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Silver Line buses make first runs to and from Chelsea

Silver Line bus on dedicated right of way

Photo by Cybah

Shortly after 5 a.m., the first of the new SL3 buses left Chelsea for South Station by way of Airport, and running in part on a dedicated road atop an old rail line.

Our own Cybah, who has been chronicling construction of the new line, was on the first bus that left South Station for Chelsea and posted photos of the new line.

The T shot some video from one of the buses traveling along the new Silver Line route in Chelsea:

Things on the line, which offers a shorter ride between Chelsea and downtown Boston than, say, the 111, were humming along until shortly after 9 a.m.:

Free tagging: 


I also did this neat quick video. I have other video I am editing up as I was able to strap a GoPro (with permission) to a bar on the bus on the first run. So more to come over the next few days.

But here's the video:

Edit: I added more videos

And later on a bus near Library Street

And a bus arriving at Chelsea Station

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for letting us follow along with the construction from the beginning and the opening day.

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Looking forward to trying this out myself!

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I can't say much about the bridge. We knew it was going to go up.

But props to the T. Every station has announcements when the bridge goes up and an estimated time. And the real time displays have a message also. The T at least tries to notify the riders so they can switch to other services.

The good news is, since the bridge is mostly tide based, by Monday, the bridge going up with start to happen on the tail end of rush hour.

And I had a conversation with the City's transit planner, and this same conversation happened last week at the T's presentation (with GM Ramirez). The City, the T, and MassDOT are committed to working with the Coast Guard to see if we can get some sort of priority over the bridge during rush hour since it is a rapid transit line. The hope is if we can get public vocal enough, maybe they can/will make an exception for the bridge since its fewer deliveries a day.

Voting closed 58

They should make lift bridges with hinged panels at each end that touch the ground still even when raised and you could drive across it [carefully] even when it was in motion.

I still don't understand the general rule that places nautical traffic having precedent over road traffic on all moving bridges.

The Andrew McArdle bridge only gets regular, nautical traffic from the marina and the extremely rare cargo ship [see below]. Road traffic should be given precedent since someone's little pleasure boat is hardly a vital movement.

I'm not even sure why the Chelsea St bridge would ever need to move and it should always be defaulted to being in the lowered position. The only active? facilities on the other side of it is the Gulf Oil and Irving Oil tanks which, if they're even still served by ships, get what... one or two visitors a year??

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It's alot more active that people think.. lots of deliveries.

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This is the main area where gasoline and heating oil gets dropped off in the Boston region (those dang motorists again!!). I think they have a few more than that and the clearance is such that they don't raise it for pleasure boats.

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I think the general rule of nautical traffic getting priority is based on "they were there first so the roads built after have to work around them", with exceptions added as needed.

But also remember that the larger cargo ships don't have the same type of stopping and acceleration capabilities as road traffic. Also if ships are stopped waiting for the bridge, they're still subject to tides/currents which make just staying stationary more troublesome.

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Great job MassDOT! As a means to salvage this s-show, string the line along Rt 16 to Wellington. A one seat ride to South means nothing if you're delayed by 20 minutes by the bridge and then delayed another 20 minutes in the Ted Williams tunnel.

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The MBTA did a nice job on the Silver Line and the Chelsea police will make sure its a safe ride.

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Does this bus stop in East Boston anywhere?

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How long until the kids find out and this becomes the Chelsea Dirt Bike Speedway?

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Why do people keep saying this?

The roadway has been built for months and we've had no problems. A drivable roadway has been there for 2 and still no problems.

Chelsea doesn't have problems with dirt bikes like Dorchester does for some reason. (Thank god)

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I notice on the schedule that the last bus on weekdays leaves at 1:46 AM (inbound) and 1:17 AM (inbound) but on weekends it's 1:47 AM (inbound) and 1:18 AM (outbound). I'd love to know the reason for that one minute difference. Either way, it runs later than the Blue Line.

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Miles on the MBTA rides one of the first buses, points out problems with the line.

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I am gonna say one thing.. before people judge, please give it a few days.

Everyone is very quick to judge this route. It's a NEW route, with NEW roadway, a NEW route, and NEW everything. It's going to take a few days or even a few weeks to work out the kinks in the route.

Still, considering that in a few days, they start construction on the Tobin and North Washington Street Bridges, this will help a lot and the 111 will be pretty useless.

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Wow, I'm surprised that the Chelsea stations don't have fare processing machines. Seems like a huge missed opportunity. The T really needs to get proof-of-payment going on the Green Line and the busier bus routes. Forced front door boarding is a huge contributor to the ridiculous slowness of the T.

BTW, Detroit now has 24-hour bus service. I believe this makes Boston the only North American city of its size without 24-hour service.

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The T will be introducing all-door boarding with AFC 2.0, which they are currently working on and is planned to be launched in the next few years. This will take cash payment off of buses, and will allow you to tap on using any door. It would be very expensive to buy new fare vending machines just to be used for a few years.

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