Catenary problems leave Revere, East Boston commuters feeling blue again

For the second time in two weeks, the Blue Line couldn't run during the morning rush hour due to wire problems.

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MBTA see say

Why was this broadcast on the "MBTA see say" app? This doesn't seem like something for which the MBTA Police should be responsible, nevermind the facts that I don't subscribe to the Blue Line T alerts and am currently 1,500 miles away.

it's a feature of that app

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its a feature of that app that sends out alerts. I don't think the T Police do it themselves, I think its tied into the entire alert system, and the SeeSayApp is one of the methods of delivery.

Threshold?

Thanks, now I understand that it's a feature.

I wonder what the threshold is for sending out notifications system-wide as this is the first service related notification I remember receiving since downloading the app 6+ months ago.

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ugh

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Oh don't get me started... The ONE day I don't check the T's website or boston.com for updates. here's my commute.

The 112 was EARLY (which is why I didnt check the website before leaving). So I got to Wood Island at 6:55, right as the station attendant was shutting the gates. He says "Shuttle Buses will be over there. Wire problem at Orient Heights", and points me to the busway. Mind you, this musta just happened as there were hoards of people waiting for the shuttle. So I sit and wait..

About 15 or so minutes go by and ONE jammed pack shuttle to Bowdoin arrives. The 112 is still there about ready to depart back to Wellington. Well I thought, I'm gonna be late anyways, I might as well go back to Chelsea and switch to the 111.

Big mistake! I get back to Chelsea around 7:15.. and wait. And wait. And wait. Apparently when the T needs buses for the blue line shuttle, they pull them off the 111! So the next few buses (that DID come.. with 10-15 min gaps between) were so jammed packed it wasn't funny. Of course people were STILL taking the 116/117 to Maverick (boy were they in for a surprise).

I FINALLY got picked up at 7:55 by a almost empty 111. Many people who were on the bus said they were waiting for 45 minutes for a 111 they could get on (like myself). Of course there's traffic on the bridge.. so I wait.. wait.

I get to Haymarket about 8:10. Waited for the Green Line for 15 or so minutes to Lechmere. And guess what? the 8:08 and 8:25 69 buses never came and a ton of people were waiting. Finally a driver from the 80 route got permission to take all of us to Harvard as a 69. (of course as soon as he did that the 8:35 69 pulls up behind him).

Needless to say I came strolling into work at around 8:50. Two hours to get work that normally takes 30-45. ugh. I cannot wait for the Gov't Center shutdown, it's gonna be a total sh*tshow.

Why on earth did you get off

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Why on earth did you get off in Chelsea? Why didn't you go to effing Wellington, which is on the Orange Line? From there you could have gotten off at Sullivan and on to the 86 or even to Downtown Crossing and changed to the Red Line? The MBTA is a s*itshow, but you made your own situation so much worse by getting off in the middle of nowhere and changing to a bus going the wrong direction.

I live in Chelsea

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I ride the 111 often. I typically don't ride it in the morning because of the traffic on the bridge due to the construction. When the buses aren't being diverted, the headway is less than 5 minutes, sometimes even less than two. I thought I could just switch and save some time, even with Tobin Bridge traffic.

When I got back to Chelsea, it was only 720ish.. not too late from my normal leaving time (I can leave as late as 715 and still make it to work on time. I did not know until I got there and saw a gazillion people waiting at all the stops on Broadway that the buses from the 111 were being re-routed to deal with the Blue Line shuttle.

I work in Inman Square, so the Red Line is too far for me. I have to take the Green Line to Lechmere to 69 bus. The 86/CT2 blows due to Washington street and brings me several blocks north of where I work.

How is the 111 when there's

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How is the 111 when there's no construction on the Tobin? (Has the Tobin ever not been under construction?)

Is there a typical jam spot where a queue-jump bus lane would help?

The T makes a big deal about its one bus lane on a quiet part of Washington Street. But other U.S. cities of this size have bus lanes all over the place.

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It's not too bad during the

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It's not too bad during the winter when the bridge isn't being painted.

Typically in no traffic, it's a 7 minute ride from Broadway @ Fourth to Haymarket. It's great, actually. Even IN traffic its 15-20 minutes tops. Once it gets past the toll plaza, it's smooth sailing, as everyone is getting onto 93 South and is in the left lanes, while the 111 stays to the right lane.

I don't think a bus lane would help much. Plus the Tobin has three lanes, to take away one lane for a busway would piss off too many drivers who use Route 1. Plus the traffic backs up way beyond the Chelsea curve and I just don't think it would help (the bus gets on at the Arlington Street Onramp next to the Mass MITC).

I do however believe that if/when the Tobin bridge is rebuilt, a busway will be added to the bridge due to the number of buses that use Route 1. (not only the 111, but the Northshore Buses).

Bus lanes on local streets in Chelsea are coming this fall to the 111 as apart of the Key Bus Route initiative.

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Re: North Shore buses

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Officially, only the 426 and 428 use the Tobin (and, of course, the 111), and due to the Callahan closing, the outbound 424, 434 and 450. Inbound 434 and 450 use the Sumner (Unless it's closed too, then they also use the Tobin). (Inbound 424 [Technically called 424W] goes to Wonderland) And yes, there are a few 426W's in the morning rush hour too.

Unrelated, I was actually obsessed with the Tobin when I was a child, it was the Bridge over Troubled Waters for me, I was always drawing pictures of it like it was (Probably still is, haven't taking the 426 inbound for a while) in the morning commutes. Lots of traffic on the upper deck and smooth sailing on the lower deck. Of course, times have changed since then.

Of course, it is possible that the 426 (and 450) could be Wonderland'd some day if more severe service cuts hit us. It has already been Wonderland'd on the weekends, but that's not what we're talking about right now. Yep, I created a new verb, sue me LOL.

Wonderland - v. - To change a Haymarket bus from the North Shore so that it goes to Wonderland instead. For most routes this is a short turn, but the time to get there in case of 426W is not much different than the regular 426, unless there are delays on the Tobin and not at Bell Circle.

Use: The 441, 442, 455 and all weekend buses have been Wonderland'd.

I challenge you

To a duel.

As I am currently working on getting 50% of all Wonderland'd 426 buses to be Malden'd. It needs to happen.

Re: Challenge

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LOL, that's funny. But plausible, I suppose they could create a 426M route that goes to Linden Square, then turns and goes like the 108 to Malden Station. Or like the 430 from Cliftondale (after 426 from Central Square). Actually, plausible as it may be, it's not finacially feasible, at least not according to the MBTA, to make any such changes. And don't get me started about the lack of 430 on Sundays. Yes, I live in Linden Square and can take the 429 to Square One Mall (not my favorite mall, but the mall that most people in Malden go to and have to endure a 50+ minute wait for the 429 at Linden Square on Sundays due to the 430 not running), but as my parenthesized statement goes, it's a pain in the ass for the other areas of Malden. We are getting off topic though as this was originally about Blue Line problems. However, outbound 426M's might be a bit tougher as Linden Square must be served. Maybe just go around the loop after completing the 108 part of the route and start the 426 part at Wesley and Lynn. Another problem is the fact that the two buses do not run from the same garage (108 = Charlestown, 426 = Lynn).

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Caterday

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The T's not-so-adorable version of Caturday.
Feeling way less guilty that I drove in today; when the blue line takes a digger it goes full face these days.

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As I said on Twitter...

If ever there was a day which justified an Urban Ring around Boston...

Or even some more cross-harbor buses for Eastie/Chelsea/Revere. The 111 doesn't cut it.

At least this time they sent

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At least this time they sent the buses all the way into downtown. This way it was a two seat ride instead of the usual three seat ride.
The T really needs to come up with a better way of dealing with bustitution in these situations. I don't have any suggestions but when you have one or two trains worth of passengers waiting at SD, sending just one or two buses at a time isn't going to cut it.
Also, in situations like this, they should have Transit and/or Boston Police stationed at all the major intersections along the route to give the buses priority, green or red light. It would of made the commute a lot faster.

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