Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Red Line Woes; New Garage in Worcester

Yikes! There was a three-hour delay during yesterday's morning rush hour on the Red Line. Due to issues related to the Longfellow Bridge, the Red Line can only cross the Charles River at 10 miles an hour.

Here is what The Boston Globe had to say:
The service delays and confusion come as the T is experiencing significant growth as a result of rising gas prices. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority managers have acknowledged they need good customer service and reliability to keep new passengers and accommodate the larger crowds.

Yesterday's delay was caused when a piece of track-aligning equipment being used for overnight maintenance malfunctioned on the Longfellow, said Lydia Rivera, a T spokeswoman.

Delays lasted from 5 a.m., when the T opened, until just after 8 a.m., forcing commuters onto shuttle buses between Park Street and Harvard stations.

The delays can be attributed to some construction work on the Longfellow Bridge. The T is performing regular track maintenance work overnights and on the weekend. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is trying to fix some structural changes on the bridge. The structural issue is the reason that the Red Line has to travel across the bridge at a reduced speed. Combined, these events have increased one-way trips on the Red Line by 3 to 4 minutes, but other things can cause the delays to go up to 5 to 6 minutes.

Commuters are concerned at the increased amount of delays on the Red Line. Some commuters were quoted that they've been late to work anywhere from 6 to 12 times this summer. Hopefully employers understand.

In other news, the new Union Station garage opened in Worcester this week. I read about it last night in yesterday's Telegram & Gazette. If you have a monthly commuter rail pass, parking will be $42 a month. It is $100 a month without a commuter rail pass. The garage will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. There is a $2 per hour rate for a maximum charge of $8.

I noticed the garage on Friday night, after leaving KJ Baaron's Friday Night wine tasting. It looks like a nice garage.

Finally, The Eagle-Tribune published an editorial today about the proposed Northern Massachusetts-NH commuter rail line extension. I agree with the sentiments - the rail extension should not occur if New Hampshire does not contribute to its funding. We have areas within Massachusetts that would like to see mass transit. Why should the Commonwealth fund a system that would directly benefit New Hampshire if NH doesn't end up make a relevant contribution?

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