Imagine one of these on the wall of a Red Line car

Future MBTA

Vanshnookenraggen, the guy who does all those cool maps showing the MBTA all built out, is now selling copies - as posters, coasters and messenger bags (and as long as you're there, Boston Coasters looks to be a cool place to get Boston-themed gifts, and, no, nobody's paying me to say that). It might make a fun project to buy one of the prints, then put it up in a subway car and watch people's reactions - at least until the T SWAT Team shows up.



    Free tagging: 


      Speechless shock and awe...

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      ...or rather, I think few would even notice, if one were to put up a poster of this map in a subway car.

      It's similar to how no one reacted when the automated PA on an outbound Red Line train heading out of Central Square announced "Next Stop: Quincy Adams."


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      I didn't even notice it wasn't an accurate map. But I believe the "yellow line" is AKA the 66 bus.

      It'd be cool if they did a route that went from Forest Hills --> Heath St --> Watertown Center --> Alewife --> Arlington Center --> North Somerville --> Lechmere

      It would be the 95 belt of the subway. To my point, there are probably busses that accomplish this task, but ugh what a pain in the ass to obtain that data.


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      Well, helps prove my point that few people would notice!

      There is currently no bus that runs between Watertown Center and Alewife Station. There also isn't a bus that runs directly between Heath Street and Watertown Center.

      It's not really a pain in the rear end to obtain this data. Just use the MBTA's full system map. Warning: large download.

      Thanks DS

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      That map does help, I remember the first time I obtained a hard-copy of that map, I thought I'd found the MBTA holy grail.

      I guess that would give me a good overview, but I would still need to pull up the individual bus line's route PDF so I could drill down to the specific streets involved with the route.

      Plus, there are insets for all the good stuff. But I suppose the purpose here is a broad overview of the outer-urban bus routes.

      I still wonder about them express bus lines I see during rush hour times downtown. I would consider planning my next residence around them!

      You're welcome

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      You might also want to refer to the system map focusing on the vicinity of downtown (warning: large download) and to the system map page for region-specific maps.

      You can actually zoom in quite a bit on the full system map (the one I linked to in my last post) to get more detail. In fact, if you don't zoom in, it's a bit hard to read...

      As far as express buses go, they only provide a "limited number of peak-direction trips during peak-periods for work commuting purposes." Commuter Rail lines operate many more trips than Express Bus lines do. If you plan to live in an outer-urban location, I'd recommend planning your next residence around the Commuter Rail network instead. Commuter Rail also doesn't run the risk of getting stuck in traffic.

      I guess the only real advantage of Express Bus vs. Commuter Rail is that it may be cheaper. Express Bus isn't cheap, but it may still be cheaper than CR. Not sure though, and don't have time to actually compare EB/CR fares apple-to-apple at this moment, so don't take my word for it.

      They're trying

      There's a plan in the works called the Urban Ring to establish a silverline-style superbus that would create radial connections between the various subway lines.

      PS, blog owner, how come at the login screen when I have my cursor in the username text box and press tab, instead of going to the password text box it goes way down to the enter keywords text box?

      UH login issue

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      Because something's screwed up on that page and I need to fix it and I really should get on that because it's not like it hasn't been reported before.


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      I do that all time time. Fix it! 0:D

      Yes, the Urban Ring

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      Here's its site. This is what preliminary plans have it looking like. Potentially, in Phase III of the plan, there'll be a new heavy/light rail line covering the most heavily traveled portion of the corridor (from Somerville's Assembly Square to Lechmere Station, Kendall Station, Massachusetts Avenue/MIT, Longwood Medical Area, Ruggles Station, and Dudley Square).

      The currently implemented portion of the Urban Ring consists of the three crosstown bus routes: CT1, CT2, and CT3.

      I'll let my great-grandkids know

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      The MBTA can't figure out how to deliver Kenmore completed and on time. They have a negative sum operating budget at this time. The "Urban Ring" myth will just have to stay as such until we're all old and grey and 3/4 of us will probably be buried.

      The Urban Ring

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      That fast? I see future civilizations puzzling the meaning of the legend of the Urban Ring.

      Three trolleys for student kings under the sky
      Seven ends for subway trains in halls of stone
      Nine for the commuter men doomed to delay
      One for Charlie on his dark throne
      In the land of Boston with the Silver Lie
      One ring to join them all, one ring to find them
      One ring to bring them all and in the periphery bind them
      In the land of Boston with the Silver Lie

      Some say

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      Some say that the dark throne was not a seat at all, but a type of music the Charlie listened to from a sort of magical device called an Eye Pod, itself made (or "full") of unholy dark metal.

      Others say the throne itself was made of unholy black metal, and Charlie was imprisoned upon it for lack of a magical token of escape.

      Still others, who are widely ridiculed since the times of Menino the Third, allege that Charlie's throne was a mere pleather bench seat, and was dark only because the fluorescent lights above it were burned out.

      It's hardly a myth...

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      ...since part of it is already up and running. I last rode on the Urban Ring about a week and half ago when I took the CT2 from Sullivan Station to Kendall Station. I thought it was quite convenient.

      And about a week and a half...

      By on probably how long it took you to go from Sullivan to Kendall.

      You took like the ONE section of the CT buses that doesn't suffer from some sort of awful route design. Next time try taking the CT2 just a little further to the C line, instead of stopping at Kendall. For bonus points, do it during evening rush hour...the hour before a Sox game. The point I'm trying to make is that the "Urban Ring" isn't the CT2. Until they put in marked lanes, separate lanes, whole other roads/bridges ala the Silver Line, and other methods for expediting the route, then it's just a bus and not part of the design for the "Urban Ring".

      Calling the CT2 part of the fabled "Urban Ring" is like calling Velveeta a form of cheese.

      Sox Game

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      I used to be sad that the Patriots Stadium was in Foxboro. Then I lived near Fenway and got a day job...

      No, the CT2 was fast...

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      ...faster than taking the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing and changing to the Red Line, at any rate.

      Of course there are going to be slowdowns right before a Sox game. It would be unreasonable to expect there to be no operating slowdowns before such events.

      And the CT2 is part of the Urban Ring, last I checked the documentation.

      I Blame the CT 2

      My husband bought a motorcycle because the CT2 was slow, random, and all together horrifically unable to keep anything resembling a schedule.

      One try could have been a fluke or an outlier. Try riding that bus every day, both ways, for two months and you will understand why so many people hate it eternally.

      Maybe it was a fluke...

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      I wouldn't know, because I don't normally commute between Sullivan and Kendall Stations. But that time - and it was during the PM rush hour - the CT2 was right on schedule, within a minute or so. In fact, generally my experience with buses has been quite positive minus a few outliers. The vast majority of the time, I've found buses to be quite reliable, within a reasonable +/- 5 minute buffer zone.

      You'd be welcome to do so...

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      ...and I hope I do, in fact, have good 'bus karma'.

      I still don't like buses much though! My strategy when taking a bus is generally twofold: it involves mentally focusing on the MBTA's RELIABILIIMAGE( and praying that the bus shows up on time. :)

      Yeah, and I drove on the trans-oceanic freeway today

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      128 is just a short road today, but it'll turn into a trans-oceanic freeway all the way to the Old Sod shortly after that crosstown bus you got on grows rails and metamorphoses into an Urban Ring.

      Of course, there are some technical and financial obstacles to overcome. They're doing preliminary experiments with porcine aviation over at Biogen right now.

      MBTA Slow

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      Since when does operating in the red stop anything in America? Those rules only apply to individuals, not entities.

      Urban Ring Stupidity

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      The T wants to build a $1 Billion Dollar bus tunnel through Longwood and Fenway, but dump Urban Ring buses into mixed traffic at Kenmore Square - because that will work so well. Oh wait, they are going to paint "Bus Only" on the street to fix the problems that will pose since it worked so well on Phase 1 of the Silver Line.

      Fenway planning PDF

      Urban Ring

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      imho, they should nuke the kendall stop and go more north towards Tufts area. Path less traveled... why go through lower Cambridge?


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      There's absolutely no good way to go through Harvard or Central Square using the current roads and 1/2 of the reason for this fabled path will be to adequately connect Brighton/Brookline with Cambridge without going all the way to Park Street to do it.

      No, DarkSun, the CT2 doesn't even come *close* to adequately connecting the green and red lines.


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      Well, the 66 bus connects Harvard to Brookline/Brighton, so I would recommend whatever roads they use.

      Prospect/Western/Cambridge St. takes you from Rt 93 North to Harvard Ave... granted it's always clogged and turns you into angrybot...

      I'm just saying that's where I would put my priority of a radial ring - to the edges of the circle, not the center. It makes it more like a crescent moon.

      It sounds like the CT1

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      is what you're looking for, Kaz. The CT1 nicely connects the Red Line and the Green Line via a nice, direct path from Central Square Station to Hynes Convention Center Station (Green Line/B, C, D Branches), Symphony Station (Green Line/E Branch), Massachusetts Avenue Station (Orange Line), and Massachusetts Avenue (Silver Line).


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      Please, don't talk to me like I haven't tried every permutation between the B line and the Red Line. I've had over a year of practice.

      The CT1 is probably the *least* dependable CT bus of them all because it tries to do so much on Mass Ave through Boston and Cambridge. The only open road on Mass Ave is the bridge over the river. It's like whoever was numbering the bus routes was going off of their reverse timeliness. Besides, my comment was about trying to get from Brighton to the Red Line. Telling me to go all the way to Hynes to catch the CT1 is pointless. Hynes is the second stop on the Green line inbound where the damn thing *finally* gets efficient! At that point, I can go to Park and get directly on the Red line anyways.

      At one point I was going to start a blog about my travails (not travels) on the MBTA. I was going to title it "About an hour...", because it didn't matter where I was trying to go, the MBTA managed to screw it up somehow and make it take about an hour.

      Then, I bought a scooter.

      My post was, of course, in reply to your own post...

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      Let's analyze this in a clear and logical fashion.

      You first wrote:

      There's absolutely no good way to go through Harvard or Central Square using the current roads and 1/2 of the reason for this fabled path will be to adequately connect Brighton/Brookline with Cambridge without going all the way to Park Street to do it.

      No, DarkSun, the CT2 doesn't even come *close* to adequately connecting the green and red lines.

      I pointed out:

      1) that the CT2 doesn't do what you're looking for, because the bus that actually does do it is the CT1;
      2) that the CT1 connects Brookline and Cambridge without going all the way to Park Street to do it;
      3) that the CT1 adequately connects the Green Line in Brookline and the Red Line in Cambridge;
      4) that the CT1 additionally connects to the Orange Line and the Silver Line.

      In response to my above points, you allege, either explicitly or implicitly:

      A) that you have a lot of personal experience in traveling between the Green Line/B Branch and the Red Line;
      B) that the CT1 is undependable;
      C) that, contrary to your previous post, you actually only care about connecting Brighton and Cambridge, and not Brookline and Cambridge;
      D) that the MBTA always screws up your commute;
      E) that in response to point D, you bought a scooter.

      In response to your points above, I submit in reply:

      To A) that I was not attempting to denigrate you or your experience, and further that this point is irrelevant;
      To B) that in fact the CT1 is dependable, and it is more dependable than the CT2 or the CT3, as per MBTA records;
      To C) that I was responding to your original post, which raised the issue of connecting Brookline and Cambridge;
      To D) that while I am sympathetic if your commute has been screwed up by the MBTA in the past, the MBTA is generally reliable, and your claim is, while most likely based on fact, also very likely grossly exaggerated;
      To E) that I congratulate you on your purchase of a scooter.

      At no point

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      did I claim that the CT1 goes through Brookline. I merely indicated:

      that the CT1 connects Brookline and Cambridge [via the Green Line] without going all the way to Park Street to do it;


      Taking the green line to Hines in lieu of going to Park? Why, it would be faster to go to park and take the Red line to go anywhere save for the West side of MIT.

      You say the the CT1 connects Brookline to Cambridge...Thats like saying it connects Auburdale to one in their right mind would take it instaed of going all the way to Park because it takes longer and an intermodal transfer.

      The CT1 does not connect anything. It is just a segment of the 1 Bus with a different vinyl logo.

      I'm sorry, but I'm offended...

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      ...that you would insinuate that I'm out of my mind because I think taking the CT1 from Central Square is a good idea.

      The sick thing

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      The sick thing is that the west side of MIT was basically where I had to go to for over a year. I tried the B line to Hynes to CT1 quite a bit because it just "felt" wrong to go all the way downtown to Park when I could draw a "straighter" line by going over the Mass Ave bridge. The stupid thing is that it was no faster than staying on to Park and switching to take the Red line to Kendall.

      On average, the amount of delay added in waiting for a CT1 and then having it stumble down Mass Ave through Back Bay and MIT and all of the lights involved actually takes just as long as staying on the subway the whole way. There were a few days where looking up Mass Ave all the way to the turn at Symphony showed me no 1 or CT1 bus and I walked all the way to Albany St in Cambridge never once being passed by any bus.

      Now, I have to go to my new company on Memorial Drive near River St. From Brighton Center. How sick is *that*? The 66 and 86 route through Harvard. So, I'd have to go west to Harvard just to come back east to Central (where the company runs a shuttle during the day). The CT2 comes close but is completely unreliable and turns east to Kendall (when I need to go west a bit) as soon as it gets across the BU Bridge, and would require taking a 30-40 minute ride packed in with all of BU on the B line...which doesn't actually have a stop that directly coincides with the CT2.

      Cambridgeport: Where the MBTA is afraid to go?

      I asked to draw me a route...and it returned "Error 49cc: buy a scooter."


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      Oak Square is the wrong side of the center of Brighton for me. If I were going to walk a mile to get to a bus, I'd rather walk a mile from BU West to my company's doorstep. The 70a connects to the 86 however..but 2 buses is just frustrating for such a short distance. Damned if I do or don't.

      sounds like you live somewhere near me

      I feel your pain on this, our headquarters is in Watertown on Arsenal and I live on Chestnut Hill Ave. I have to go there sometimes so back in the day I tried the 86-70/70A exactly how told me to, im pretty sure it timed it so I would only have to stand in front of the old state police horse barn for 15 minutes. It was over a half hour before the 70 showed up and it took me a total of over an hour. I could have pretty much walked there by then. Thank god I tried itinerary 2 out: ride scooter for 10 minutes down Parsons to North Beacon Street. Works like a charm.


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      Exactly! I'm just off of Monastery and my suggested route is also 86 to 70A (in the other direction). I have yet to need to try it, but I imagine it'll take "about an hour". Scooter to BU Bridge and park at the company doorstep: 15 minutes tops.

      Kaz No Bike?

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      Why a scooter and not a bicycle?

      (I know I'm spoiled since my workplace has a locker room and showers but just curious)

      Summit sucks

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      The biggest reason is because going anywhere from my house means going over Summit Ave (or some other combination, but I can't avoid the elevation changes). I'm not in the best of shape even though I'm working on that, but I've seen healthier people getting off their bikes at Warren before. Hell, my little scooter can only climb the thing at about 15 mph. I used to bike around the area but a friend needed a bike and I didn't use it as much, so I sold it to him. The scooter is only a slightly more costly option than the bike and I can do a bit more with it and faster. I also feel a bit more safe on the roads too.

      But the view from the top is wonderful

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      We used to live on the Brighton side. Nothing like walking over the hill to the Store 24 in Brookline for a little exercise (although I suppose the can of YooHoo I'd usually then get there canceled out some of the benefits).

      Absolutely true

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      I have been to that park many times for the view and for the sky access at night. Too many teenagers use it to hang out and drink and so you can get a lot of hassle from the cops late at night however.