Whadaya know: Free Silver Line service from the airport is working

CommonWealth reports not only is volume up on the Silver Line into the city - for which Massport says it will eventually pay so riders don't have to - but it's up on the Silver Line to the airport, for which people still have to pay.

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Anecdote

A few months ago I met a bunch of friends-of-friends who came through for a conference. They rode the free Silver Line from the airport. I told them it would probably be easier to go back via Green/Blue from where they were staying, but they all ended up using the Silver Line to go back because they felt more comfortable having seen it already.

So I wouldn't be surprised if that's a common story. The increase in free Silver Line usage from the airport leads to an increase in return trips on the Silver Line, without affecting the number of folks who prefer to use the Blue line Airport station.

A TALE OF TWO SILVER LINES

One side of the silver line is free has a dedicated tunnel and stations that resemble art museums.
The other side that travels from Dudley down Washington street has a dedicated bus lane that is used by trucks to double park and the bus shelters are being used for drug dealers and prostitutes according to the Boston Courant .The busses are overcrowded and fare disputes between drivers and passengers many of whom are poor addicts and homeless lead to fights all the time.

Can we get what Lima has?

I would rather the silver line charge and use the money to pay to improve it. I rode BRT in lima peru, and it was fast, and boarding was quick because they had enclosed stations at street level so you paid upon entering the station. They could do the same at logan terminals (or better yet, make a central airport stop, they managed to figure out a central parking garage).

Of course, the biggest improvement to the silver bus would be to connect the two ends like every other line. Imagine if the red line stopped at Kendall Sq coming into Boston, and people had to get off, walk outside a block, go down a flight of stairs and then re-board before doing crazy eights on the way to the airport at 5 miles an hour. Is it too much for the MBTA to learn from Peru?

They do charge

I would rather the silver line charge and use the money to pay to improve it.

They do charge. MassPort is (or will be) paying.

I rode BRT in lima peru, and it was fast, and boarding was quick because they had enclosed stations at street level so you paid upon entering the station.

That would be great. And you can do it without fancy enclosed stations like they have in South America (Curitiba and Bogotá are famous for this as well), by applying Proof-of-Payment just like they do in San Francisco.

Of course, the biggest improvement to the silver bus would be to connect the two ends like every other line.

Well if you have a few billion dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you could pay for Silver Line Phase III.

I think the money would be better spent converting Silver Line-Washington to light rail and using the Tremont Street subway flying junction: an enormously expensive piece of infrastructure to build that is currently sitting unused.

While getting rid of the

While getting rid of the stupid fare collection procedure helps a little, the Silver Line is still fundamentally flawed by being slow and cramped.

After too many half-hour rides to go 3 miles, while getting bashed in the knees by people's luggage, I'll stick with the Blue Line.