MassDOT and the MBTA today withdrew impending changes to the schedules of North Station commuter-rail line, saying they will come up with new proposed schedules next month to go into effect this spring - after public comment. Read more.
Actually, lots of delays out of South Station, but thank goodness: The Patriots train left on time.
The board that now runs the MBTA says the cash-strapped agency doesn't need the tsuris it keeps getting into with ads related to Israel and Palestine and so voted today to just ban all "political issue" ads starting next month, WBUR reports.
And, no, the T's decision doesn't infringe on anybody's First Amendment rights, as long as it's consistent about it, according to a 1993 federal court decision on the T's decision to ban some Muslim-hater group's anti-Palestine ads. In the decision, the judge said a 1993 federal decision involving the T (condom ads then) that found T ad spaces were "non-public fora" still stood.
News that the MBTA is canceling contracts for art on the Green Line extension - and on the Fairmount Line - got artist Elisa H. Hamilton to thinking on how art in Red Line stations helped shape her as an artist, and what the loss of the proposed art means:
Public transportation is one of the great equalizers here in the Commonwealth - the artwork created for our MBTA stations is not only meant to beautify, but also to create a sense of place for people in every walk of life. The decisions we make now in renovating and rebuilding our MBTA stations will impact our communities for a very long time. Art in MBTA stations gives an otherwise utilitarian space a sense of soul, a sense of color, culture, and life, a sense of the communities that these stations represent and serve. It fosters a tremendous sense of community ownership - every time T riders see this art, it says to them, "you are home."
Just too expensive, WBUR reports.
This just in from Keolis:
Keolis Commuter Services, which operates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail system, finished out the month of October with an unadjusted on-time weekday performance rate of 90.44 percent, the best performance for that month in nearly a decade.
A significant number of delays for the month were caused by trains that had to be operated at lower speeds for safety reasons because of slippery rail conditions. When adjusted for slippery rail and other conditions or incidents not under the control of Keolis, on-time performance was 94.44 percent.
The Herald reports comments by Frank DiPaola about that $80+ million in spending on new third rails, switch heaters and the like. Plus, they've got prisoners standing by to shovel out major snowfalls.
The Herald story is running on a morning when a train died on the Red Line, a trolley stopped functioning on the Mattapan Line and signal problems caused delays on the Blue Line.
Ari Ofsevit analyzes the new train times:
A consultant and a computer model were used for these schedules, but common sense seems to have been left by the wayside.
The most blatant example of this is the timing of the schedules: there are no trains - on any line - arriving at North Station between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., and none which depart North Station between 6:30 and 7:25 p.m. So for anyone who works a 10 to 6 shift is completely hosed. This needs to be fixed. If no one rode these trains, I could see the logic. But people do.
Or maybe somebody just had to purge their purse right this second and couldn't wait until after she got off the Orange Line this afternoon. Whatever the reason, Sarah Noe says she wouldn't touch that toothbrush.
Tl;dr: Blame the dreaded wheel slip and compressor fault failure for a cascading series of delays on the Franklin Line yesterday morning.
What the T describes as "minor" delays inbound on the D Line has turned into a 20-25-minute wait, Suzannishly reports.
Red Line riders say they appreciated the driver on their train who provided them with a unique way to remember the Paris victims today. As Anulfo Baez reports:
Really moved by this MBTA conductor welcoming people/announcing stops in French. "In honor of our friends...."
A T spokesman says:
The MBTA is very proud of Motor Person Michael Tsoukalas, who has been with the T for 20 years. A dedicated employee such as Michael represents all that is good about public service.
The MBTA has released what it says are the actual votes by people who care about the paint schemes for new cars on the Red and Orange Lines, and this time, they say, people voted for the same basic scheme for both, just in different colors, for the cars, which could be in service in a few years. Read more.
Peter Gelzinis reports how a BPD officer thanking the man on the bus at Columbia Road and Stoughton Street for his service put him at ease and let police disarm him.
UPDATE: The Globe reports it's Florida all over again: The T has put the vote into abeyance until it can examine apparent voting irregularities.
Well, actually three winners. The MBTA has selected the final paint schemes for the new Green, Orange, and Red Line cars:
About 50 Northeastern students protesting in support of higher wages for both adjunct professors and people who make the minimum wage blocked the E Line at Forsyth Street for several speeches and chants this afternoon. Read more.