Only so many subway riders can squeeze on a bus

Old State House crowding for a Blue Line substitute bus

Beth Gavin gives us the bird's-eye view of Blue Line riders trying to get on one of the buses running instead of trains due to the investigation into the shooting at the Maverick Square T stop.

Transit Matters shows us the ground-level scene outside a bus:

Blue Line riders wait for a bus

Marc Ebuña was on the inside of a bus looking out:

Blue Line riders wait for a bus

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Comments

Silver Line

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Imagine if the Silver Line were built as a true rapid transit line rather than a bus, as an alternate route across the harbor.

Silver Line COULD be a viable alternative, but...

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In order to actually get anywhere in East Boston from the Silver Line, you then have to take an airport shuttle. For it to be an actual viable option, it needs to stop at least at Airport Station.

Once the Silver Line

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Once the Silver Line extension to Chelsea opens next year, the Silver Line will make stops at the Airport station on its route to Chelsea.

Orders of magnitude of capacity

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The Blue Line cars are the smallest the T runs, but a six car Blue Line train can still carry 600-800 passengers. With a train every 4 minutes, that's 9000-12000 people per hour.

To get that on the Silver Line, you'd need a bus every 20 to 30 seconds. Which doesn't work if you have things like stops and dwell times.

Rail transit can carry an order of magnitude more people than bus transit (unless the bus route has four lanes or at least passing lanes at stations, but the Silver Line doesn't).

Because then

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The people who typicality ride the Harbor Ferries would have been stranded.

Dock

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The ferry dock in eastie for the water taxis is near the Airport.. nowhere near Maverick. I think BHC (which runs the ferries) will only use existing docks it uses (i.e. Long Wharf, Airport)

Larger capacity, smaller fleet

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But really not that much larger capacity, and a much smaller fleet.

The total ferry fleet has a capacity of about 2200. That's as many as about 30 buses. But then again, that fleet includes back-up vessels, ships which are at the other end of the run in Hingham and Hull (the bigger ones run those trips—the inter-harbor ferries only hold 150-200, or 2-3 buses) and it's a lot easier to pull 50 buses out of the fleet of nearly 1000 than three ferries out of a fleet of nine.

Oh, and you'd still need a ferry dock in Eastie that's not at the end of an airport access road.

Why shuttle from downtown?

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Why not keep the Blue line trains running express through Maverick station, with bus shuttles between Maverick and Airport? Running shuttles from downtown to Maverick wastes time.

The MBTA always manages to find the least efficient shuttle bus routes.

You should have probably read

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You should have probably read about the incident before commenting on how the t should operate its busse. The shooting happened on a train inside the station.

Was the shooting on the train

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Was the shooting on the train? If so, then that train probably didn't move till the investigation was complete. Just speculating.

Even then it'll probably move

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Even then it'll probably move empty back to the yard. How long does subway car crime scene take to clean up?

MBTA Hot Mess w/Cole Slaw...

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To be fair, I doubt OCC expects folks to regularly reenact the shootout at the OK Corral...

What I would have done:

- Keep the involved train in place for the police investigation. (obviously)

- Run single-track service between the crossover just east of Maverick to Bowdoin.

- A six-car train, even running on 12-minute time, will accommodate more pax than a bus.

- Extend all Route 116, 117, and 120 trips to State Street via the Sumner/Callahan.

- Have these buses loop via Surface Road, State Street, Congress Street, to New Chardon.

- Have these buses only stop at Aquarium Station and State Street (Exchange Place).

- Have a few Lynn and qualified Charlestown operators supplement service on those routes to ensure even headways are maintained in East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere.

- Make announcements on the Orange Line (in English y en Espanol) that above connections can be made at State Street. Preemptively divert as many pax from the subway to the local bus routes.

- Draft two artics each from the Routes 28, 39, and 751/SL4.

- Have them run-as-directed, ideally under charge of an Instructor, to supplement Blue Line service between Airport, Maverick and Downtown Boston. Coordinate with Blue Line officials to avoid redundancies. Ideally: send a train westbound from Airport, then two artics, then train, etc.

Just my thoughts...

Good thoughts

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Although they might have wanted to keep all of Maverick locked down. But if the BL would support bidirectional operation, you could probably run platoons of trains. So send three or four BL trains on 1 minute headways every 15 minutes. You lose frequency, but you retain capacity. Use some RADs for Maverick-State service.

The T should really have a plan for every potential shutdown portion of a line between various crossovers and power sections.