With little fanfare, the T's other expansion project north of Boston continues apace

Silver Line stop on new extension

Cybah has posted his latest batch of photos showing progress on the project to extend the Silver Line through East Boston into Chelsea by way of an old rail line. He took them around 5 a.m. today.

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Bus Rapid Transit

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Congratulations to the MBTA it looks like they got this right!

Could replace the GLX, save billions!

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Finally, the MBTA got something right! Hopefully they use it as a template. A BRT line could run along Somerville's oversized Broadway between Sullivan Sq and Tufts, nixing any need for the GLX. As Pollack, Ramirez, and Dalton cook the Green Line Extension books, er I'm mean, meet the "affordability" limit: the long-term MBTA brass still have this BRT system in their back pocket.

Fingers-crossed its completed

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Stephanie Pollack, our 21st Century Louise Day Hicks, has been diverting money from this busway, the Fairmount Line, and various buses running through Mattapan for her precious GLX. In Pollack's eyes, if you're not white, you're secondary

Thanks Adam..

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A few other sneak peeks...

Eastern Ave Station:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37822234792_226a109636.jpg)

Busway from Bellingham St Bridge:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4474/37853961551_df8cd03e8c.jpg)
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4454/37853953441_49b079bfb9.jpg)

Another view of Box District Station:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4476/37144083174_98b9f8d27e.jpg)

A view of Box District Station and the busway from Broadway bridge:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37596263400_f47f69c3ab.jpg)

A view of busway from Washington Ave bridge:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4500/37805432626_2c9e8c6c61.jpg)

Bellingham Sq Station Outbound:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37596279380_c4876f7e74.jpg)

Spruce Street Crossing looking toward Bellingham Sq Station:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4449/24001307818_8d0d2b73cf.jpg)

Chelsea Station:
IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37854108761_7f912fabb3.jpg)

Thanks.

for documenting this, Cybah. Otherwise, it wouldn't even be on my radar.

Nice job, Cybah

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Now, if we can only get enough buses to actually provide service to three Silver Line branches, plus short-turns at Silver Line Way during rush hour, then we’ll be on to something.

The T can’t even provide adequate service during many times of the day as it is now. It will be a big test to see how the Silver Line can handle the increased traffic from all of the new residents and businesses opening at Seaport Square in the next two months.

8

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We were told the T would provide 8 buses for the SL3 (Silver Line Gateway), so we will see. And alot of SLG hinges on the bus rehab project that is taking place in Maine.

Maybe this will be a push to buy more buses for the Silver Line in the end, if deemed popular enough.

The T is planning on it

New Flyer is building six 60 foot buses (five battery-powered buses plus an additional diesel-electric with battery power from New Flyer) and will likely arrive by the end of this year. If it succeeds, the T will replace all of the dual-modes with the battery buses for SL3 service.

already failing

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"It will be a big test to see how the Silver Line can handle the increased traffic from all of the new residents and businesses opening at Seaport Square in the next two months."

The Silver Line is already failing this test on a daily basis. The South Station platform at rush hour in the AM is a mess.

The MBTA really needs to get it through their head that they need to run a Silver Line Way bus or SL1 before an SL2, or just run SL2s express past Silver Line Way. I work in the IDB and every morning I see countless coworkers left on the platform because the SL2 will fill up with people going to WTC, SLW, or Courthouse, then of course once the bus passes SLW, it's practically empty. This is not an efficient way to the run the buses.

Not to mention that it seems like they simply are not running enough buses to match the capacity already, never mind once additional developments open.

Indeed the silver-line is

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Indeed the silver-line is failing. It was a poorly thought out transportation solution for the size of the incoming development. Hell, the silver-line was at peak capacity during peak hours back in 2013 when I first started working in the seaport area. There are only so many busses you can add to the line to try to keep up with demand.

Station design & more....

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Will the canopies provide protection from wind and rain? They are so high, with no side walls. The renovated Kenmore bus stop looks great, but is much worse than the previous structure from a user perspective. Wind and rain whip in, it's a poor shelter from the elements.

Looking at the map, I thought, wow, Chelsea is even closer to downtown than I thought. How long would it take to get from the Chelsea stations to South Station? Then there is the relocated commuter rail station, which allows access to the North Shore via the Newburyport/Rockport line. Silver sounds like transit for seniors. The G-E-N-T-R-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N L-I-N-E might be a better name. Although I'm sure some real estate marketer could come up with something quite clever.

It's a great project that aims to serve people who really rely on the T. But how long will they be able to stay?

Shelters

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Will the canopies provide protection from wind and rain? They are so high, with no side walls. The renovated Kenmore bus stop looks great, but is much worse than the previous structure from a user perspective. Wind and rain whip in, it's a poor shelter from the elements.

If you look closer, there's smaller shelters that have walls (and heaters). This is Gold Standard BRT.. not some SL1 Washington St BS going on :-p

IMAGE(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4482/24001327508_bfb966b557.jpg)

Invest in duck boats

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Not a criticism of the project, but I wonder if the infamous "they" have thought about the fact that the end of the line (and location of the newly relocated commuter stop) and the Eastern Ave/Marginal St where the Silver Li(n)e starts in Chelsea are all in areas predicted to flood pretty regularly? The hazard of old rail beds is that they typically went through swampland. Of course flooding of a commuter rail stop in Chelsea will probably be the least of our worries when that starts to happen regularly...

Designed to flood

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This isn't exactly difficult infrastructure to clean post-flood. Not much to damage, and what is there could live in a swimming pool.

Yes

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Yes you're right. But yes, this was thought of. Read the Final SEIR document on the SLG website, it has considerations in for 'wetlands'. So yes, this was thought of.

Most of "West Chelsea".. aka where Market Basket is is a flood plane. It does marginally flood (Market Basket's parking lot) does flood with a few inches of water from time to time).. but again.. its a flood plane basin, so expect some minor flooding. The Chelsea Station stop itself is actually on higher (relative) ground, so it should remain dry.