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Saturday, June 2, 2007

MBTA's Train and Trolley systems

I grew up in Boston utilizing the MBTA's subway and bus systems on a daily basis. For as long as I could remember, the Greenline has had a seven to one ratio for trolleys going between Park Street Station and points between Lechmere Staion. That is to say even though Lechmere is the end of the line it has only one trolley going there for every seven trolley's that go part way then turn around to go through Park Street Station in the other direction. This happens even during the height of Rush hour.

The Silverline from South Station has on average a three or four to one racio for the electrified/diesel buses they consider a subway system. This is to say that for every one SL2/SL/3 (routes that go between diesel and electricity) there are three to four buses that stay electrified and do a turn around. Like with the Greenline it happens even in rush hour.

With the ratio's for each of these two lines, the last couple trolley's an buses are empty or almost completely empty due to everyone waiting for the one that goes to Lechmere (greenline) or the sl2/sl3 routes (silverline) and by that time there are a number of people who cannot get on due to there being more than the vehicle can hold.

The commuter rail, at least The Fitchburg line has at least from my understanding has had a problem being respected by the MBTA enough to respond to issues regarding that specific commuter line. The two biggest issues that I have been dealing with since I started riding it five years ago, is a lack of service going between Boston and Fitchburg on work days between the morning and evening rush hours, and the equipment being in general disrepair.

The riders have been fighting for more service between the ends of the line for longer than I have been riding the train and even though the company hired to maintain the equipment for the MBTA has started doing a better job in recent months of keeping on top of repairs, still gives the line the equipment that is in need of repairs(i.e. tagged out doors and traps or worse) while giving other lines the equipment that has been fixed. this is on what is called the North Side which is all of the commuter rail lines that go north of Boston. There are always stories of the MBTA getting new equipment for the commuter rail but virtually, all of the new train coaches are double decker coaches that cannot be used on the North Side.

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