MBTA delays Government Center shutdown

Until this spring, so as not to coincide with repair work on the Callahan Tunnel is done, the Globe reports.

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huzzah!

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Good idea. Longfellow Bridge, Callahan Tunnel, Govt Center shut-down, Central Square (Eastie) construction and potentially some Silver bus mid-life overhauls all at the same time (not to mention whatever occasional shutdowns that will accompany the Assembly Square station work), the makings of the Perfect Storm...or the Complete Clusterfuck, whichever you prefer.

Kids using the T to get to school are still going to be tardy once Govt Center is shut down.

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northbound tolls

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by the by, anyone up on the new tolls idea, stealthily slipped in?

Restoring tolls on the northbound route of the Tobin, the Callahan and establishing them for the Ted Williams. Electronic, but tolls nonetheless. As an Eastie resident I'm slightly incensed.

Not Happy

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Yeah I am not happy about this either as a Chelsea resident. Not thrilled that they want to remove the discount from the tunnels for Chelsea residents and vice versa. And possibly remove the discount all together. Bad news for residents.

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Ugh!

As someone who works doing paratransit scheduling/dispatching, and knows that no driver will go through the tolls... this is bad news. Getting patients from the North Shore was bad enough, but now it's going to be a PITA to bring them home, too. They better finish up that MA-99/Alford St bridge soon, because that's going to be a clusterfuck of toll evasion.

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Why? T buses get free passage

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Why?

T buses get free passage through tolls. Does that not apply to the T's The Ride vans?

And do the drivers have to pay out of pocket or something? Time is money, and paratransit drivers shouldn't be wasting time avoiding tolls.

Don't work for the MBTA/The Ride

I work for a larger company, fully private. In my office, we only handle scheduling and dispatching of some of our subcontracted transportation companies. The drivers do pay out of pocket, and their actual employers don't reimburse them.

Looking at the big picture,

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Looking at the big picture, it doesn't make a lot of sense for people to use the tunnel or Tobin for free outbound, and Route 99 inbound to avoid the toll.

One-way tolls make sense if it saves toll collector salaries and traffic jams at the booth. Once we've already gone cashless, two-way tolls are better. (Though I'm not exactly convinced that a plate photo pay-by-mail system is cheaper to operate than cash booths.)

Of course the bigger problem is that the tolls are higher than they should be, to pay for Big Dig cost overruns. Why should someone from Winthrop pay a big toll so someone from Medford gets a faster free ride on 93?

tolls

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As I recall, when they switched to just one-way tolling on the Tobin they upped the amount you pay coming in to make up for the lost revenue on the way back out. Although my memory could be faulty, can anyone confirm that? I remember paying 15 cents if you had the monthly sticker on your windshield (and people going through the automated tolls, dumping the sticker rate in the bucket and not understanding why the arm didn't go up....).

If that was indeed the case then they should cut the toll in half on the inbound route and make the outbound match it. Or get on the Feds' case and put the tolls up on 93 north and southbound, which should shut up the whiners in Metrowest and make sure everyone is getting screwed.. ahem.. paying their fair share in all directions.

I thought it went without

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I thought it went without saying that one-way tolls would be double the amount if you had to pay in both directions.

But having a parallel free route messes up that scheme.

Speaking of which, how would you toll 93? Would you also toll all the local roads next to it?

Tolling 93

To the north: do it in the Middlesex Fells to reduce alternatives (and then toll 28, too).

To the south: tolls at Granite Ave (including tolled exits/onramps to/from Granite Ave)?

fun with timelines

Work on Government Center Station will still start as scheduled this fall, but will be done without closing the station until the Callahan Tunnel reopens, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said Tuesday.

The shutdown will be part of a $90-million project to renovate and rebuild the busy station at City Hall Plaza. Delaying the station's 24-month closure is not expected to affect the project's cost, he said.

Does not compute. The party line all along had been that they needed to shut down completely to do the work. Now they can keep it open and do some of the work? But the shutdown will still take 24 months. So was the shutdown always destined to take longer than that before this change in plans allowed them to work with the station open? What kind of work is expected to have absolutely no impact on the closure time?

Endlessly irritating that our local reporters do not dig just half an inch deeper on issues that will so widely inconvenience the city for, let's face it, nobody has any idea how long.

Fun with statistics, too

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The T is downplaying the Government Center closure by claiming it is the 13th busiest stop, based on station entries only. They don't include transfers, which is where all the traffic comes from and where all the aggravation will center.

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They ignore Red to Blue too

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At a meeting I attended, they said that they were mostly concerned with Green-Blue transfers. They suggested using Haymarket to connect using the Orange Line. They neglected to think about all of the people that use the Green Line as a Blue-Red connector. It will be a nightmare when all those people have to cram onto the State Street Orange Line platform. Maybe the T would prefer us to also use Haymarket and ride all 4 colors to get to work.

The only benefit of closing Govt. Center will be that Park Street Station will be a lot less crowded during rush hour without the Blue-Green-Red transfers.

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Who cares about the Callahan?

What about the Longfellow, Assembly Sq, Oak Grove, Ashmont Branch, and Orient Heights. Some people could ride as many as 3 different shuttles in one trip if Government Center was shut down this fall.