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Three weeks of shuttle buses between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square; no more new Orange, Red Line trains

The MBTA announced last week that it's just not going to run any trains at all between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square as it fixes the aging switch that caused yesterday's derailment at Wellington and does other track work there for the next three weeks. And it's pulling all of the new Chinese-by-way-of-Springfield trains on the Orange and Red Lines - like the one that came off the tracks as it tries to figure out what happened.

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is having to rely on this decrepit, perpetually mismanaged transit system to get me from A to B reliably on a regular basis.

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Even before the pandemic I would bike commute 90% of the time. But there are plenty of times when having the T was handy. It's sucked this winter to not have any alternatives.

The pandemic was the excuse Baker was looking for turn back the clock 40 years on public transportation. It's clear he'd just eliminate the system entirely if he could. I'm somewhat surprised they don't just replace the Orange Line with busses permanently.

Baker knows that it takes decades to restore even a fraction of service when it is cut. It's unlikely I'll ever be able to take public transportation the same way again in my lifetime. And even at pre-pandemic peak, public transportation was a tiny fraction of what it was in 1940s.

I'm not anti-car but private vehicles are not the solution to any problem.

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And this is a classic example, where a brand new subway train derails riding over a switch that was in the midst of being replaced.

What we really need is a governor who realizes that we need to upgrade the system. Personally I'll vote for any candidate who commits not only to replacing those way too old Orange and Red Line cars, but also commits to the less than sexy things like signals, tracks, and switches.

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Like the Orange Line shut down prior to the pandemic where they replaced tracks and updated stations. All because Baker forced the T to focus on repairs. I believe they were on pace to complete $1B in capital investments per year prior to the current situation.

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And more!


Try looking things up prior to just spouting nonsense.

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.... for me was less crowding. Better for health and transporting my bike. I take it on average once or twice a week and walk or bike everywhere else. That won’t last, the increase in personal space, that is.
What you note about the decades long process in restoring discontinued services is true and I don’t like thinking about it as it tends to dampen my will for activism.
Walsh can’t leave too soon for me as he has also ignored transportation needs.

I’m going to miss the new Orange Line cars. They were a harbinger of hope every time I lucked out and caught one.

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But there are plenty of times when having the T was handy. It's sucked this winter to not have any alternatives.

I'm totally with you there. I've used it here and there when necessary during the pandemic and am thankful. And it's a lifeline for a lot of essential workers, and, sadly, non-essential workers for whom commuting to work is still essential. Definitely wasn't going for an anti-transit message, more of an "our current system is awful and only getting worse, and I'm glad I personally don't have to rely on it right now" message.

It needs to be fixed, and it needs to be expanded. But with a revolving door of "leadership" and a governor who knows it's essentially the people outside of 95 keeping him in office, we won't see it anytime soon.

I'm not anti-car but private vehicles are not the solution to any problem..

I agree overall, but will say having a car has been a saving grace for me personally. I very, very rarely drive anywhere within the city...but now also very, very rarely go into the actual city. It's nice to have my own personal little bubble when I do need to go out, even just to get groceries.

Hell, when things locked down last year and we hadn't really....adjusted after a few weeks, my wife and I got in the car one morning and just drove. We ended up going all the way to Hyannis, grabbing drive thru and eating it in a beach parking lot, and driving home.

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"Last week" here = "yesterday", because time has lost all meaning.

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Single rail on the OB track between Sullivan and North Station, due to there being no crossover between Sullivan and Community College. They NEVER announce that on the site, and yet that is the reason why the trains sit for about an hour at North Station during such diversions.

One would think that they would build a crossover just south of Sullivan for these diversions to at least be able to run more than one train on that stretch.

But this is the T we're talking about here, so the only safe thing to do is avoid the Orange Line north of North Station. If you know any alternative routes, take them.

When I went home at night from some of my night groups before the pandemic, I had to take the 426 from Haymarket just to avoid this mess whenever an "Oak Grove to Sullivan" diversion is on. Not because of the shuttle bus, but because of waiting way too long at North Station.

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... opposite side of the Orange Line at NS and watched as riders piled into a car waiting a long while to go outbound. Not a pleasant sight.
Thanks for the explanation.

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It's gonna be the 426, Blue Line and/or roundabout bus combos for me for the next three weeks. Good thing I'm not going in every day, thanks to Covid. If the Blue Line breaks down too, especially on the weekend, I'm really f***ed.

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Does the company police or the state police do the investigation?

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It will probably be like the Red Line derailment a couple years back - the T will investigate.

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DPU transportation division also investigates MBTA accidents

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We could’ve fix it 30 years ago but the unions wouldn’t let us do it and our elected officials wouldn’t go along with it, just Billy Weld and Paul Cellucci. What happened to all the stimulus,recovery billions of dollars that we gave to the MBTA? Privatize it in the end it all!


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Because privatizing public operations is a famously good solution. /s

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I still see some of those "Privatization = Weld Scam" bumper stickers up around Cambridge/ Somerville

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Let's just privatize our entire infrastructure. We'll charge drivers by the mile, and pedestrians by the sidewalk square.

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I mean the commuter rail is such a great example of public private cooperation.
it will be interesting to see what happens to the T in the near future, since the work from home movement may mean less passengers and income. The T will remain more important to those less well off and dependent on public transportation.

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Privatize it in the end it all!

That sums up the entire argument for privatizing: it lets you, personally, stop thinking about it. Privatization of public transit has never been shown to lead to anything but lower-quality, more expensive service that eventually stops existing entirely, but that doesn't matter because improving the system isn't the point. The point is no longer having to think about it. Who cares about the tens of thousands of people who would immediately be screwed? Not your problem, right? They can just adapt their lives to be more like yours, and get cars!

I reject the privatization idea fully. It is a bad idea, and only ideologues promote it.

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The rusting, decrepit Orange Line cars turn 42 years old this year. How many other vehicles do you ride around in from that era? When they began operations, they spent their first 6 years traveling on the El through stations like Northampton and Egleston.

The MBTA should make it top priority to finish their inspecting and get the new trains back in service ASAP.

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Some of the Red Line cars are getting mail from AARP.

Yes, the Orange Line has cars that were built by workers who wondered when Carter was going to get the hostages out of Iran, but the workers who built the oldest Red Line cars in service were most likely a part of the "silent majority" that gave Nixon his Electoral College landslide a few years after finishing that order from the T.

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Now whenever the red line breaks down, we can roll our eyes and say "OK, boomer."

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Are definitely GenXers, not boomers.

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And I write this because I am almost as old as the oldest Red Line trains in service.

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I’ll have more respect now for these iron workhorses and the people who maintain them. The Mattapan High Speed Line has PCCs even older.

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Worldwide, 42 is not that old for a railcar.

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The higher ups at the MBTA want the MBTA to all be outsourced and gone. They are getting closer to that dream everyday. We will not be a "world class" city with the T. It needs to be updated. Getting to Quincy from where I live in Hyde Park, when I did not have a car took hours when at most it should take a half hour.

We need to revamp the T. Seriously. When my father drove on the Green Line in the 70s, he talked about how it was old and decrepit then. I can't imagine it now.

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...into Boylston Station. I peered down the no longer used Pleasant St Portal tunnel, covered my ears as another car rounded the famous screeching curve and headed up the stairs with a heavy bag thinking about how I was exiting an original section of America’s first subway. I felt pride and fatigue. Still no elevator or escalator at Boylston. The no nonsense slightly curbed staircase with skylights and wooden bannisters above is still stunning and the view from the bottom some recompense.

Your dad would likely shake his head.

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