hills but with far fewer stops than before it went out of service in 1985.

3 Extend the Orange Line either to Hyde Park or to Wakefield.

4 Add more service and stops to the Fairmount Line on the commuter rail
(I think they have plans to do that already but I haven't seen anything happening yet)

And yes I am in full support of the Fall River/New Bedford commuter rail extension.
I was thinking of the Green Line A, and I'd support the other projects too, particularly the Orange Line south toward Roslindale and Hyde Park or W. Roxbury. It's part of the city and a little too cut off, though I know some folks in W. Roxbury who are OK with that. The E through JP is the most controversial
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:18 PM
 
288 posts, read 1,155,297 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by holden125 View Post
Long term, better intercity and commuter rail to places like W. Mass, Portsmouth, etc. will be key. Right now, if I had to pick my top 5 projects for Boston (after the Fall River/New Bedford line), they would be:

-Just run the commuter rail frequently enough to make them a viable option for more people. A couple of weeks ago I had a friend drive me from Porter to Waltham because there's no train between 8PM and 11PM on Saturday night. On some lines the weekday mornings and weeknights are as bad.
-Extend the Green Line west from Lechmere across Somerville to West Medford as has been promised for years
-Extend the Blue Line to Lynn
-Extend the Red Line past Alewife, running above the Route 2 median like the Air Train in New York, to at least 128, like Riverside, to give people an option short of driving all the way to Alewife in traffic just to find the garage full.
-Look into some more express commuter trains. Metro North in NYC runs two trains on each line; one makes the first 10 stops or so while the second whizzes past those stops and only makes the stops beyond that. This speeds up the trip from far-flung locales considerably.
Fascinating points and priorities, some of which after considerering them for a second, found myself agreeing with.

-- Commuter at offpeak is always going to be one of those situations where the agency just comes to terms with how many bagfulls of cash they want to lose on that service.
-- I don't think the T is serious about the northward Green Line extension. They just don't act like they care. (IMO, the spur into Union is an extravagance and shouldn't be built at all.)
-- Blue Line into Lynn has always seemed for a moment like too much of a duplication, but I agree it's really not.
-- I think the Red Line down Route 2 is impractical on several levels, first being the hill it has to clear: that's a tunnel (the cost/benefit just isn't there). Then the only median for it exists way beyond closer to 128.
-- I think the railbed infrastructure for pulloffs to handle express commuter trains would be cost prohibitive for the T. The easements aren't there, and is the capacity there to make it cost effective? Those transitions are mostly coordinated at the station anyway, so it would really be expensive to overhaul.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,883,914 times
Reputation: 1502
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrres View Post
Fascinating points and priorities, some of which after considerering them for a second, found myself agreeing with.

-- Commuter at offpeak is always going to be one of those situations where the agency just comes to terms with how many bagfulls of cash they want to lose on that service.
-- I don't think the T is serious about the northward Green Line extension. They just don't act like they care. (IMO, the spur into Union is an extravagance and shouldn't be built at all.)
-- Blue Line into Lynn has always seemed for a moment like too much of a duplication, but I agree it's really not.
-- I think the Red Line down Route 2 is impractical on several levels, first being the hill it has to clear: that's a tunnel (the cost/benefit just isn't there). Then the only median for it exists way beyond closer to 128.
-- I think the railbed infrastructure for pulloffs to handle express commuter trains would be cost prohibitive for the T. The easements aren't there, and is the capacity there to make it cost effective? Those transitions are mostly coordinated at the station anyway, so it would really be expensive to overhaul.
Great points. I don't think some of these will be easy or cheap, but at some point I think the investment will have to be made. For environmental and economic reasons, it's becoming less and less feasible to continue to put with traffic-choked roads and we will have to create the infrastructure.

I've posted at length before about the misguided idea that mass transit has to be self-sustaining, when in fact roads are anything but. Even the Mass. Pike, the only road in the state to charge tolls, would run a deficit without federal and state funding on top of the toll revenue. If we invested in the trains the way we invest in roads, we'd have a lot more service. The federal government is moving away from the current formula, which dedicates 80% of transportation funding to roads. That is a good start.

The off-peak commuter rail is a little bit of a chicken/egg thing. If it ran more, I would take it a lot more. My girlfriend and I (coming from Belmont) used to meet up with her friends (coming from Salem) for dinner in the North End many Saturday nights. The train runs back to Belmont only at 8 PM (too early) and 11:30 (too late-my girlfriend works Sunday mornings). If they're going to run only a few, they could at least make them at times that people might use them. A Saturday night dinner in the North End is a fairly predictable thing. It's silly that I drive in from Belmont and have to deal with parking, but the train doesn't work for us.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 10,204,606 times
Reputation: 921
Green line is stupid... we think street car as subway... when most of the green line has to compete with local street traffic.

Commuter rail again is so slow and infrequent... why would any one want to use it during weekend.... or even weekday if they have other options. The only reason why ridership was up last year... COST of gas.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,397,426 times
Reputation: 814
Well if Western Mass. means beyond Route 128 to most of the people who post here, we might as well give up. Hopeless.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,883,914 times
Reputation: 1502
Quote:
Originally Posted by litlux View Post
Well if Western Mass. means beyond Route 128 to most of the people who post here, we might as well give up. Hopeless.
Sorry, the thread got sidetracked a bit because it's likely there would be an expansion of transit closer to Boston before any extension to such western Mass. towns as Lexington and Weston!
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:52 AM
 
25 posts, read 69,374 times
Reputation: 16
Default not happening

Even though I am 100% in favor of more trains this is not going to happen. Does W Mass have the population density to support what your proposing? Also repeating what someone else said most people in Boston are oblivious to the fact that W Mass exists. I don't think there is much money for the MBTA right now and the last place they would spend it is out there.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
11,297 posts, read 19,858,214 times
Reputation: 12957
Quote:
Originally Posted by arigold1975 View Post
Even though I am 100% in favor of more trains this is not going to happen. Does W Mass have the population density to support what your proposing? Also repeating what someone else said most people in Boston are oblivious to the fact that W Mass exists. I don't think there is much money for the MBTA right now and the last place they would spend it is out there.
Any commuter rail project from the MBTA is going to have to be heavily (80%+) federally funded. We have the right administration for it, but a Western MA commuter rail is way in the back of the line. There are projects in Boston (Blue Line extension, Green Line extension, Blue Line/Red Line connector, etc) and a $2.4 Billion commuter rail project (South Coast Rail) that are way in front of Western MA in terms of the state's priority. Even still, without significant federal funding, most of these projects won't happen. I would love to see the rail network extended West, but it won't for a LONG time.
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