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MBTA looks at longer, larger Green Line trolleys

The MBTA today unveiled its thinking for the next generation of Green Line trolleys that could carry more people and be completely accessible to the disabled.

A single car is 116 feet (as opposed to the current 74 feet), 100% accessible, low/no stairs, has five doors for boarding & offloading, and has the passenger capacity of TWO current Type 8/9 cars.

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Accessibility will be great for baby strollers. But it's not like those trains are going to see many wheelchairs no matter how accessible you make them.

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Doesn't change the fact that the MBTA is required both by law and lawsuit settlements to make them accessible to wheelchairs....

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The ADA also makes it possible for people to work when they couldn't otherwise.

I lost a good friend the day that the ADA went into effect because the MBTA still held this ancient and prevailing attitude shown above that persons with disabilities need permission and supervision and we can't be bothered to install a cheap strip of bumps.

If that's your attitude, lets hope you get trapped in your house someday by your aging body.

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Why... Wouldn't they? Folks in wheelchairs need to get places, too.

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People have been saying "but nobody will use it" and "we don't need to do this, we don't get disabled customers" since the ADA was passed. But I see significantly more people in wheelchairs out and about, in stores, on the sidewalk, and yes on buses and trains, in places where they're more accessible.

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There's a good percentage of the population who can walk but have problems with things like stairs. It isn't obvious when someone has a mobility issue like this.

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Like my mother who uses a walker or people on crutches or with arthritis. And I have a great deal of trouble with stairs, but you wouldn't know it by looking at me.

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Why is everybody getting worked up on both sides? The Green Line already has low-floor trolleys.

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I can't wait for a 20th century public transit system!

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This is Boston! We can't have that here!

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These look similar to the trolleys I have ridden in Helsinki, Istanbul, Denver and San Diego. Allp0 are vastly superior to what we have now. Ideally, we could lose a few stops on some lines and switch to a prepaid fare system like the one in Istanbul so that boardings are faster.

Of course, the chances of us ever getting these in Boston are probably zero. Way too nice for us.

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The MBTA is and has been doing stop consolidation, and is specifically looking at the B line right now.

It's also creating AFC 2.0, which means no cash payment on board, and all-door boarding!

Literally addressing both of your concerns!

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Is and has been? Please. They consolidated 3 stops back in 2004(ish) and that
s it.

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https://mbta.com/projects/green-line-b-branch-consolidation

The consolidation of 4 B-Line stops along Commonwealth Avenue will begin in 2019. The project is being done in coordination with MassDOT’s Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A project and the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project.

There's also this project:

https://mbta.com/projects/better-bus-project

which doesn't spell it out exactly but would probably include stop consolidation on bus routes.

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How long can it take to consolidate stops? Another 12 months??
All that's involved is putting up signs at the "closed" stops saying "No Stop. Please proceed to X Stop 50 yards away"

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Or you can do it right. That’s why it takes time to do this.

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The project is being done in coordination with MassDOT’s Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A project and the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project.

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All-door boarding these days mean that if I get in up front and pay my fare, I can’t get a seat because all the people not paying fares got in through other doors and reached the empty seats first.

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It will be interesting to see more.

It looks like they get some of that passenger capacity by having less seats (per unit length of the car).

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2098

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Wow, that's very optimistic

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they could get their scheduling shit together so one doesn't have to wait for a train to leave Park Street, only to get kicked out further up the line and have to wait some more because it's "expressing" half a dozen stops.

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Balancing schedules on the Green line, even reducing expressed trains, would disrupt the balance where express trains are needed.

When an Orange train sat on the tracks between Forest Hills and Green for 15 minutes expressing that train would have made sense. The entire schedule was disrupted with that 15 minutes of sitting no where, as though in a Stephen King novel.

I can think of at least one other situation where management decisions are incompetent (Courthouse).

How much money does the T waste to replace US flags in stations after they fade? Is the T now in the business of Civics lessons?

On the other hand there are US cities where public transportation is worse.

We were a 1st world nation. Now we're more like a 1.5 world nation, pushing toward 2nd world nation status. Even the consummate 2nd world nation, the former Soviet Union, at least had decent public transportation in Moscow. Do we have to be a totalitarian nation to get decent public transportation?

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Can we get Kinki Sharyo to build them? Those trains seem to solid.

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I agree.

Interestingly, sometime in the last couple of years on the Hudson-Bergen (well, maybe someday Bergen) Light Rail in NJ - they bumped-up capacity by adding stock and converting some 3-segment LRVs into 5-segment LRVs.

http://www.kinkisharyo.com/projects/jersey-city-nj-new-jersey-transit-nj...

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Don't forget that Baker is running this year. He did promise to fix the T.

Also notice this is non committal and has no financial backing. Frankly, it's just talk right now.

Nice idea tho, but wake me up when they secure funding for all phases. If they can do it, it would greatly modernize the green line.

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This is a great accomplishment that can be looked at with pride- come 2030. That is why replacement of subway cars is not as exciting for politicians as it is for the rest of us.

Infrastructure- very important, but very boring.

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Because today we will have track fires, delays, breakdowns,derailments, school fights, perverts, filth, discarded needles and fare jumping that we don't want to discuss.

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mean longer shadows.
We all know how much Bostonians hate anything that creates anything more than a tiny shadow.

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Shiny, new, ADA accessible Green Line cars that are broken down constantly. Much more comfortable when you're stuck due to signaling issues, fire on tracks, too much cold to operate, too much heat to operate...

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How do the wheelchair people get on at some of the T stations now? Last time I was down there, Arlington station you have to step up stairs to get in the trains.

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They have higher sections as always, but at least one car of a couplet has a lowered middle section.

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Either you haven't been there in a while, or where looking. It is listed as having an elevator. Personally, I couldn't tell you were it was either, although I do recall the corner being a mess a few years back.

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I wish there were more front-facing (or even rear-facing) seats, like on the type 7 trolleys. With the frequent stops and starts on the B, C and E lines, it's rather uncomfortable (and nauseating) to be jerked from side to side. My family avoids the type 8 trolleys whenever possible.

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There's a trade-off though. Lateral seats like that reduce the capacity of the train, and can make the aisles too narrow for accessible access.

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Most if not all of the low floor manufacturers can make a trolley that is ADA compliant while allowing for seats to face front/back.

That said, overall capacity would be constrained.

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Besides being very uncomfortable, I'm not convinced that perimeter seating boosts capacity compared to 2+1 seating. People sitting sideways stick their feet and bags in the aisle.

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I make sure I get one of those (Kinkis) each way to work and back. Far more comfortable and more personal space. However, I think eventually those cars will be gone. I will be retired by then.

In the Commonwealth Magazine article, it states that several sharp turns will have to be straightened out. If they want to fix the Boylston turn, the sharpest in the system, I think they will have to dig up Boston Common to do so. They'd have to have a gentle curve from Arlington to Park. Digging up the Common will not go over well.

Huntington Ave looks challenging also. I don't know if there is enough room for all the above-ground stops, and do they dig up Huntington to lengthen the stops at Prudential and Symphony? Symphony still doesn't have an elevator.

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Pru and Symphony have extremely long platforms, that won't be an issue

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The new trains will require one trained driver and one farebox per segment. They will have 7-9 person crews.

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Should be up and running by 2050!

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That's what we need - longer, larger green line trains that can go... all... night.

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The B and C lines will have one of these rather than two of the older cars, which will be a zero percent change in capacity. I suppose if they break down less, and if we get other changes like TSP, then it would increase capacity, so here's hoping...

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The reason the T is embarking on this expensive boondoggle is not improved capacity, it's not greater reliability, it's not enhancing convenience for passengers. Rather, it's just a complicated smoke and mirrors show to reduce staff under the guise of ADA compliance.

Want to improve capacity and maintain schedules? Simple. Buy twelve cars of the current Type 7 design (that's six two-car trains). Then ditch the current "out and back" scheduling (I.e. train from Riveraide must go back to Riverside). Run all eastbound trains to Lechmere, and dispatch the train not back to its origin, but where the schedule states the next westbound train should go. Self corrects the eastbound bunching that occurs, and eliminates the need for the musical trains charade that always happens at Park Street westbound. And you can accomplish it for far less than $3.5 billion.

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You keep posting this idea. Do you have any idea how long it takes to run a train from Park Street to Lechmere and back? And how empty trains would be if they all went that far?

Most eastbound bunching is caused by the Boylston curve.

Why shouldn't the T buy trains that require fewer people to operate? The other lines run 6-car trains with 1 driver. The Green Line needs 2 drivers for a 2-car train. Reducing that to 1 is a great way to boost efficiency. This could go towards balancing the T's budget. Or to provide more service -- boosting off-peak Green Line frequencies, or adding service somewhere else.

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I thought the problem with longer Green line trains was the issue of "berthing" at Park Street and Government Center. Right now if trains are waiting for passengers at either station only two can fit back to back. This was one the major problem when the MBTA considered three car trains for the green Line. Any thoughts?

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Keep in mind that while these Type 10 trains are in the pipeline for 8 years down the line, the Type 9's are coming first. Supposedly in the next few weeks. The goal is to increase the fleet to support the Green Line Extension.

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