MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) discussion

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With the Sumner Tunnel closing for 2 months, July and August, the T has an opportunity here to win riders over for travel to East Boston, North Shore, and the Airport.
Unfortunately all the bad publicity will make this hard to overcome.
Bad operation of the T is losing riders. The publicity is just a symptom.
Bad operation of the T is losing riders. The publicity is just a symptom.
Actually, on some level I agree with this.
Boston is a transit friendly city, with people who, on some level, know that the T is a good thing and car dependency is a bad. No matter how bad the T gets, people won't stop riding it purely because of bad press.

If the T starts behaving again, I'm sure ridership will grow.
I mean, a 42 day closure on a line extension that just opened is extremely short-sighted. MassDOT should've done the work before it opened.
The Green Line Extension will not shut down later this month, as originally planned, a spokesperson for Gov. Maura Healey announced Wednesday.

Service along the extension between Union Square and Lechmere stations was scheduled to be suspended from July 17 to Aug. 28 to make way for construction on the Squire Bridge in the area.

In a statement, though, spokesperson Karissa Hand said officials had opted to postpone construction until September so that construction does not take place at the same time as the now ongoing Sumner Tunnel closure.

The delay, Hand said, is also to “allow appropriate time to explore mitigation options and communicate with the public.”

Hand said MassDOT crews inspected the bridge over the weekend and determined it is safe to delay the repairs.

Eng concedes changing the culture especially with the unions is a challenge

It was a good day so far. No trains had derailed. No station ceilings had collapsed. No fire had filled a station with smoke — yet.
But as new MBTA general manager Phillip Eng toured Wonderland Station last month, he zeroed in on a problem. The countdown clocks that tell riders how long they’ll be waiting for the next Blue Line train were off. By a lot.

With the same urgency one might display in a graver crisis, Eng brought his phone to his ear. The signs were wrong, he explained. Trains were coming every six minutes, he said, not every nine to 13. Could someone please fix that, and quickly?

He had other to-dos for his team: Nearby stairs needed support beams before they could be reopened; train operators should be advertising that the Blue Line would soon be free to ride.

The state agency most known for its epic failures now has a leader attacking even the smallest ones. If the countdown clocks are wrong, Eng reasoned, how can the public expect us to do anything else right?

“It’s the little things that can add up to the big things,” he said.
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A perfect example of the culture problems in Boston

State law requires[/I] most building owners to inspect standpipes every year, as is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.

Despite this, the MBTA told the Globe that it only inspects standpipes as needed.

This practice is legal, the Department of Fire Services told the Globe. Under state law, state agencies such as the MBTA (and their buildings) are not subject to the state’s fire safety code, the Globe reported.

The Globe also reported that the city’s fire department said it “is empowered to ensure the T complies with standpipe testing requirements,” but didn’t specify what, if any, power it may have to ensure that standpipes are inspected.”
Wow! Talk about bad press. If I were the new head of MBTA the person who advised that policy should get the royal reaming. There have been too many fire incidents where fire protection has been lax. Especially am worried about the many RR museums have little to no protection. Since many are using old RR steam facilities the coal dust can almost explode during any fire.

Read some where one facility was adding sprinklers in parts. They are not cheap.
An MBTA employee accused of sleeping on the job has been suspended, an agency spokesperson said.

The suspension comes after a video came to light showing an employee sleeping in his car during work hours on what appeared to be multiple occasions. A T employee who asked to remain anonymous shared the video with the Herald.

On Friday, after viewing the video, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said the employee is off the job for the time being, but would not confirm the job title or name that was provided to the Herald. The employee in question is a bus inspector, according to the source who shot the video.
Here are some recent pictures along the South Coast Line at Berkley (the junction of the 2 end points). As regular visitors to Westport, we are looking forward to the closer Commuter Rail Options (as opposed to Middleborough).


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Ridership on the T transit lines is still roughly half of 2019 levels

Interesting to note that of all the lines the Blue Line seems to be the one closest to historical levels. Perhaps being the one line not plagued with equipment issues might be a factor. Or it could be that much of its traffic such as trips to/from the airport is not affected by the work from home phenomenon.
Today I saw a Tweet (an X?) from the MBTA concerning the Red/Blue connector. I didn't realize that was an ongoing project.

The Red-Blue Connector would extend the Blue Line from its end at Bowdoin to the Red Line's Charles/MGH. As part of our FY24-28 Capital Investment Plan, $29.8 million will go toward planning & 30% design of this significant expansion.