Officials finally break ground on commuter rail and bus upgrades to Ruggles station

State officials gathered at Ruggles station this morning to formally break ground on a $38-million project that will mean a new commuter-rail platform and a new lower busway and elevators.

The project, for which the first contract was issued in 2012, will mean more commuter rail trains can actually stop at Ruggles - currently one out of every three trains have to bypass the station.

In 2014, the state won a $20-million federal grant for the work.

Construction will increase the size of the existing platform and improve the infrastructure in keeping with ADA guidelines to allow improved access to the neighboring community that includes the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, which is the largest employment center near Ruggles Station, and Northeastern University

In a related project, Northeastern will build a new pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

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Can someone explain this to me?

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Just trying to understand the whole "extend the platform" thing. A good chunk of the existing platform (I'd guess 40%) is in terrible disrepair, has been blocked off for years, and was rarely used prior to that.

Question 1: Is this new renovation going to just fix that blocked off part or are they actually going to make it longer?

Question 2: If they are making it longer, are there actually trains on that line that are longer than the existing platform? It's pretty long already, to my mind.

I don't ask any of this with anger or disdain...As an occasional user of that station, I'm just trying to understand it.

Which is not the same as extending!

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Looks like whoever wrote the press release described something different from the actual plan. Lengthening the existing platform wouldn't increase station capacity unless the issue were trains that are too long not being able to stop (it's not).

The press release was fine:

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The press release was fine: "a brand new 800-foot Commuter Rail platform to service Track 2"

But Adam focused on the less important part of the project.

Thanks

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Changed the original post to reflect reality.

Now THAT makes sense!

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Thanks anon, that sounds like a big job, but makes more sense as far as allowing more trains to stop there.

last mile problem

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Too bad there isn't a commuter rail stop *right at* the Longwood Medical Area, instead of a mile away. That's far enough to make the walk an obstacle to transit use.

Connecting shuttle buses and T bus routes are better than nothing, but who knows how long they'll take to show up, and if you'll catch your train if the bus gets stuck in traffic.

0.8

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It's 0.8 miles from Yawkey Station to the intersection of Brookline Ave and Longwood Ave.

Red herring

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Sure, it would be great if Ruggles was right at Children's hospital, but it's not. It takes me 12 minutes to walk from there to my office (less if I hop on a Hubway behind Ruggles.) The E line IS "right at" the LMA (2 stops in fact.) The D line is a 5 to 10 minute walk. Several bus lines, including the 39 run right through the area. The LMA shuttles from Ruggles are amazingly frequent during rush hours. The only wait at Ruggles is usually for the bus that is already sitting there to fill up and leave.

Yes, there are transit

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Yes, there are transit options to the LMA. But they could be better. And far too many people find it easier to drive.

The E Line is slow, and it only goes to downtown, East Cambridge, and a very quiet area a mile to the southwest of the LMA.

The D Line is somewhat better, but only if you're going to certain parts of Brookline or Newton, downtown, or can make use of the park-and-ride lots. And it's a bit out of the way -- a 15-minute walk to some parts of the LMA.

Ruggles is the fourth-busiest commuter rail station. Imagine if it (or the LMA) were better located.

Buses to Ruggles

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LMA has a huge number of employees who commute in and out via transit, and many of them go through Ruggles (I'd love to see some actual data on this). To get to/from Ruggles in particular, you can take the MBTA #8, 19, 47, CT2, and CT3, the private LMA shuttles (Ruggles Express & Wentworth-Ruggles), as well as small buses operated by only by/for BWH and Children's. They are ALL packed during peak hours to the point that they often are too full to pick up passengers (especially in the rain), and 80-100% of these passengers unload at Ruggles. Often, too, they get snarled in traffic (particularly at Louis Prang) making it quicker to walk to Ruggles, which I'm sure many do, in addition to making use of the 5 Hubway docks before they empty out by 5:30pm.

Basically what I'm saying is that the LMA dramatically stresses its last-mile transit infrastructure and has outgrown the current system. It desperately needs its Urban Ring link, and a buried rail Ruggles-LMA-Yawkey route would relieve a huge amount of strain on the surface instead of adding to it.

You know what the real answer is?

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GET RID OF THE PRIVATE CARS.

Seriously - allow ONLY handicap placard (or hospital permit for temp situations), ambulances, and buses and shuttles from 7am to 7pm.

Trucks could be limited to making deliveries before and after the work day.

Did you know?

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People come in from all over to go to the various doctors in the hospitals. In fact, I used to come in from the suburbs, well, my father would drive me in, to go to Children's for scoliosis appointments.

You're not going to get ride of private cars.

Keep dreaming, though. Dreams are important to have.

What do you mean by "right at"?

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It is a medical AREA not a medical FACILITY. You can't have a stop "at" an area. Ruggles is easily close enough.

Ruggles

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So it has been over two months since the "groundbreaking", and yet NO work has actually begun on this project. No construction at all happening. Anyone know why?