Silver Line to get better shelters; seatless Red Line cars get strappier

StrapsBig Red: Now 79% more strappy

A $3.4-million stimulus project will mean new glass walls at 14 Silver Line stops along Washington Street in Roxbury and the South End, all the better to retain the heat from the new overhead heaters, not to mention the amount of wind-whipped rain and snow hitting waiting riders.

Part of the money will also go to repair the asphalt in bus lanes and crosswalks along the route, the T says.

Meanwhile, the T says that as a result of a recent online survey, it's added more straps for riders to hang onto as they enjoy the extra non-seat roominess of Big Red cars: Each of the cars now has 50 straps, up from 28 before.

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well duh....

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If there is nowhere to sit, then you need something to hang onto. Unless they expect you to hang on to your fellow passengers?

There is a version of the newer buses that doesn't have anything to hang on to between the driver and the first set of seats (except a high hand rail that many people couldn't reach). Riders grope a wheelbox just the other side of the door and hope they don't fall on their way to handrails & seats. These buses also lack the convenient stop buttons that are on the newest buses.

It's like the many, many Silver Line cars that run to the airport throughout the day that don't have luggage racks!

Whoever selects equipment for the T needs his/her head(s) examined (and/or a NEW JOB). They seem always to get the worst (don't get me started on the "perching benches" on the Green Line cars).

I love how the Silver Line

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I love how the Silver Line bus shelters cost millions each AND NEVER FUNCTIONED AS SHELTER! Now we have to spend millions more to fix this. Whoever designed the original shelters and whatever moron approved them needs to be fired.

Not a fan

I'm not a fan of them either, but many of the locations are so narrow, you end up walking under the shelter just to go down the sidewalk. Now that they're putting some kind of sides on these, I'm wondering if they'll be any room to walk...

And meanwhile, the T often

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cancels runs on bus and subway lines because they don't have enough "on-call" drivers to cover absenses. But the waiting passengers now have new fancy heated shelters, so perhaps they won't notice how lousy and unreliable the service has become.

And that continues to be the problem with the whole funding system. We can get Federal dollars at the drop of a hat for "necessary" improvements like enclosing and heating bus shelters (I wonder how much money it will cost to pay for the heat every year), but we can't use any Federal money to pay drivers and employees to keep the buses and trains running reliably and in a safe condition.

Operating vs Capital Costs

There is a big reason the feds don't pay for operating costs.

Hint: it is the same reason that communities that brag about their low taxes don't receive much in local aid from the state.

It is also the reason that unemployment is insurance and not entitlement.

Yes, I get the whole operating vs capital thing.

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What I don't get is the logic of the Feds contributing to the purchase of new buses and trains (and stations and shelters), but not funding the costs of operating and maintaining the actual services that those buses and trains (and stations and shelters) are provided and built for in the first place.

Consider a totally hypothetical situation - a homeowner is having trouble paying bills (operating costs) and applies to their bank for a short-term loan. Bank tells the homeowner "We'll grant the loan, but you can only use the money to remodel your kitchen (capital improvement). If you try to use the money for anything else, we'll recall the loan immediately."

Now, it's unlikey that would happen to a homeowner. Unfortunately, however, this is precisely what the Federal Government is doing when it gives "earmarked" money to transit agencies.

As a daily MBTA rider (for over 30 years) who's endured countless delays due to disabled trains, track and signal problems, and just poor scheduling decisions, it also bothers me when the T tries to drum up support for projects like these as a "needed" customer service improvement.

While enclosed shelters and heaters may seem like a good idea from a PR and political perspective (in spite of the fact that generations of bus, streetcar, subway, and commuter rail commuters have survived for decades without these "necessities"), they don't do anything to get the people who use these service through the system, and to their final destinations, any faster. And that should be the T's number one priority - providing a frequent and efficient transportation service.

design

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It just like the post office if you served in the military you score 60% your in ahead of people with higher grades. after vietnam we had people going postal inferior workers and bosses. Same with the T in the 70s viet nam head cases and the lottery winners.Its a wonder that both agencies fuction.the rest that had issues are homeless vets. I think thoes vets should be rewarded but not at our exspence. same with the police dept. fire dept. ect. post office is dead looking for a place
to lie down. Part of the T is already privatize. Asked yourself T workers ect. in the real world would i be viable.

It just like the post office

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It just like the post office if you served in the military you score 60% your in ahead of people with higher grades. after vietnam we had people going postal inferior workers and bosses. Same with the T in the 70s viet nam head cases and the lottery winners.Its a wonder that both agencies fuction.the rest that had issues are homeless vets. I think thoes vets should be rewarded but not at our exspence. same with the police dept. fire dept. ect. post office is dead looking for a place
to lie down. Part of the T is already privatize. Asked yourself T workers ect. in the real world would i be viable.

You might want to learn proper spelling and grammar before posting charming critiques such as this.

Big Red

Sooo...exactly how many Big Red cars are there on the red line? I feel like there should be more than I see as a 4 time a day commuter.

I believe just two, in the

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I believe just two, in the middle of one train. It runs 2 or 3 times in the morning and then again in the evening.

Big Red

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These cars, more than anything, need a "stripper pole" in the middle to hang onto.

shelter

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Who design thoes shelters Perhaps someone who lived in los angeles .
whats next build them out of particle board and leave the bottom open so you can freeze your feet. Dudley station wide open the only ones who have shelter are the pidgeons and the cops and t workers eating thier fast food in the booths.

The current Silver Line shelters are based on

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a long-established standard design, normally referred to as an "umbrella shed", that railroads and transit agencies have used across the nation, and not just in warm weather climates, for well over 100 years now.

It's a popular design for narrow platforms or sidewalks because, as johnmcboston pointed out in his post, it's not very intrusive. In fact, when the platform sheds at Melrose Cedar Park and Melrose Highlands were replaced a few years ago, a near identical design to the original sheds - but larger - was used for the new sheds.

That's the least of the

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That's the least of the Silver Line's problems. Why on earth do we have a bus making pickups between airport terminals that have absolutely NO ROOM for people carrying luggage? I can understand a Silver Line bus on the Dudley stretch to be configured as they are, but wouldn't you think they would remove most of the chairs and add luggage shelves, like the Airport station shuttles have? My wife and I had to struggle to get our bags through a cramped aisle all the way down to the end of the bus in order to let others on. Now that's embarrassing! I'm hoping one day in the future, Logan will have a looping automated train between terminals, garages and subway like most cities have...