Transit Matters runs the numbers and finds that two-week shutdown of the Red Line's Ashmont branch and the Mattapan Line seems to have worked: The trains are back to their 2018 trip times.
An additional benefit of the new tracks is a smooth ride, even on the oldest trains. The shake, rattle and boom is substantially gone on the Ashmont Line.
The Transit Matters article also gives the T good grades for communication about the Ashmont shutdown. I would agree mostly with the exception of traffic and parking changes, which were only communicated via signage, or by orange cones, with no signage. On street parking was eliminated on several long stretches of Dot Ave and cross streets. New temporary bike lanes were installed, in some cases, like Park Street, causing severe traffic backups. To their credit, they adjusted some of the restrictions a few days after they started in response to complaints.
Pretty good job, Mr. Eng. Let's see more of that.
I took the Ashmont train a couple of times last week; it was a reasonable 20 minute ride from South Station to Fields Corner. It was also one of these rare occasions where I didn't have to change car midway to avoid some obnoxious loud phone-gamer or other antisocial passenger.
It's the first time I have noticed something getting significantly better with the T since the Ashmont branch stations were renovated some 15 years ago and the first time I feel hopeful that things can get better!
dvg, you're not the only one who changes cars in the middle of a trip. The most common reason I change is broken A/C in the summer. Anti-social behavior is the second most common reason.
But a few weeks ago, pre track repair, I didn't just change cars. I got off the train at JFK and waited for another train. My car was shaking so bad, it literally felt like it was going to break in pieces or derail . I was the only one who seemed to care. It was frightening.
Yes the slow zones are mostly gone. But the lead times between trains on the Ashmont Line is now approximately 18-22 minutes. We were told that was due to not having enough dispatchers. But I haven't read anything lately on that subject.
Does anyone know the status of the hiring, training, and deployment of dispatchers? When are trains going to run as often as they used to on the Ashmont Line?
Should be renamed the Mattapan Slow Speed Line. Still, it remains the most scenic and safe enjoyable ride on the MBTA system.
I second the Mattapan line being a scenic and enjoyable ride!
My train-loving son adores going for rides on it, with a level of joy that brings a smile to all the cranks on board. We make trips of it whenever possible.
My daily Red Line trip, on the other hand, is neither scenic nor enjoyable :(
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