Nice new train stations not much good if you can't get on a train at them

Waiting for a train at Boston Landing in Brighton

Roman Lilligren was among the would be riders who stood by helplessly at the Boston Landing stop in Brighton shortly before 8 a.m. when an inbound train pulled in - late - and took no passengers because it was already full to bursting.

The train after that wasn't much better:

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ummmm no

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For whatever reason (pandering to the Worcester commuters), only the Framingham trains stop at Boston Landing, meaning if it isn't already crowded on the train, it will be after we get on (if we can). The next train to stop there is the 8:30, which is more than a half hour after this picture was taken. The commuter rail isn't as convenient if you can't get on. That time of day, they could have gotten downtown quicker on the greenline (which isn't a compliment). They need to stop at BL more often, they need the 64 bus to return to that area (bypassing the stop and shop loop from the construction), they need to increase it's frequency and coordinate it with the commuter rail train (comes once an hour to the "area" but typically 10 minutes before the train), and they need more options than just that bus. There's literally hundreds moving into that area with the new apartments and condos in addition to the hundreds already in the area. Underserved when the trains are running ok, worse when they're not.

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With the frequency and

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With the frequency and reliability provided by both the commuter rail and 64 bus, transferring from one to the other would be a really horrible way to commute. Even if they attempted to coordinate the schedule.

Pandering??

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Just an FYI, for the morning commute (peak trains = 12), 6 of those trains service all stops west of Framingham through Worcester. Of those 6, two stop at BL and the others are Express to Yawkey. BL has an additional 5 trains which includes the one that originates from Ashland, so I would not suggest that there is pandering to those that ride from farther out.

I will however, call out the underutilized Worcester Express as one that could stop at BL since it has capacity. In general you are getting the same service as those west of Framingham.

Free Fare promotions.

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Free Fare promotions from time to time would improve the marketing programs of the T. Museums' Admissions offer Free Admissions promotions.

Yup

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Because what the commuter rail needs is more riders.

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As long as the roads are

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As long as the roads are jammed, there are more people who should be riding the train.

If the trains are full, run more trains. There's no capacity constraint on a line that runs every half hour at the peak.

Nor should South Station be a bottleneck, if you look at how stub-end terminals are scheduled in other cities.

Rockport/Newburyport line had same issue this morning

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I was on the train 7:10 AM in from Rockport this morning that skipped Lynn as people had to stand in the isles from Salem on. What good are adding parking and enlarging facilities if the trains are over capacity each and every rush hour.

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That Rockport

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Station is a shitbox. Just like the trains . Never see anyone working on them . Years ago I was on one heading inbound from there with no lights and no heat ...

The 7:10 from Rockport always

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The 7:10 from Rockport always runs express from Swampscott, but it is indeed always incredibly crowded. Just one more double decker could go a long way.

The Green Line treatment

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The beautiful BL riders totally got the Green Line/64/70 bus treatment that we used to get when we lived down there and were still beautiful (okay, not that beautiful, but you get the point). The FramWor CR is backsliding again - trains, particularly in the morning, are routinely showing up 5-10 mins late again. And as Shannon pointed out above, the trainsets are all screwed up this week (perceived reason is because of the need to form the Patriots train on Sunday evening).

Seems odd?

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Is there a low low fare for this station or something? It doesn't seem like a place where people would want to be getting on inbound.

This is actually really convenient

for that area of Brighton, and maybe parts Lower Allston. When I lived in LA and worked in the Back Bay, it was some combination of the 66, 70 or 86 + Red Line/Green Line, 1, or Green Line. Getting to this station would probably be the equivalent of walking to Harvard from the part of the neighborhood I lived in, which I ended up doing a lot anyway because the 66 was (and probably still is) a joke. I'm sure people drive in and park from Watertown and other areas too.

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I need more coffee

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"Even though I read "..Lower Allston", I reacted to "When I lived in LA and worked in the Back Bay," with "What? They lived in Los Angeles and while they worked in Back Bay!!". Then I slowed my roll and thought "Uhhhh..maybe I should read this again."

When I lived in Allston 20

When I lived in Allston 20 years ago, it was in dire need of public transit that ran along the Mass Pike. My only options at the time were walking to Comm Ave and taking the Green Line (slow slow slow and not that close to where I lived) or taking the bus to Cambridge and taking the Red Line. A one-ride trip to South Station would have been a gift from heaven.

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People live by Boston Landing

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Why wouldn't they want to hop on commuter rail to Yawkey, Back Bay or South Station as opposed to packed and slow buses? Hopefully we will see a renewed effort to service inner belt stations with more frequent DMU trainsets.

I take commuter rail from South Station to Back Bay every morning, and do Back Bay to South Station in the late afternoon. Boston Landing is Zone 1A (same fare as the LinkPass).

FWIW, it seems like the Framingham line and Red Line weren't the only casualties this morning. Most every train out of South Station between 6:30 and 7:00 was late this morning (besides the 6:48 Framingham) -- the 6:40 Walpole train didn't pull into Back Bay until 7:07.

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DMUs were planned until Bake cancelled them

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The Patrick administration had plans for DMU service along this and other lines, to create a network of DMU trains to serve people that the subway doesnt reach but the commuter rail doesn't serve well. It was one of the first things Baker cancelled, along with late night service. A bit later paused the green line extension until right before the most recent election (that will probably get delayed again now that the election is over). Short term Charles has been destroying public transit in metro Boston since his time in the Weld administration.

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Sigh

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If only you remembered a time before Charlie Baker took office and named Pollack head of MassDOT. You'd be surprised to find out that his predecessor (and hers) also pushed the beloved GLX.

Yup

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He probably won’t even get through the primary in 2018, but if he does, I’m sure whoever the Democrats put up (perhaps that Jay Gonzalez guy) will just swamp the guy.

I can’t wait until the GLX opens. See you then.

BL stop made my commute 3x

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BL stop made my commute 3x better. Working in seaport, the best option before this CR stop was to take the 64 to central then hop on the red line. Going inbound wasn't bad, but the timing going outbound at rush hour and infrequent buses meant 60-70 minute commute on a good day.

The new CR stop turns my commute into 20-25 mins to south station depending on how smooth trains are running. We just need bigger / more trains.

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snob

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Sorry. Hate to say this..

But there's a snob attitude about the Commuter Rail. Its "better" because it isn't a gross bus or subway car.

I know many people who *ONLY* ride the CR and walk to work from their destination.

Same argument for people who wont ride buses.. "poor people ride them"

Not what people were saying

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I don't ride the commuter rail to avoid anything but being on vehicles held up by excessive numbers of private cars.

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but that's you

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but that's you. Not everyone else.

Were you taking a poll at the station today and asking people?

yeah didn't think so

Yes you are a snob!

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And you don't hate to come here and blanket people with schoolyard names. You do it all of the time.

This issue has nothing to do with people refusing use other forms of delayed and overcrowded transportation. The issue is that ALL of the transportation is overcrowded and delayed.

Yawn

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Come and register and make your comment and I'll take you seriously.. until then. Nah.

That sounds like a great

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That sounds like a great commute. I'd call it practical, not snobby. A train for the long-haul, without having to risk a missed connection missing it on the Green or Orange Line.

Leave yourself alone, cybah

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Sorry. Hate to say this..

But there's a snob attitude about the Commuter Rail. Its "better" because it isn't a gross bus or subway car.

1)You don't "hate to say this", so just knock it off.
2)My question has fuckall to do with "snob attitude" and everything to do with the fact that the CR generally costs more - hence my question, which you would have seen if you'd read my message and not just decided to use it as the launchpad for your editorial.

Time to buy more bi-level

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Time to buy more bi-level coaches and new locomotives to replace any old ones not replaced in the past decade?

Ehhh

Bi levels don't fit that many more people, but make dwell times much longer. It takes longer for people to disembark and board. Time to run more trains, more often, with more doors.

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Bi-levels have 179 seats and

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Bi-levels have 179 seats and single levels 127, 50 more seats per car is alot.
The MBTA's capital plan has money for 181 more bi-levels to replace the remainng single-level fleet.

But bi-levels weigh a lot

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But bi-levels weigh a lot more. How many single-level vs bi-level coaches can one locomotive haul?

huh?

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single level cars seat 88-127 people. Bi-level 175-185.

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False

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The reason this train was so jam packed and didn't let anyone on at Boston Landing was because it was all single-deckers, not double-deckers.

source: I was there; and conductors

Don’t

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Hold your breath. Those single level shitbox coaches are here to stay

Train

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It's 8am, of course the trains are going to be full. People should just leave the house earlier instead of working the minimum and show up at 9am.

Nope. That's not how it's

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Nope. That's not how it's supposed to work. Nobody should be turned away from a commuter rail train at any time of day, unless there's a major unexpected problem.

Could you imagine if you tried to get on the Mass Pike at 8 am, and it was coned off with signs saying sorry, full, turn around and go a different way? And the point of transit is it's supposed to be better at handling a peak crush.

When the rush hour schedule is 6:04, 6:42, 7:17, 7:54, 8:30, 8:40, and 9:23, not getting onto one specific train kind of messes up your day.

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Guess what?

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Have kids in school? Have elders in home care? Have to be at work at a set time?

YOU CAN"T DO THAT

Boston Landing

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In fairness, I have been taking the Commuter rail from BL into Boston week days since it opened in May 2017, and the morning delays have been rare. I also take the 7:17AM because earlier trains seem to have less issues. It sure beats the green line or the 65/86 bus delays that were pure HELL.

Ridership is down

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The MBTA and Keolis report that these reports of trains being packed are erroneous as their records show there were only 5 paying customers on both trains.

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:-\

Overall ridership is down, but rush-hour ridership is up. Mid-day and weekend ridership is down because of people taking Uber and Lyft, and because of all the weekend shutdowns for necessary maintenance and upgrades.

I know you're trying to make a joke but it doesn't work

Do you have ridership data by

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Do you have ridership data by time of day?

I was hoping the $10 weekend pass promotion would boost commuter rail ridership.

Fare Evasion

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Is the major reason why ridership is down on all lines not Uber and maintenance.

Prove it

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Prove it.

Most people whose fares are not checked during rush hour are pass holders anyway.

Just because their pass isn't registring their ride doesn't make them fare evaders.

weren't the projected numbers

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weren't the projected numbers for BL like, super low?

isn't this the same line / station model that the state says only like 12 people will use if they build it when tearing down the pike?

if you plow a corn field, will baseball happen?

OK I'll say it

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The CR system could be fixed in two easy steps:

1. Electrification
2. North-South Rail Link

Since neither will ever happen, a more feasible solution would be to have more than one type of propulsion equipment. Even if DMUs are still impractical due to supplier issues, we could have lower horsepower locomotives to pull shorter, inner-belt trains.

Electrify Yes -- forget the NS Tunel

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If a small fraction of the money that would be literally poured down a rat hole [aka N-S tunnel] was devoted to electrification -- many CR problems would essentially disappear

Electrification offers numerous benefits including:

  1. Low emissions
  2. Lower noise
  3. No need for engines all of the cars have propulsion
  4. Much better performance in winter conditions
  5. rapid acceleration and deceleration -- much closer headways
  6. much shorter trains -- much shorter platforms and sidings

To be completely honest there are some negatives:

  1. trees needing to be kept trimmed to avoid potential problems with wind and snow on trees branches taking down wires or even just ice on the wires
  2. higher clearances needed for overpasses because of the high voltage wires

There is a further potential benefit -- improved battery technology could ultimately enable trains that could run on routes extended beyond the wiring

Is that train really full?

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Every time I see these pictures of "full" commuter rail trains, they don't look very full compared to "full" red line/green line trains. Take off your backpack and make room.

I can take off *my* backpack.

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I can take off *my* backpack. But that doesn't help me if the people inside the train don't, so I can't get in the door.

No surprises there. People

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No surprises there. People who wanted to use this station to commute downtown never had a fighting chance.

Brighton?

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You're already in the city!! Take the green line or the bus

Wow, what a great idea

Extremely practical and convenient to take the Green Line from that location.

And we all know how reliable and fast the MBTA buses are to commute on. Oh what a joy. What is that, a two-bus ride to downtown? Or three?

Yet, the 3:20 to Reading on Monday afternoon

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was EIGHT cars. Of course, only three of them were open to passengers - which was adequate for the load.

Time for Keolis to abolish this penny pinching practice of not adjusting train consists to meet adnticpated loads. Or perhaps they should bring back DMUs, which would allow them to easily adjust train length to meet anticipated loads.

Aren't there other issues?

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I mean, people like to look upon conductors as "ticket takers" like we look upon flight attendants as "waitresses" (and yes, I am using the sexist connotation, but then again I don't look upon them as waiter or waitresses,) but they have a safety role. Say you have 2 conductors handling 8 cars, that means 4 cars per conductor. With the passenger load, checking for tickets wouldn't be that hard, but if there were a crash, that is understaffed. Pack them into 2 or 3 cars, and it is manageable, with the hope that a crowd doesn't arrive for that trip.

Over a year ago, the T decided that the week-end closure of the Needham Line was over one Saturday. They never checked on staffing, though, so they had to press a conductor into service for the trip I took. He didn't have a uniform, nor did he have a means to sell tickets, so he didn't bother checking tickets since there would be no way to get people to pay. He still had to be there, for safety reasons. I don't know railroad rules, but it looks that way to me.

Yet, the same agency that doesn't properly balance

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its fleet against anticipated load had no problem hiring workers to stand at track entrances seeing that people have tickets before boarding.

If cost control and minimizing expenses are really so important to MBTA/Keolis, why isn't this drawing more outrage from the bean counters?

You mean

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The agency that is looking to make sure all riders pay, right?