• Doug Most

    Assistant VP, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 13 comments on How to Speed Up the Slow Green Line B Branch? Fewer Stops

  1. The main problem is waiting for a red light for cars turning, even when there aren’t any! The best fix is a traffic signal override or at least a sensor for when there are no cars to wait for. Seems very simple compared to other proposals. The waits are excruciating.

  2. While I applaud the changes proposed, speedier above-ground trains will not improve meaningfully until Boston implements what is almost universal in countries in Europe that make public transport convenient for all, instead of a second class transport for people who can’t afford cars (Think Barcelona or Milan). This would mean computerizing the intersections so that lights automatically switch to green when the subway line cars approach; limit the number of left-turn and U-Turn points, forcing more cars to go around the block (as they do in many other cities even in the US) when they want to turn left instead of giving them a traffic interval of their own. Making cars take secondary precedence over subway trains could probably cut half of the delays on the Green line relative to the speed of a moving car. Speeding up subway movement will mean more cars doing the same route, and hence less crowded cars. This would speed up loading times. Subways should be able to zip between BC and BU in 20 minutes, not 45.

    Suggestions from a committed public transit commuter.

  3. As someone who rides the green line from Pleasant street to Copley I find it laughable that the 57 bus gets me to Kenmore square faster than the train.

    I’m not sure the BU east stop is necessary as well; they ought to consolidate that and Blandford street. That would leave one east campus stop, 1 central and 1 west…. seems reasonable.

    1. The MBTA had a prime opportunity to do that a few years ago when they rebuilt both the BU East and BU Central stations. Building one, brand new station between the 2 would have been a great time saver,

    2. The train, in the center of Comm Ave, has to stop for all the turning traffic. The bus, on the right, does not, so it has to be faster.

      It makes no sense to talk about other schemes when the ENORMOUS amount of light cycle time devoted to cars turning is obviously the #1 problem. It’s easily fixed and would make the biggest improvement.

  4. When I saw the new BU West station curb-walls being put in place on the westbound side, I thought finally, the T is doing something right! Then they started the same work on the eastbound side, which makes no sense at all. They should have transformed the St. Paul eastbound platform into the new BU West eastbound. When finished, the trolleys will still have to wait for the lights at the crazy St. Paul/Comm Ave/Buick Street intersection like they do know, only to travel a few hundred feet to the new stop. Very poor design and planning!

    I was hoping that new and improved T stops at intersections would be done the same way the Harvard Ave stops are situated. Both east and west (inbound & outbound) stops are located at the stop lights themselves, where the trolleys most likely have to stop anyway.

    Don’t get me wrong, eliminating some stops, and consolidating others is a great and long overdue idea, but sometimes I simply don’t understand the poor choices like the location of the new BU West eastbound stop!

  5. I wish the stops weren’t being reduced. There are lot of people who rely on the additional stops due to mobility issues,families with baby carriages, people who shop at area stops and depend on the additional T stops to carry groceries, etc especially during inclement weather (whether its too hot too walk long distance or too cold to be walking long distances). Sad to see the additional T stops disappear, I guess we can be thankful for the #57 bus route which follows the same path. Even if we reduce the number of T stops, we still have the signal lights, the train isn’t designed to go fast on the streets only can go fast underground.

    1. Just another way for them to spend more of the taxpayer’s money. Think of the cost of putting in a new stop in between the two existing ones. I would also love to find out just how much of our money they spent conducting the study that resulted in “the project Green Line B Branch Consolidation” proposal.

      On the other hand I just conducted my own study that concluded that eliminating all stops between Kenmore Square and Boston College will assure the fastest possible transit time on that branch of Green line!

  6. ok folks read this first and think about comments number 1 want the trains longer huh ?? just trying to keep using old infrastructure no updating. think about it LONDON double stack buses. if you go longer why due to old infrastructure. if built right back in the 1800’s would have made tunnels wider and higher. but no one thinks macro always micro and folks on this chat my taxes!!!! whats your plan ??
    plus run to the next stop??? you just eliminated the elderly, mothers with children and strollers, folks that other errands the disable. since you have lots of different folks using this PUBLIC TRANSIT make it for all not the few. your trying to eliminate risk and make this a perfect world. by just cutting down the stops i agree if not being used sure but wasnt set up back then to do that. you want a fast time then folks who can jog or ride a bike by all means go for it. this is a system for all not the few we need better ideas to solver these problems and going up in taxes. these folks that are anti tax need to elect leaders with a plan. i have said my my plan but requires improvements to the aging system. dont want your tax money spent here where is the private public team work here ??? NO ONE WANTS TO THINK.

  7. They should just make the Packard’s Corner stop in front of the grocery store in stead of just after the light! The Trolley needs to stop there half the time anyway for the traffic light and most people who use that stop are carrying heavy groceries anyway

    1. Yes! Another example of smart T stop planning! Who says the inbound and outbound stops have to be directly opposite of each other? But no, when they rebuild that stop, it will be in the exact same spot it is in now.

      Sometimes I think the everyday common people like us know how to do *functional* planning and design better than the professionals.

  8. I think reducing tbe number of stops will have on a marginal impact on speeding up the commute. Fewer stops means longer dwell times at the remaining stops because the remaining stops will have more people boarding and leaving the trains at those stops.

    There are two things that will make a real difference:

    1) All doors boarding with fare card readers at each door. No more lines to board at only the front door.

    2) As others have mentioned: signal prioritization for the trains so the trains get green lights and don’t have to stop for red lights at so many intersections.

  9. Install a sensor on the platform to make the turn signal for cars red and the straight ahead signal for the T green when a train is on the platform. Simple, no construction, no need to eliminate Stops, and a huge speedup. Eliminate Stops and the train will still have the looong waits for all the turn arrows and a much smaller speedup. How can any report not realize this?

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